What intellectual, hard-hitting and politically-charged topic are we tackling in this week’s column?
That’s an unusual choice. How did it make the (ahem) final cut?
Read on, brave and curious souls, and ye shall find out.
Many Ontario-based businesses have been closed the past six months during COVID-19. In Toronto, this has included stores selling non-essential items, indoor dining at restaurants, sports stadiums and arenas, music halls, movie theatres, gyms – and barber shops and hair salons.
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Some people in my city went to different parts of the province to get a haircut until that golden opportunity was no longer available. Some went discreetly to their regular barbers and hair stylists, or they came to them. Some opted to cut it themselves.
Some Torontonians simply decided to wait until barber shops and hair salons reopened. I’m in that category.
This meant my curly hair, which was never terribly short to begin with, grew. And grew. And grew.
The shape of it became rather fascinating, too.
In the first couple of months, it resembled something akin to the wild hairstyles of scientist Albert Einstein and boxing promoter Don King. As time passed, my style evolved into either Christopher Lloyd’s character Doc Brown in the Back to the Future film series or the great composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
More recently, it’s started to resemble another great composer, Ludwig van Beethoven. That has led to my casual references of “mein herr” and “my hair!” (And yes, I’m hard at work on the second movement of Symphony No. 10. The fragmentary sketches were discovered by musicologist Barry Cooper in 1988 and it needs to be finished!)
I’ve even taken some photos during my hair’s many stages of growth and posted them on social media.
For instance, here’s a side-by-side comparison from last month between my hair and Toronto Mayor John Tory’s hair. I thought it was amusing and so did many others! Never heard back from his worship, alas. I’ve known him for years, so I’m fairly confident he caught wind of this tweet (and probably could have lived without it).
Why did I do this?
To have some fun and a few laughs with this ridiculous situation. If you’re a confident individual, you should be able to not take life too seriously and engage in a little self-deprecation from time to time. It’ll do you some good.
And it’s just hair, for heaven’s sake.
So many people have worked themselves into a frenzy that they haven’t been able to go to their favourite barber or hair stylist during the provincial stay-at-home order.
Honestly, who cares? Can’t you control your vanity for even a short time? Don’t you have better things to worry about during this global pandemic?
If there was ever a definition of a First World problem, this is it.
That isn’t to say I don’t feel badly for people involved in this industry – and all businesses that have been shut in Ontario off-and-on since March 2020. I do. This has been a terrible situation for them on personal and economic grounds. All of them need to start earning money again to make a living.
Fortunately, it appears they’ll be able to do this in early July when Phase 2 of Ontario’s reopening plan kicks in. The number of new COVID-19 cases in the province dropped to 447 on Monday, and the rolling seven-day average is 503. This is exactly what everyone was hoping for. As long as the variants don’t erupt in any fashion, life will start to return to some sense of normalcy in late summer and early fall.
Will I get my hair cut?
I’ve never worried much about my appearance, truth be told. Maybe it’s partially because I know I can get away with it to some extent. Whatever the case, it’s never been a motivating factor in my life.
But while it’s been fun having this bizarre mane of hair for a few months, even I know that the shiny metal clippers must come a-calling. I can’t be a public figure in the media and make speeches and TV appearances with this lustrous mop on my head.
Plus, my wife would be furious if I kept it. Can’t say I completely blame her, even if she’s being a killjoy!
Then again, I could keep some of the length in the back. Mullets must be back in style by now, right?
If so, a Kentucky waterfall could be a lasting tribute to my COVID-19 hair.
Or I could end up in the doghouse. I’ll let you know what happens!
Michael Taube, a Troy Media syndicated columnist and Washington Times contributor, was a speechwriter for former prime minister Stephen Harper. He holds a master’s degree in comparative politics from the London School of Economics. For interview requests, click here.
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