Wednesday, September 12, 2007



I got a haircut yesterday. It's a really good haircut. The guy who cuts my hair is particularly talented and has a deep, technical understanding of hair. He didn't do anything particularly avant-garde or fancy, just good.

I'm not saying that I personally look awesome, just that the haircut does. What I find fascinating is that people are about 2.5 times nicer to me today than they were in the preceding few days. See, my hair gets really bushy when it gets long. At about five weeks it undergoes a rapid phase change from order to non-linearity almost overnight. Without water or something to stick it down it starts to fluff up high. I start to look a lot like Kramer.

Unless I'm having a spell (i.e. Crazy spell), people always seem to find me acceptable enough. I stay within the tent of common humanity and am allowed in rooms. Women don't move away from me. Men sometimes make eye contact. When I have the fresh hair, sometimes women make a bunch of eye contact. Even with the five+ week bush, I'm no social monster.

I performed an interesting experiment last weekend. Before meeting a friend to run, I didn't bother to shave. Normally, I always shave. This meant I was right at five week hair, unshaven, in running shorts, grimy Asics, and a fleece zipup. And I got looks. Not good looks. Actual dirty looks. Looks of vaguely lipcurling disdain and bodily movements away from me. This was even on the 1 California, which is hardly the catwalks of Milan and Paris.

Is that all that actually determines other people's reactions? I feel as if being a serial killer might not be that difficult. Get a nice haircut and nice clothes. Being white is probably a huge benefit. Then, just don't leave any witnesses! No one will suspect.

I've cracked a real secret of the universe, I think.

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