Jewish World Review June 19, 2002 / 9 Tamuz, 5762

Ian Shoales

Ian Shoales
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Consumer Reports

Spreading fertilizer on a dictionary to try to raise a novel | For around fifty bucks, an company called Hairogenics in San Francisco will take a snip of your hair and send it to Oregon, where it will be refrigerated in a basement for an anual fee of ten bucks.

Why would you want to do this? Well, chances are you're going bald. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the founder of Hairogenics, a somewhat hair-impaired person himself, started the company as a way to preserve healthy hair, so when a cure for baldness is found, the balding person will be able to-- I don't know-- clone his hank, I guess, or at least use it in voodoo ceremonies.

For all you combover guys out there with money to burn, this might be a dream come true. On the other hand, Dr. Alexa Bower Kimball, a dermatologist at Stanford put herself on the line professionally to state, for the record, that this process "doesn't make a lot of scientific sense."

Still, two hundred people as of April have signed up for the program, proving the old adage, "A man with a receding hairline and his money are soon parted."

The problem regarding baldness, evidently, is not in the hair but the follicles, which stop working in balding people. So putting your hair in the freezer in the hope that one day you'll be able to put it back on your head one day is like stuffing leaves in a drawer, hoping they'll turn into a tree, trying to cram a chicken into an egg, watering a tire so it will grow into a car, or manufacturing a silk purse from the ear of a pig.

It's spreading fertilizer on a dictionary to try to raise a novel, burying a football and waiting for a team to sprout, or buying some boots and hoping that makes you cowboy.

It's magical thinking really, in a fantasy world, where reading the want ads equals having a job, money in the wallet means money in the bank, a remote in the hand means something good's on television, and a wistful glance means love is yours forever.

Every molehill is a mountain, every desert an ocean, every precaution a blow for freedom, every word a thought, every thought a deed, every ticket a winner, and there's a chicken is flopping happily in every pot.

Still, fifty bucks is a lot of jack for fairy dust, especially when it looks a lot like dandruff to me.

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JWR contributor Ian Shoales is the author of, among others, Not Wet Yet: An Anthology of Commentary. Comment by clicking here.


06/17/02: Happy cows are really miserable?
06/12/02: Very similar to a rock
06/05/02: Of Humice and Men
05/30/02: Pooches in sharkskin suits and the end of dog tags
05/22/02: We baby boomers used to rule the roost
05/20/02: The Files now Ex
05/14/02: Entangled in Spider-Man's web!?
05/02/02: April Showers May Come Our Yadda Yadda
04/24/02: From child murderer to milk hawker
04/10/02: New realities
03/21/02: You did it your way? I have to kill you now!
03/12/02: Life in the warehouse
01/28/02: Shoes and food
01/24/02: Suspension of disbelief has nothing to do with whether we accept something as real or not
01/22/02: Save the Grand Ole Opry?
12/15/01: If you truly want to appeal to the lowest common denominator
12/11/01: KNITTING!
12/07/01: Conspiracy by the 'fat suit' lobby?
12/04/01: The future of comic books
11/15/01: Literary tips in a jar
11/12/01: The ectoplasm of a ghost economy
11/05/01: Sumner Redstone's passions
10/31/01: My irony
10/29/01: Even in wartime, America can still bring it home
10/25/01: Ad memories
10/17/01: Pathetic me
10/08/01: War time lite
10/01/01: Confessions of a sarcastic scribe
09/11/01: The end of Mom
09/07/01: Boy Loses Girl, Boy Bites Girl, Boy Gets Girl
09/05/01: Virtual elegance?
08/28/01: Buzz!
08/23/01: Radio workout
08/20/01: I robot, you Jane
08/15/01: A wild and crazy world!
08/10/01: When the future was "as real as a dime"
08/08/01: Garage Dearth!
08/06/01: That Big Clock
08/02/01: Stop the pop!
07/31/01: Catchphrase history of the world
07/26/01: The Bride of Science
07/23/01: That java jive
07/17/01: Homogenized hegemony
07/13/01: Applying Newton's First Law of Physics to textbooks
07/10/01: The dumb and the dead

© 2001, Ian Shoales