Whip My Hair (A Pandemic Response)

You know that graphically enhanced picture of me that greets you when you link to my blog?  Well, I do not look like that anymore.

You see, due to several constraints (we have an immune-compromised member of the family, I have a history of upper respiratory infections that are not mild, our children are thankfully even more paranoid about COVID than we are), I have not visited a barber or hair salon since March 9, 2020.  I now have shoulder length mostly gray hair and I wear it in a ponytail.

Although it makes me look very much like a heavier, grayer, white bearded version of my 17- to 19-year-old self (that’s the last time my hair was this long and, yes, I knew all the lyrics to the song Hair, from the Broadway production), I really like it.

No more messing around in the morning trying to comb my hair into something presentable or add product to level out the cowlicks or use a hair dryer to control the direction of the curl.  Nope, wash, condition, rinse, towel dry and put it up in a ponytail.  Done.  And I look surprisingly good from the front when on Zoom.

Does everyone with a ponytail enjoy playing with it?  I do.  How about cupping your hand and squishing the ponytail against the back of your head?  I do. No man bun, but an honest-to-goodness ponytail.  It swishes back and forth against my neck when I shake my head and it tickles the back of my neck when I walk (unless I am wearing a baseball cap with the ponytail sticking out of the space in back).  Why did no one tell me how much fun a ponytail was?  This is cool.

Back in the day, my parents were appalled by my long hair.  Now, the folks my age think it is neat. Or so they say – maybe they are lying to me and laughing out loud behind my back.  Could be some of each, I suppose.

It has been good entertainment growing my hair out – anticipating when it would be ponytail length, and then experimenting with various hair bands, headbands, and scrunchie-type things to see what works.

Of course, the pandemic also meant that I could hide this from anyone I did not want to know.  Ponytail it all up, face the camera and the long hair disappeared.  Not that I’m going on any job interviews or anything like that, but now that the social distancing rules are being relaxed (though the Delta variant is likely to put this progress on hold), I am starting to get more comments when I go out and about among friends.  Mostly positive, or as I indicated earlier, and could be possible, they are laughing behind my back.  No matter.  I like it.  My MLWO34Y* (my loving wife of 34 years) likes it. Or so she says. 

All I know is that between writing my rants, my level-headed spouse, and entertaining myself with my hair, I have not yet lost my mind despite all enticements to do so over the past year.  Or maybe……well, I am not going to think about that.

*My thanks to Don Haven, from whom I unrepentantly ripped off this acronym.

Whip My Hair:  Music and Lyrics by Ronald “Jukebox” Jackson and Janae Luann Ratliff. Performed by Willow.

Listen here:   Whip My Hair   Lyrics here: Whip My Hair Lyrics

Hair:  Music by Galt MacDermot, Lyrics and Book by James Rado and Gerome Ragni 

Listen Here:  Original Broadway Cast – Hair 


She asks me why
I’m just a hairy guy
I’m hairy noon and night
Hell that’s a fright
I’m hairy high and low
Don’t ask me why
Don’t know
It’s not for lack of bread
Like the Grateful Dead

Gimme head with hair
Long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming,
Streaming, flaxen, waxen

Give me down to there, hair
Shoulder length or longer
Here baby, there mama
Everywhere daddy

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

Let it fly in the breeze
And get caught in the trees
Give a home to the fleas in my hair
A home for fleas
A hive for bees
A nest for birds
There ain’t no words
For the beauty, the splendor, the wonder
Of my…

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy
Snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty
Oily, greasy, fleecy
Shining, gleaming, streaming
Flaxen, waxen
Knotted, polka-dotted
Twisted, beaded, braided
Powdered, flowered, and confettied
Bangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied!

Oh say can you see
My eyes if you can
Then my hair’s too short

Down to here
Down to there
I want hair
Down to where
It stops by itself

They’ll be ga ga at the go
When they see me in my toga
My toga made of blond
Biblical hair

My hair like Jesus wore it
Hallelujah I adore it
Hallelujah Mary loved her son
Why don’t my mother love me?

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair

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