So yesterday, after a week of traveling, blogging and thinking rather intensely about the laws of war, and before I had to write a column on Iraq, I decided to take a break and go to, well I won't name the establishment, but it's a place which caters to the grooming needs of men. I needed a haircut (we baldies do need to mantain order and Aaron isn't around with the buzzer) and a beard trim. But I also saw that they had on their list of possible treatments what they called a "grey-blending."

Now I was quite proud of myself for having finally gotten over the "I'm turning into Santa - where's the Just For Men? phase" of the mid-ok-late 40s bear, but "grey-blending" sounded, well, pretty mellow and not drastic and, like a sober alcoholic, I thought a little snifter couldn't do any harm. And, after all, these people are pros. They're not going to put the JFM on, get a phone-call, forget and turn around and realize they've just turned me into Moqtada al-Sadr.

So I lay back and had this lady put on the "grey-blender". I said, "It's 40 percent grey, could you make it 20 percent grey?" I'd rather look like Santa than Billy Mays (may God rest his soul). I thought the white goopy stuff she was brushing on might be a little de trop, but figured she knew what she was doing. I also thought a twenty-minute wait, with the seat lying down with the shit on was a little long, but figured she knew what she was doing. And then, when she finally finished washing out the stuff (you can't just rinse out the beard while pivoted with your head below your feet for fear of being waterboarded), the seat rose up and I looked in the mirror. The face looking back to me looked like a less subtle version of this:

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My 20 percent grey-blend looked like I was some guy playing a bit part in Fiddler on the Roof in high-school with a paint-brush stuck on my face. I actually have more beardage than Bluto at this point, so it was a bit of a shock. I asked them what I could do. The only answer, apparently, was to bleach it down. So then I had a bunch of basically clorox on my face for five minutes; washed it out; then another five minutes, until the pitch boot-black no-gray, nothing-but-pitch-black had become a little less intense. They didn't charge me. And insisted that the color they had used was "dark blond".

And this morning, I woke up and have what can only be called a ginger mop attached to my face. I think this is basically what happens when you try and resist the aging process one iota. Just don't. I've learned my lesson. Never. Again. Especially by a professional. So if on TV next week, I look like some bald cross between Zach Galifianikis and a leprechaun, have a good laugh.

You warned me. I wavered. And next time, remember that "Grey-blending" is the enhanced rejuvenation technique known previously as boot-blacking.

(Correction: in my first draft, I wrote Willie Mays, not Billy Mays, a brain fart. Willie Mays is alive and well, I still know nothing about sports, and I'm terribly sorry for the premature obit. And in my second draft I got it wrong again. That beard dye must be like vagisil.)

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