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Going, Going, Going. . . : Gone

December 29, 1997|ROY RIVENBURG | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Last week the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Propecia, a pill for male pattern baldness, to be available next month. Besides the cuteness of the name (alopecia means baldness . . . Propecia could mean gobs of this new stuff), the new drug got men to thinking. Here, four thoughts:

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I am definitely asking for a raise.

Two years ago, as part of my "normal reporting duties," I had my head flocked with that spray-on hair gunk by infomercial king Ron Popeil. A year later, I was assigned to do a piece on toupees and got outfitted with a weird pompadour rug.

Now this.

A few days ago, my editor approached with "a great story idea." Based on years of journalism experience, I know that when an editor utters the phrase "great story idea," it can mean only one thing.

"Did I mention my appendix just burst?" I asked.

"Again?" my editor replied.

Drat. So here I am once more, this time as Mr. Gone in a "Going, Going, Going, Gone" series on the new anti-baldness pill.

Actually, I don't think of myself as bald. I prefer the term "differently haired." OK, very differently haired. As in, when I look in the mirror, every day is a "bad hair day."

But there are advantages. For example, I'm still using the same bottle of shampoo that I bought in 1982. And when I'm in the same room with two or more other "differently haired" men, if a beam of light is aimed at our scalps, we can reflect it back and forth and concentrate it with such laser-like precision that we are able to perform such stunts as cataract surgery and laser-light shows. It's great at parties.

It can be great with women, too. My girlfriend says she doesn't even notice my lack of hair. OK, so she's legally blind, but that's not the point. She's learned something that many women don't realize, namely that "differently haired" guys have better things to do with their hormones than use them to grow hair, if you get my drift.

She also knows, from years of carefully studying supermarket tabloid photos of space aliens, that the most advanced forms of life in this universe have moved beyond hair.

So I think I'll pass on this new pill, even if it could help me. For the $45 a month it would cost to use, I can buy more than enough sunscreen. But I still want that raise!

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