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VERBATIM

One from the follicle files

January 05, 2003

Adulation has its heartbreaks. Idols inevitably evince signs of mortality: breakups, addictions -- even, alas, signs of aging. What's a fan to do? Sometimes, the answer is simply to collect the evidence and face the music. Case in point: a Web venture called "Is Bono Bald?"

(www.anycities.com/user/isbonobald/), subtitled "the premium Balding Bono fan site."

The site (Is it sincere? Is it performance art?) offers scalp sightings of the U2 star in photos labeled "proof," along with lively exchanges among fans, some of whom haven't reacted well to seeing "bald" and "Bono" in the same sentence. Some excerpts:

"We are in desperate need of clear photos of Bono's scalp. Pictures like these are rare and usually wind up in the garbage or hidden by a fan that does not want to share this ugly part of life with the world...."

Accompanying a "proof" photo: "Thank you very much for this scalp shot which is a true rare find. Here he is the only guy I know who can look cool Balding...."

On the issue of weaves and hairpieces: "What I mean is, he HAS hair and it doesn't matter how he got it because he looks hot .... I think you are mean for doing this to poor Bono."

"I don't want Bono to go bald any more than you do but it's a fact of life that some men lose their hair. It does not make them any less of a man."

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