It’s not a good sign when you plop down in the barber’s chair and she says “Oh, honey.”

I should be used to this; my hair has charted its own course since we first appeared in the world, when it was so light that I seemed bald; there’s always been a great deal of it, but the individual strands are so thin that they are forever reaching for the Lord. It is heavy in the summer and anxious in the winter. A cowlick in the dead center of my forehead saw to it that I passed the better portion of the late 80s to the mid 90’s battling bangs. I could have been a Nobel Laureate at the age of 19; we will never know, for my young adulthood was dedicated to scowling at a curling iron rather than sitting in deep consideration of the workings of the universe.

What was happening now was the fallout of badly damaged split ends, followed by the attempts of two franchised barbers to forestall the carnage. I was now attempting to undo the botched undoing of the botched undoing, as the lower half of my hair remained fuzzy and angry. Finally I capitulated; what I needed here was a person who didn’t take appointments via branded app and didn’t rely on an ESPN broadcast as 85% of the haircutting experience.

I knew it was bad when Josh The Pilot noticed. “It’s okay,” he said carefully, “if you’d like to go to a real salon.”

Counting pennies is what got me into this, and dropping several was the only way to get me out. Everybody knows the German people aren’t celebrated for our good hair sense, and it’s mostly because we don’t splash out on a high layered fade.

So the hairdresser pityingly made her way around my head, informing me that she was “blending” the devastation, which sounded to me like touching up the gutter trim in the wake of a house-flattening hurricane. And indeed, when she dried my hair, I was rewarded, in the mirror, with the third-runner up in a David Bowie impression contest.

“It just needs to grow,” she said.

Well, so does my ability to have a Twix in the same room without appropriating it, but what was going on here was a hair rebuilding. It was the closest solidarity I’ve had with the Reds in at least four years.

Everyone describes this team as in the process of “rebuilding.” Well, yes, but– how? We see management ditching payroll and trolling the tragically friendzoned. What’s the plan? Are they… blending? Because if so, all I’m seeing is a bunch of L’s under the moonlight, the serious moonlight.

The remedy for my head is lots of little Phoebe clips and a willingness to wear my chapel veil to Skyline and the post office. I work with it. I wait it out. It is a season, not a lifelong sentence. It is fug, but this interval is necessary to overcome some cost-saving mistakes.

But it feels that way with this team. How long must we wait? Weathering a rebuilding is bad enough, but when that rebuilding has no discernable plan, it’s just floundering. What we have now is fug. But is it necessary?

This team cannot “just grow.”

We need a real salon.

17 Responses

  1. Rick Pearson

    After witnessing the Reds going up very early in the game and Justin Dunn really was pitching okay I think he was getting squeezed somewhat at the plate . And then it all broke loose I have no idea for the rest of our pitching staff was last night but one thing for certain they was not at Wrigley Field. And I like Aquino but let’s face facts he cannot hit he might walk into a home run once in a blue moon but he is killing them in the lineup and I don’t know what they’re going to do with Nick he is constantly taking himself out of the lineup for one thing or another they’ve got that humongous contract with moose what are they going to do there but yet they keep picking on Kyle Farmer the most complete player on the Cincinnati Reds not even close this man gives you 1,000% every night. But yet they think this kid playing shortstop is the next Barry Larkin no he ain’t even close and I don’t think he will be I think she will be an average player at best. Joey Votto going in his last year of the contract. Poor Tyler Stevenson he can’t get out of his own way more and more it’s looking like he’s injury waiting to happen and I hate saying that but it sure looking that way. Jonathan India same way constantly getting hurt. Really the two outfielder in TJ Friedel, and Fraley they are consistent of any of the outfielder position Albert Almore, another one constantly hurt. Maybe they ought to look at whoever is on their strength and conditioning and training staff because they’re having a whole lot of injury way too often or could it be these players just don’t want to play because they know they’re going to get paid anyway. I remember when I was playing ace bandage, Ice, either Ben Gay, or Icy Hot and go back playing.

  2. Jim Walker

    My hair analogy is that a doc that has nothing to do with hair restoration prescribed a drug for his area of treatment which had lost out to minoxidil in the hair restoration race.

    The drug works fine for the purpose he prescribed it; but, now I also have more scalp hair than I have had for a couple of decades as a side effect.

    So, what’s to complain, you wonder? On the sides of my head where I still had hair everything is great.
    However, on top where my hair was sparse to bald, there is unruly hair growing in every which direction or way. Some spots want to curl or kink. Other spots are more of a wave. The stylists I go to say it also grows out from my scalp in strange directions, whatever exactly that means.

    This reminds me of the Reds also. They have lots of new guys but so far, they seem pretty useless as part of a successful whole, just like all my new hair.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      “They have lots of new guys but so far, they seem pretty useless as part of a successful whole, just like all my new hair.”
      Indeed. They’re pretty unruly, aren’t they?

  3. Bred

    As I inch my way to nearly 70 years old or young, the adjective depends on how I feel that day, and still styling my hair like I did at St. Savior School my full head of solid white hair accented by a youthful cowlick, has allowed me to act like I don’t care about my hair, but if truth be told I do. The difference between my hair and the Reds is I don’t give a hoot about them. I come by RNL and still support Doug on Patreon because I think he is a hard working person who deserves a few dollars a each month. The Reds Forget About It!

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      My grandfather (Clete of course) hit 60 and refused to age further and that was that. My mom is 81 and still has most of her original hair color, which I appreciate almost as much as your support of Doug! He is indeed a worker!!

  4. Mark Moore

    First, MBE, absolute capital job on selecting your theme photo. I’ve definitely been there with the ladies who run my life.

    I’ve been very finicky about my hair for a long time. I cut my own for a while (successfully) because I didn’t trust it to anyone else. At one point, after we made a move early in our marriage, we traveled 2 hours back to where we came from so I didn’t have to find somebody new. My current stylist is the owner and unless something drastic happens, I’ll stick with her for the foreseeable future.

    As for our Reds FO shenanigans … I’m as baffled as everybody else. I’m no fan of DTBell, but as others point out, the roster is a complete mess and the greatest of the greats might manage a few more wins, but they wouldn’t get to a winning team. That’s a result of the bargain approach you noted.

    Keep ’em coming! We’re going to need it as we approach the long offseason. And the Bearcats didn’t help my mood out any at all.

    • Mark Moore

      And full marks to Josh the Pilot for his support. It’s a difficult subject to be sure.

      • Mary Beth Ellis

        I was impressed. He rehearses these conversations, I think, and there was peace throughout the kingdom.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      My wonderful MIL cuts hair for all the gentlemen in the family, which served everyone well during the pandemic.

      You’re one of those guys who, once you’ve found what you like in life, never let go, even if it involves a 4 hour drive. Impressive.

  5. LDS

    Way back in the dark ages of the 70s, the woman that took care of my hair used to praise its thickness and told me I’d never go bald. Thus far, now in the 2nd half of my 60’s, she’s been right. Unfortunately, she didn’t tell that my hair would develop a mind of its own. The old I get, the more it resembles Einstein or Weird Al Yankovic. The Reds were better in the 70s as well. Now they resemble my hair as well. And kudos to the Pilot. My wife’s response was “well, you like Einstein”.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      I congratulate myself every day for marrying him.

  6. MadMike

    Props for the reference to Twix, a deeply underrated and unappreciated candy bar!

    • Mark Moore

      But, MadMike … Left Twix or Right Twix? 😀

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      See, I’d consider Twix a heavy hitter. Whatchamacallit is a more rarified experience.