Daily Archives: October 25, 2010

Subject: Physical appeal

Thanks, Bud V., whose note Mrs. LAF found in a box this month.  Yes, I would like to respond.

Dear zxtime@aol.com:

Thanks for writing.  Sorry I’m nearly sixteen years late.  I am in receipt of your critique regarding my “presumed afro” and its impact on your viewer reception.

At the time you wrote this note — January 1995 — my haircut (“hairstyle” would be too strong a word) was a peculiar eraser-shaped gravity-defying pile that lacked the shape expected in your stereotypically square-jawed TV reporter.  It isn’t surprising that it upset you.  Presumably, your letter reflected the feelings of thousands of other viewers.  One could conclude that this channel-switching look may have singlehandedly accounted for WAGA’s inability to catch WSB in the ratings in the 90s, a permanent legacy that continues to this day.  Sorry about that.

Regrettably, this “discord,” as you call it, continues.  Though the hair has changed color in the last sixteen years — close inspection of the above photo would reveal the first gray strands — its unruly character hasn’t.  Neither has my discipline to cut it effectively and regularly.

Bob Forehead

For the last ten years, an elderly man with hand tremors has cut my hair in a storefront behind a barber pole.  He charges $14.  I usually give him a twenty; it’s still a bargain compared to the $40 I paid for the haircut shown above, coiffed by a charming woman named Gina at a Buckhead salon that offered shampoos and head massages as well.  Though the exchange rate has improved and the hair is cut shorter now, the quality is currently very spotty.   This means that each 21st century haircut results in a moment of hell-raising by Mrs. LAF, who denounces the haircut, the shaky-handed barber and my general inability to make sound decisions.

This blowback now frequently results in haircut procrastination, thus yielding  wiry old-guy offshoots from the ears, brows and neck, and a freakish, spiked  Einsteinesque look that seems to only lack the mustache and the brainpower.  In other words, zxtime@aol.com, the discord continues;  the lesson goes unlearned, despite your gentle suggestion to the contrary back in the mid-90s.  WXIA is now saddled with a bad hair day that has gone on for more than two decades in Atlanta TV.

Thanks for watching back in 1995.  Perhaps you are among the viewers slowly switching to WXIA, where you can find top-notch, stress-free haircuts among the likes of Jerry Carnes, Ross McLaughlin and Ted Hall.  Please feel free to use my appearances on TV as an excuse to grab a soothing beverage from another room.