Showing posts with label Dave Berg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dave Berg. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Mad education in life

Click on the comics for a larger view.

We Baby Boomers pretty much learned everything we needed to know about life from Mad magazine.

Sometimes, though, it was the wrong lesson. The panel above, by the late and great Dave Berg, was part of "The Lighter Side of . . . HAIR," from Mad Special Number Seven in 1972. These things really did happen back then.

In 1977, it happened to me.

One weekend, I was at our "camp" on the river with my folks -- "camp," in Louisiana-speak, being
your little place out in the woods or on a river somewhere. Ours was on the Petite Amite River out in Head of Island, La.

BACK THEN, my 16-year-old smartass self was sporting shoulder-length hair, and my old man was not amused. And one day, out at camp, I was informed that I was a g**damned, hippie, communist dope fiend and that I needed to cut my g**damned beatnik hair.

I was offended. I had not yet taken up smoking dope, and I only was communist in the sense that sometimes you pretended to be to get a rise out of your teachers.

Anyway, when the old man said what he said -- a few meticulously Vitalised stray hairs atop his shiny dome -- Mad 1972 bubbled up from the depths of my subconscious:

"You're just jealous because YOU DON'T HAVE ANY!" said the foolish young man. The one with burgeoning locks.

That . . . was a mistake.

My next memory is of being pinned -- forcefully -- against the wood-paneled wall, while learning new vocabulary words that I shall not repeat here. And by the time I was 17 and change, my hair was several inches shorter.

Thirty-one years later, the old man is long gone, but his gene pool is giving him the last laugh. I scarcely have more hair than he did in 1977. This brings me to another, more positive, lesson I
learned well from that same 1972 issue of Mad:

NEVER, EVER do a comb-over. Never.


You're not fooling anybody -- except yourself. Anyway, I find my No. 2 buzz cut -- No. 1 on the sides -- extremely low maintenance, and my wife likes to rub what's left of my hair. I guess it's some sort of middle-aged aphrodisiac, and at almost 47, I'll take what I can get.

Hubba hubba.