LEVINE: No business in the front, no party in the back

We’re having a party this week. No, it’s not a Halloween party. The party is because my forehead finally met my neck. The space between my ears now resembles the tarmac at an airport.

Some friends think I look like a rotund Dr. Phil, the TV psychologist who solves all of your problems every weekday in one hour.

OK, I’ll readily admit that my head resembles a dirty tennis ball.

And that’s the kindest of the nicknames.

How would you like to be called cue ball?

Bowling ball head?

Chrome dome?


Onion head?

The worst was when an alleged pal said, “Put a hat on because the glare is absolutely killing me!”

Another asked, “What stopped your hair falling out?” His response: “The floor!”

But there are some advantages.

I don’t need hair tonic.

I don’t need a comb.

I don’t need a brush.

I don’t need shampoo.

And I certainly don’t need a blow-dryer. I just shake my head a few times and it’s dry.

I can wash my head with a wash cloth.

I don’t need to worry about the peach fuzz on my head turning colors.

I don’t worry about dry hair and I don’t worry about oily hair.

My hair stylist, John Bennett at Palmyra Barber Shop on North Slappey Boulevard, has been barbering since 1959. And he has a problem when cutting — I use the term loosely — my hair.

A routine haircut takes approximately 20 minutes. Mine takes seven minutes with a triple-O clipper. So what does John do with the other 13 minutes? Sweep the floor? Have his morning coffee? Read his copy of The Albany Herald? Hold his morning conversation with his grandson?

Blessed with great business acumen, he has always tried to get me to pay double — part of the time to find my hair and part to cut it. I have always managed to rebuff his proposal.

I’ve got one friend who got a charge from rubbing my head and saying, “It feels as smooth as my wife’s bottom.”

After this alleged joke continued for a few months, I finally decided to get even.

When he rubbed my head the next time and followed by saying, “Your head feels as smooth as my wife’s bottom,” that’s when I said, “You’re right, my head does feel like your wife’s bottom!”

Funny, that’s the last time he put his hand on my head.

People have offered all possible cures for my bald dome besides visiting Bosley Hair Restoration. One friend suggested wearing a toupee, but I didn’t want to be called “Toupee Tommy” and I definitely did not want to wash my “hair” with Glamorene Rug Cleaner.

Another friend said you can grow hair by putting sulfur on your head. Oh, really?

Still another friend suggested that I try a certain kind of toothpaste on my head. He said he did and his hair grew back. That seemed too far out, but I’m sure that my dentist, Dr. Kent Simmons, would be thrilled to know that I didn’t have any cavities on top of my head. Inside my head, perhaps, but not on top of my head?

At least I know when I get to the Pearly Gates — I’m assuming that I’m headed in that direction — that renowned hairless actors Yul Brenner and Telly Savalas will be welcoming me with open arms. I’m so sure of this that I’m already starting to emulate Savalas by sucking on a lollipop and saying, “Who loves ya, baby?”

Special get-well wishes to two Albany octogenarians. Earl Wall, 89, underwent major heart surgery earlier this month at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and has started the recovery process. He plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his departure from the military next month.

Joyce Kirk, 80, recently fell and broke her arm in two places, and she underwent surgery on Monday. She taught in the Dougherty County School System for 30 years.

Although slowed by physical ailments, they have maintained their omnipresent smile and positive attitude. What terrific examples for all of us.

Barry Levine writes about entertainment for The Albany Herald. He can be reached at dot0001@yahoo.com.