Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
I had just turned 30 when I noticed it. At first I thought I had gotten a bad haircut; then I thought they had changed the formula to my styling gel. But one fateful morning, while attempting to strategically maneuver my hair to cover the places it used to, I finally realized, I was losing my hair! I'd like to say my diminishing follicle count didn't bother me, but the fact is it did. It bothered me a lot! So much so that I did what I thought I would never do ... I called the number I had seen on an infomercial for what was advertised as a breakthrough hair restoration formula. I didn't call the night I saw the commercial, but instead secretly wrote down the number and called the next morning. Closing the door to my office, I dialed the number with baited breath (by baited breath I mean that I had kippered herring for breakfast so it actually smelled like I had eaten bait). The lady on the other end of the line, in her magnificently crafted sales pitch, assured me beyond all doubt that I would see almost instant results. She made it easy to believe her claims, describing the product as developed by Swedish scientists who had tapped the Nordic male's genetic secret to full, healthy hair. She made it sound like, after only a few weeks of taking their patented combination of vitamins, shampoo and conditioner, my hair would grow so thick OSHA wouldn't require me to wear protective headgear on a construction site. I was hooked by that seductive sales siren's pitch and reached for my wallet. I was just about to give her the numbers on my Visa card when she mentioned that several celebrities also used this product. "Oh really, like who?" I inquired, expecting to hear the names of famous guys, each endowed with massive amounts of hair, like Fabio or that guy from "Little House on the Prairie." "Well, like Sean Connery," she proudly proclaimed. The credit card tumbled from my hands upon hearing this revelation. "Sean Connery?" I said with the same sort of doubtful tone one would use when informed that Billy Graham had converted to Scientology. "Sean Connery uses your product?" I asked the woman on the line. She confirmed her remark as if there was no obvious reason not to take her at her word. "But Sean Connery is balder than a baby's bottom!" I pointed out. The lady did not respond, realizing she had made a potentially fatal error in her sales pitch. "Sir," she said, "you are aware that not one man in all of Sweden has experienced male pattern baldness?" Hey, wait just a minute, I thought to myself. I'm Swedish and I'm losing my hair. My dad is even more Swedish than me and he's losing his hair (although he has managed to make it look distinguished. Mine causes me to resemble one of those giant-headed aliens who crash landed in the Roswell, New Mexico, desert). In fact, I live in an area where you can't throw a rock without hitting a Swedish guy, and quite a few of them have thinning hair! "I think I'll pass." I said, returning my wallet to its cozy home in my sport coat. The saleswoman knew she had lost me, but she made one last-ditch effort to close the sale. "If you buy today we will throw in a one month's supply of our revolutionary male enhancement supplement absolutely free!" she said, confident she had resurrected the sale. "Sir, wouldn't you like to be just like the manly men of Sweden?" It was then I had to let the air out of her proverbial balloon. "Ma'am, I am Swedish. We Swedish men are famous for many things ... making trendy furniture, inventing dynamite, raiding, pillaging, plundering, blond hair, blue eyes, tennis, and, of course, providing two of the four members of pop sensation ABBA. If that isn't an enhanced male I don't know what is!" ... Click. www.nmfredrickson.com. ©2009, N.M. Fredrickson. All rights reserved. © 2009, N.M. Fredrickson. All rights reserved.