Did I Say That?: No longer waiting for the cure to baldness, Pisani decides to craft artistic comb-over

Joe Pisani bemoans the endless cycle of shoveling snow.

Joe Pisani bemoans the endless cycle of shoveling snow.

Joe Pisani /

My 4-year-old grandson almost broke out crying when I told him that he was going to go bald.

I had to calm him down and assure him, “NOT TOMORROW! In a few years.” That didn’t do much good. I tried to explain that he has the baldness gene, which comes from the maternal grandfather, aka ME. Sorry kid. Them’s the breaks. Not that he understands genetics. Not that I do either.

“They’re going to call you ‘Cue Ball’ when you grow up,” I said.

OK, I went too far. I tried to do penance by promising to pay for his college education. I went too far again — I should have just offered to pay for his college textbooks.

Anyway, by the time his hair starts falling out, they’ll be some wonder product to cure male pattern baldness. I’ve been waiting for that miracle drug for 40 years. (I hope they can develop a COVID vaccine quicker than the cure for baldness or we’re all in deep doo-doo.)

At this stage in life, I’ve given up hope for a cure, so I’m considering spending my retirement savings on a transplant or a rug. Or maybe I’ll just do a comb-over and leave the cash for my grandson’s preschool fund.

A little known historical fact, and this isn’t fake history: On May 10, 1977, Donald J. Smith (not Donald J. Tump) and his father, Frank J. Smith, of Orlando, Fla., were awarded U.S. Patent 4,022,227 for a combover design they created that has hair converging from three directions.

My first thought was the Patent Office should have been defunded after granting Patent 4,022,227. My second thought was “How the heck does that work?” It sounds like something the Army Corps of Engineers designed.

I might give Patent 4,022,227 a try. I’m willing to be ridiculed by my family and friends. Drastic times call for drastic measures. Hippocrates said that, and he’s a guy who could have used a comb-over.

I look at it this way. If the women in my family can go to the hairdresser every three weeks and get their hair chemicalized and colorized, I should be allowed to create an artistic design with the hair I have left.

I’ve often wondered why women snicker at guys with comb-overs. I never make wise cracks when they come out of the beauty salon with shades of pink and blue. Live and let live.

I plan to phase in my new look. I’ll start by growing a ponytail, and then comb hair over from the left and the right until the strands unite in the center, where I’ll hold them in place with a generous application of hair spray and Gorilla Glue.

I’m sure my daughters will be embarrassed by my new “do” and probably call it “doo-doo.” But this is poetic justice for the years they had piercings and tats. I’m opposed to body shaming — and baldness shaming.

Somewhere in the Bill of Rights there must be a constitutionally guaranteed right to a comb-over, along with free Internet and free health care.

A lot of famous men had comb-overs: Zero Mostel, Don Rickles, Dick Van Patten, Prince Charles, Constantine the Great and dare I say, Donald Trump. Julius Caesar had one, and I bet no one ridiculed him or they would have ended up on the sharp end of a gladiator’s sword.

This will make me look 20 years younger. I’ll be able to compete with millennials in the job market and use Twitter and TikTok all day at work. I may have to dye my hair blonde, but that’s no big deal.

Contrary to public opinion, I believe a comb-over connotes integrity and maturity ... and maybe a little duplicity. Like our political leaders, I’ll be concealing a big problem with a flimsy coverup. They do that all the time and get rewarded for it. I might even run for public office on a ticket that promises federal funding for bald men and anyone else who needs it.

Joe Pisani can be reached at joefpisani@yahoo.com.