As a follicularly challenged man who shaves his head, I may be a little biased, but comb-overs are sad. Pathetic, really. I would go so far as to call comb-overs the back-alley butt implants of hair.
When I look at a bald (or balding) man with a comb-over, I see a person who cannot accept reality. So he creates his own. Rather than relent to the truth that he’s going bald, every day, in a ritualistic manner, he invents a new “truth” — an “alternative fact,” if you will — regarding his alopecia.
And while the rest of the world may look at a comb-over as a ridiculous fabrication, an attempt to obfuscate an unpleasant fact, the wearer of a comb-over likely doesn’t see it that way. Otherwise, he wouldn’t go through all that trouble of constructing such a convoluted coif. Every. Single. Day.
There’s a reason he chose to go with that ornate, time-consuming disaster on his head rather than simply get a much more convincing toupee (even the cheapest rug looks more authentic than even the greatest comb-over) he can just slap on his dome to be done with it. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s constructed from his actual hair that makes the whole situation — no matter how preposterous — seem “real” to him.
It is a lie. An ugly one, at that. And yet, on a daily basis, he weaves that ornate deception and presents it to the rest of humanity as a genuine, full head of hair.
After all, this isn’t some synthetic hairpiece made by a foreign worker that he parades around the world with. No. This is his hair growing out of his skull. It’s too organic for it to feel like a lie.
But it is a lie. An ugly one, at that. And yet, on a daily basis, he weaves that ornate deception and presents it to the rest of humanity as a genuine, full head of hair.
So now, America has a president with a comb-over. Moreover, we’ve elected the creator and owner of the most notorious comb-over in the history of comb-overs.
Many political observers say America is in uncharted waters with Donald Trump as president. I agree. He’s our first president with a comb-over.
Oh, sure, some might argue Franklin Pierce had a comb-over, but really, it was just an unkempt flop. It certainly couldn’t hold a candle to Trump’s comb-over, because Pierce’s hair had no hold. Besides, even if you classify the 14th president’s modest afterthought of a do as a comb-over, please note that he’s considered by some historians to be the worst president in American history … at least up until last Friday. And if you, like me, believe presidential comb-overs are an indication of future performance, we are in for a surreal four years.
Millions of people are continually aghast at Trump’s ability to make over-the-top, readily disprovable statements, all with uncanny aplomb. They are astounded by how easily and confidently he presents “alternative facts” to the entire world. They say things like “He seems to live in his own reality.”
Yes, he does. And he’s been a longtime resident there, too. He’s been doing it for decades, and he is able to maintain such a tightly sealed reality bubble with the help of three things: lots of wealth, lots of power, and lots of practice.
Just like he’s done with his notoriously chintzy casinos and hotels, he’s managed to take something that — at its core — is sad and pathetic, and given it an overcompensatory illusion of grandeur and class.
Trump is able to boldly and assuredly dispense obvious disinformation because he’s been doing that with his hair for a very long time. He has no problem lying to the rest of the world because he gets up, looks in the mirror, and lies to himself every day.
In all fairness, it is a magnificent lie he constructs each morning. He claims to be a great builder, and I don’t doubt it. His coif looks like it needs a building permit, and he completes the project on time every day before breakfast.
And just as exceptional a lie as his comb-over is, so are the alternative realities in which he cozily abides. But also just like his hairdo, they don’t feel like lies to him. They both emanate from his head, so they seem quite real to the president.
Just like he’s done with his notoriously chintzy casinos and hotels, he’s managed to take something that — at its core — is sad and pathetic, and given it an overcompensatory illusion of grandeur and class. Big garish buildings. Big garish hair. Big garish lies. They all flow (except the hair — it’s too heavily cemented in place to flow) from the same oversized sense of insecurity.
Many people, including several within his own party, have called Trump a con artist. Well, his hair is a con, in and of itself. And since he’s the artist who creates it, then yes, he is a con artist, all without even opening his mouth.
But he does open his mouth. Quite frequently, in fact. So before you blow a gasket in shock at the latest whopper to be served up by the fancy Burger King known as the White House, just remember: His hair is merely a metaphor for his rhetoric.
For instance, try not to be astonished by the manner in which Trump breaks his numerous campaign promises. Oh, sure, politicians break promises all the time, but normally, they at least try to disguise them and/or break them with some sort of nuance. Maybe they move the goal posts or fudge the definition of a word or two.
However, that won’t happen for the next four years (or however long he’s in office). Promises won’t be gently broken in the quiet of the night when most people aren’t looking.
No, promises will be broken — and other falsehoods will be delivered — in this sort of fashion: Trump will walk by Humpty Dumpty, kick him off the wall, then tell everyone on Twitter and TV that Humpty Dumpty fell on his own. His Press Secretary Sean Spicer will tell the media the same thing, followed by Kellyanne Conway going on Sunday morning talk shows to defend Spicer and repeat that Humpty Dumpty fell on his own, despite compelling video evidence that Trump pushed him.
Then Trump will promise he’ll make Mexico pay to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, but eventually will ask Congress to appropriate the funds to do so, all while insisting he’ll somehow get the Mexicans to pay it. Oh, and he’ll also take credit for the wall Humpty Dumpty fell from, even though it was built during the Obama administration.
That’s the brand of lying we’re in store for. And the Trumpover is the symbol of this sort of lying we all should have recognized beforehand.
Better late than never? We’ll see.