Thursday, February 19, 2009

Equality for All Under the Law?

They [the poor] have to labor in the face of the majestic equality of the law, which forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.

Anatole France in Le Lys Rouge

Copied and remembered by Homeless with a Laptop, that is my Name

How Few Hairs a Man Must Have to be Bald?

As I exited a local mall, where I had been shopping for widgets, i.e., nothing of significance, I noticed a man standing on the corner. He was looking at the sky, but I didn’t look.

Rather, what captivated my attention was his lack of hair: he was bald. Big deal you say. I would have thought the same except that he had a few strands of long hair carefully plastered in a forward direction; towards his forehead. Was he a bald guy? A guy going bald? Or a bald guy with some hairs plastered on his head?

It seemed that because he once had blond hair, he was likely considered bald. If his hair had been dark brown for example, he might not have been considered bald but rather going bald or perhaps having a bouffant hairdo—a crucial distinction.

On the other hand, it’s clear that from his point of view that he wasn’t. If he was, he wouldn’t have carefully plastered the few strands of hair on his head and combed them forward.

I walked up to him and said really loud, “Excuse me, but how few hairs must a man have to be bald?” He looked at me with surprise then anger. The other people walking frowned at me, except for two young black kids who were laughing.

As I combed my deep brown hair on the store window, I reflected, “Which grain makes the noise when corn is tipped from a container?”

by Homeless with a Laptop, that is my Name