Marolt: The buzzing around my ears |

Marolt: The buzzing around my ears

Before we get too deep into this debate about whether to keep on hunkering down in isolation or charge ahead to try getting the economy humming again in this year of the virus, I think it is of paramount importance for everyone to admit we don’t know crap. This is important because it’s true, believe it or not.

I give weight to scientists’ opinions in this matter, but also believe we should not ignore those who have no data behind them except how much their checking accounts are overdrawn and how far they are behind on rent. The fluidity of change now is so extreme that any one of us might find ourselves treading water in the eddy on the other side of the river at any moment. You may have a job now, but you might not get paid next week. Seventy thousand virus-related fatalities may seem tolerable, until someone you know dies.

The way I see it, we are either all right or all wrong. The ones who predict everything correctly throughout this pandemic are lucky or, more likely, liars. Good morning Mr. President, have a cup of coffee. In any event, the common ground is long and wide, drought-stricken here and flooded there with abnormally high pollen counts and murdering hornets between.

I would show you how incompetent I am with even the smallest components of this pandemic, but am embarrassed to take my hat off. I couldn’t manage to get a decent coronavirus at-home haircut. They say if you look like hell then you feel like hell. I would add, if you had to go out into public like this, you would be living in hell, too.

It started off innocently enough. I read about self-inflicted haircuts. Apparently it is a bad idea hatched in isolation that sounds like a good one at first. I pulled the old hair buzzer out from under the bathroom sink. I plugged it in and it worked. I mistook this for a lucky break.

My son had been talking about needing a trim and I realized I was looking scraggly, too. To get the experiment underway, I told him he should go first. “Just like old times,” I remarked, harkening back to when he was about 5 and I did his hair “Navy style” all the time.

The old seven-blade worked like a charm, until the last hair was left standing at attention on his head in complete uniformity with all the others. Then a spring sprang and the thing fell apart. Acting a little too dejected over my lost opportunity for a haircut, my wife got online and had Walmart add a new buzzer to our order of household staples that we would pick up the next day, faces hidden beneath bandanas like a couple of bandits.

I psyched myself up on the drive home only to find that the person putting our order together didn’t know hair buzzers from beard trimmers. This was going to be like harvesting alfalfa with a push mower, but I’d set my heart on a haircut and that is what I was going to get.

I anticipated the mess, so I set things up in the backyard. I have heard human hair in the garden keeps deer from digging up the bulbs. “Are you sure about this?” my son asked, unable to stifle his guffawing. “Hit it!” I exclaimed.

The beard trimmer worked like a charm on my head. And, my first advice is to never try cutting your hair with a charm. You have a 50% chance of it being the bad luck variety.

A beard trimmer cuts in narrow swaths, it doesn’t have enough power to get through bangs, and its guide continually gets gobbed up with clippings. After about 20 minutes of nonstop ripping and shredding I asked my son for a timeout to assess his progress with a mirror. Good lord! The top of my head looked like an apple orchard after a hail storm!

We took a minute to strategize about what to do next. The only thing we came up with was to go a little shorter to clean things up. We repeated this same process exactly four more times. Two hours elapsed. My neck started cramping. Appropriately, perhaps, my hairdo came out “too close for comfort.”

In a few months my hair will most likely be back to something close to normal, as will the planet by this time next year. Either way, don’t ask my opinion about whether we should jump or crawl out of this quarantine foxhole. I can’t even manage personal grooming.

Roger Marolt, thankfully, feels much better than he looks. Email at

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