The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Part one of a very occasional thing

I have posted an earlier version of this before, but I am in the process of rewriting it and I'd thought I'd upload a very occasional update on Mr. Doherty's adventures. This is the first installment. Enjoy, and once again, my apologies to Nikolai Vasilievich.


Francis Doherty was thirty-seven years old and the master of most of what he surveyed.  He was the golden boy of a venture capital firm, a man whose ability to spot winning entrepreneurs and turn their sometime crackpot ideas into stock market gold earned him the favorable notice of the business press and a seven figure income. Those seven figures, in turn, allowed him to indulge a taste for expensive clothing and even more expensive sports cars. Doherty owned an entire floor in a very tony condominium building, the floor and the building selected for him by his equally tony girl friend.  She was a graduate of Harvard Law, a descendant of a signer of the Mayflower Compact, and a real blonde, a fact that she brought up every so often to remind herself that it was true in a sideways sort of fashion.  Doherty thought about marrying her occasionally, but he’s always been able to suppress the thought.  With so much going for him, Francis Doherty could not imagine anything ruining the perfect tenor of his life, except for this: Francis Doherty did not want to be bald. 

No, he did not.  Baldness was, he felt, a proletarian phenomenon and not at all something a man of his means and position should have to endure. Unfortunately, Doherty’s genetic inheritance overruled his personal preferences. His father, a policeman who’d spent thirty years in a patrol car without ever taking the sergeant’s exam, was bald by the time he was twenty-five and Doherty was determined to avoid his father’s fate.  He tried the various chemical solutions that promised to relieve his embarrassing condition by growing a new head of hair and the various chemical solutions were a collective flop. Instead of hair, the chemicals usually grew a large rash, which was not the point of buying the chemicals in the first place.  Doherty had a closet full of hats and toupees, the increasing lifelikeness of the latter providing a reliable guide to his rapid rise in the financial world, and he had considered surgery.  He had considered it and then shoved it down the same mental hole where he put the idea of marrying his girlfriend. Knowing that people would see the hair plugs in his scalp and know for a fact that he was bald was an idea almost too horrible for him to contemplate.  That just about everyone in his life knew that he was bald did not seem to make a difference to him. Doherty did not want anyone to know that he was bald, even if they already did.

So he needed a new toupee, a perfect toupee, one made to his specifications, and at length he found the people in a very exclusive and incredibly discreet men’s store in New York who could make it for him for a little less than five thousand dollars.  The toupee was a thing of beauty, woven strand by strand from the hair of a Chinese woman from Szechuan province, and when Doherty put it on his head for the first time he knew that the craftsmen in the backroom had created a work of art.  The toupee was as perfect as anything could be in this imperfect world, and so it therefore came as a considerable shock to Doherty when he woke up one morning to find that his new toupee had rifled his pockets and run off with his wallet, several suits, one of his Italian sports cars, and a small fortune in cash that Doherty kept hidden from the tax people in a small safe in the back of his clothes closet.  This disturbed Doherty a good deal, as he was an optimist at heart and he could not believe that the toupee would do such a thing to him; the toupee had not shown any previous signs of dishonesty and had no cause for unhappiness, as far as Doherty knew.  It was enough to make anyone, even someone as optimistic as Doherty, bitter at the fallen nature of his fellow man.

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  • At 10:56 AM, Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said…

    Second installment, please!

  • At 2:58 PM, Blogger Dick Stanley said…

    The fallen nature of "a Chinese woman from Szechuan province" more like.

  • At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So, it has been 10 days. Where's installment2?

  • At 2:08 PM, Blogger Akaky said…

    First, I'm working on the second installment, but as I'm sure everyone here knows, I write slowly, so stop pushing me or I'll tell Mom. Second, there is no need to mock the toupee's mother; she had to sell her hair in order to feed her family, what with her husband being sent to a pig farm in Sinkiang province by the Red Guards because he was a capitalist roader. Life is not fair sometimes.


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