Everyone has been piling on my old missionary companion for giving a hijinks haircut to a swishy classmate back in prep school. Briefly, as reported in the Romney-bashing Washington Post, Mit took offense to the bleached blond bangs of a boy named Lauber, a sensitive loner type in their “form” (Cranbook Prep-affected British nomenclature), and rounded up several classmates to assist him in bringing (in some quarters known as “bullying”) the boy into compliance with the regulation short and manly Cranbook coiffure.
As his posse held the girlie boy down, Mit wielded a sharp pair of scissors and performed a successful hair-ectomy on the noncompliant and blubbering classmate. Some of Mit’s assistants have expressed their lifelong shame for participating in the event, but Mit, as always clean of conscience, has no recall of the youthful prank. In an interview with Fox News, Mit went into weasel mode and employed the all-purpose Conditional Non-Apologetic Apology: “If I hurt anybody, obviously I apologize.” Then in an apparent flip-flop, Mit admitted his adventure in haircutting, all the while downplaying his culpability:
“I had no idea that this person might have been gay.” This should certainly satisfy most people—ganging up on a non-gay person, even a sensitive loner, has always been perfectly acceptable. Furthermore, Mit might have completely absolved himself by adding, “Besides, back in those days we called persons like that homos.”
Though this recent revelation is totally in keeping with other character-revealing episodes—“I don’t care about poor people; I’m not going to apologize for being rich; Corporations are people, my friend; Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs; I have several friends who are NASCAR owners; I couldn’t have illegals working for me—I was running for office, for Pete’s sake; Seamus loved riding on top of the car, etc.”—I think it is only fair to provide some perspective on what seems to be ongoing evidence that Mit is a mean-spirited and mendacious dickhead.
For years now, I have been a fervent defender of Mit, and once again I intend to show that my former missionary companion is a misunderstood and much maligned man. I hope to demonstrate that the notorious haircut hijinks, which, on the face of it, were a brutal act of bullying, represent, in reality, the defining gestalt around which, through which and in which my friend Mit finds his very life and being.
This all-encompassing gestalt is most instructively termed The Haircut, or, to use the correct technical terminology, Die Haarschneidenlebensrgefuhlichkeit. Begin with Mit’s own haircut. Ever since I’ve known Mit—and I’ll never forget my first sight of Mit, every hair Brylcreemed into place, at the Mission Home prior to serving with him for two years in Paris, France—a darn good haircut has been his chief hobby and presiding passion.
Every morning before we hit the mean streets of Paris to bring the Gospel to the benighted citizenry of Paris, Elder Romney would use comb and Brylcreem to ensure that his haircut was not just good, but darn good. But his obsession with a darn good haircut was not just limited to his own beautiful head of hair.
“Monsieur,” Mit would say to some unkempt, wine-swilling Frenchman, “you need a haircut.” A man of impeccable grooming and unstinting righteousness, Elder Romney would refuse to baptize a golden investigator unless he went out and got a good haircut. This policy led to a loss of converts until Elder Romney began performing his own haircuts as part of the baptizing procedure. “Having been commissioned by the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, I hearby give you a good haircut in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, etc.”
So great was Elder Romney’s commitment to a darn good haircut that he began branching out to women and French poodles. Not always the most fastidious people in the world in the hair department, the French also were frequently negligent with regard to keeping their poodles well-groomed. The Spirit moved Mit to snatch a shaggy poodle off the street, or off the top of someone’s car, and start madly scissoring away.
I believe Mit crossed the line with regard to performing involuntary haircuts on the women of Paris. On-the-fly scissor cuts on mademoiselles strolling the Champs Elysees were one thing, but forced haircuts upon their armpits were another. Of course, Mit’s enthusiasm for haircuts later became focused on corporations as well as people, and now we can only hope he’s able to give America the Beautiful a darn good haircut.
D.P. Sorensen writes a satire column for City Weekly.