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Greek-American Stories: Hair today, Gone Tomorrow

Only four guys were sitting around their usual table in Dixon’s that frigid Sunday afternoon, sipping their coffees when George informed them about a telephone conversation his wife had with Yiannis’ wife, Areti. With a look half serious and half amused, he told them, “looks like Yiannis is very concerned because he noticed he was losing a lot of his hair. He was pulling it off his comb, studying it, and she heard him cursing, Areti told my wife.” John, who’s mostly bald, snickered. “Hey! Join the club!” Kipreos, who had a full head of hair, said, “maybe he’s using the wrong shampoo. Or, he’s not eating right.” Shaking his head, Dimos said, “it has nothing to do with shampoos or what you eat. It’s hereditary. Like the old folks used to say, ‘what you got is what you get!’” Combing back his thick, mostly gray hair with his fingers, Dimos stirred his coffee with vigor, and added, “I’m tired of listening to ads that promise a full hair restoration if you buy their products. They’re all money making gimmicks! It’s mostly ego that buys the products.”

George, grinning, told him, “well, tell that to Yiannis. Areti told my wife that Yiannis saw an ad in the newspaper and went to the hair specialist who has been treating him now for a couple of weeks, I think – for a lot of cash. And, Areti is not happy about it” John looked up, surprised.  “Yiannis! Gave up cash? Now, that is serious! He must really be unhappy about losing some hair.”

Just then, they watched Yiannis enter the cafeteria. He strolled over to the coffee machine, added the sugar, and calmly went to join his friends as usual. “Good afternoon, everybody”, Yiannis said, cheerfully, seating himself. Everybody greeted him just as cheerfully. Noticing his slicked down hair, John asked, “I notice your hair is different – it’s, kinda…shiny, Yiannis.” Sipping his coffee with deliberate hesitation, Yiannis paused, then told them, “oh, I’ve been applying something this specialist suggested I put on my scalp to stop my hair from falling out.”

“At what cost?” asked Dimos, seriously. “Think  it’s working?” John inquired. Looking up, Yiannis waved his hand and said, “well, it’s kinda expensive, but, that’s to be expected when you want results.” Then, turning to John, said, “working? I think so. They gave me a guarantee that I’ll see results soon and I think I do see results.” Losing patience, Dimos insisted “the only one who’ll see results are those specialists, Yiannis. You mean, you really expect hair to grow back like before?” Shrugging, Yiannis said, “looks alright so far.” George said, “You’re saying, your hair is growing back using their stuff?” “Well,” began Yiannis, “I’ve only begun using it since last week…You gotta give it some time. But, I saw a few hairs growing…here,” Yiannis pointed to his the top of his forehead. “See?” They all bent closer to observe what Yiannis was referring to. “You mean that fuzz there?” John used his finger to point to where Yiannis indicated. “I see the few hairs. Lots of them.” Kipreos nodded. “And maybe, they’ll grow longer.” Sensing satisfaction with that observation, Yiannis sat back, giving the donut dish a closer look. “That’s what they told me would happen. All I have to do is wait.” “And keep paying,” Dimos put in. Then, added, “what proof do you have that your hair will grow back nice and thick, again, Yiannis?” Shrugging, Yiannis took out a newspaper clipping and passed it around. It displayed an ad showing two photos, one of a mostly bald spot on a man’s head. And, the next photo showed the same man with hair fully restored after their treatments. George, laughing, said, “maybe the photos are a switch!” Yiannis ignored him. “Well, Yiannis, maybe, that stuff really grows hair, but…” all attention turned towards Dimos who tried to keep a straight face. “Let me advise you to be very careful, Yiannis.” Wrinkling his brow, Yiannis asked, “Careful?”  “Since that stuff is really working…” Dimos said with hesitation, then continued: “Be very careful it doesn’t fall on your nose.”

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