If you’re a regular reader of my column, no explanation is necessary for the updated photo. 

If you’re an irregular, or even a constipated reader, you may still have caught wind of my lost golf bet that led to this “Tiger King/Joe Exotic” transformation.

All essential fiber aside though, I obviously did not choose this hairstyle, but I never welch on a bet and I’m assuming my partner in the epic, one-stroke loss, Ryan “Long-pants” Brown, won’t either. It’s who we are. If a man has no gambling ethics, he has nothing.

The new photo is certainly timely, as readers have been requesting, if not clamoring for, a more reality-relevant photo. Even Al Simpson called to say, “Now listen: you need to get a new picture in the paper, one that’s more representative of your declining state.” Then he launched into some limerick about a young fella named Merkin with a pesky habit I can’t quite recall off the top of my head.

And the top of my head is the issue here. It is now yellow as the proverbial canary sent into a cave to die, and I’m not sure how to feel about it. As I’ve stated almost ad nauseam (Greek translation: “Til I almost puke”), hair has always held an abnormal significance for me. Samson succumbed to Delilah and lost all; I succumbed to a missed putt and my fate remains to be seen. It was a disconcerting sign, though, when this morning I struggled mightily just cracking an egg.

I’d love to know the root cause psychologically of such a follicle fascination. Or maybe I just happen to fancy hair, although ironically not on a woman’s legs. But I’m a hog for the full-head coif, per example, the big-hair bands of the ’80s like Whitesnake, Cinderella or the Bangles.

Be that as it may, I am now Doug Exotic. Those familiar with the man-marrying, tiger-neglecting, murder-for-hire inmate, though, may see my new look as a fraud since Joe sported what is probably the greatest hairstyle in modern history – dating as far back as the Whig Party – the mullet. Billy Ray Cyrus and Joe Dirt wore it well, and so did I from about 1980 till 2017. Due to the timing of my new do, my rear-view tresses fall woefully short of Tiger King’s “Business in front; party in the back” mullet though.

Yesterday began a new era. I slumped into Michelle Imburgia’s chair, watched big snippets fall all around me and, before I knew it, had clips gripping my hair which was now in a hairnet, under a big hair-dryer dome and some sulphuric-smelling compound had my head itching so badly I feared for my sanity. Judge the results for yourself.

My hat’s off to Michelle; she did her re-creation job superbly, with great humor, and didn’t charge a dime. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before some burly, drunk cowboy yanks me from my stool and says, “Hey there fella with your hair painted yella; whatcha trying to prove?” All I’m asking is he give me three steps to the door and he’ll a-never see me no more.

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