Vol. 6, Issue 6, April 29, 2008
Random Numbers for All Purposes
The Specious Report

Putting On Youthful 'Airs

Ezekiel F. Watley, Esq.

It is often said that Youth is wasted on the Young. My dissolute nephew Ephram is surely Proof Positive of this maxim: he strives not merely to fritter away his Own years of spry Vigor, but those of everyone in the Vicinity. If he could find a way to throw those tender years out the Window I have no doubt that he would Essay it. This is, I believe, largely due to his belief that a more Mature countenance would further his various Schemes by affording him a greater degree of Trustworthiness.

But I had the Unusual opportunity last week to Re-visit my own youth, in a fashion, as I prepared for a small but Vital role in a Moving Picture project being put together by those nice Coen brothers down at the Club. They found themselves in need of man with my unique Cheekbones, dignified Comportment, and collection of Waistcoats which I was willing to share with their Wardrobe department. However, the rôle required me to shed some Years from my appearance, which was accomplished via the movie Magic of Hair-dye.

When the hairdresser had Completed her task, I was utterly Astonished at the gentleman staring back from the Mirror. In place of the gentle gray nimbus that has adorned my head lo these many Years, waves of crisp dark Chestnut frame my face. Not even my Eyebrows, Moustache or Beard have escaped the scrupulous Attentions of this charming young sorceress. Zounds! I was practically Speechless.

Speechless I remained during Filming, alas, for the youthful Spectre of this stranger in the Looking-Glass remained fixed in my Mind. "Action!" cried the director - and I thought: am I still the man of Action I once was? "Line!" shouted the other actors, and I thought: how is it that merely tinting the Hair causes the Lines on one's face to fade? "CUT!" yelled the director, as I thought: I liked the cut of that young man's Jib.

Further, following my time before the Cameras I positively Stunned the denizens of the Club with my inexplicably youthful Appearance. Old Obadiah very nearly did not let me in the Door, and all conversation in the Blue Room ceased upon my entry as though a Thunderclap had stricken them dumb. Not since the Hammer-head mounted over the Billiard table fell on Mordecai Grunion's hat had the club been so Shocked. To say nothing of the reaction of my Staff upon returning to the office later (though they were rather stricken with convulsions of Laughter than Shock, it must be admitted).

The chestnut-haired man in the Mirror is a ghost of days Past, but an imperfect one. It has taken me Long to arrive at my current station in life, and wearing the trappings of a bygone day is akin to wearing a Napoleonic tricorner hat to a Base-ball game: rather out of place, and not entirely Practical. I think I have earned my gray hairs, and look forward to their rapid Reappearance. Perhaps I should seek out Ephram - he always seems to give me a few new gray Hairs whenever I see him.

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