Lately, there seems to be a fad about doppelgangers. To be honest, before Facebook announced its Doppelganger Week in February of 2010, I didn’t even know the word doppelganger. So the good news: I’ve learned a new word (definition: a ghostly counterpart of a living person, or, more to Facebook’s purposes, a double or alter ego). Now for the bad news: My doppelganger is Zero Mostel.
In keeping with my personality, Zero Mostel was never considered hip. (For those who don’t know, Zero Mostel was an American actor of stage and screen, best known for his portrayal of characters such as Tevye onstage in Fiddler on the Roof, Pseudolus onstage and onscreen in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and Max Bialystock in the original film version of The Producers. He died in 1977.)
So, to recount, Zero Mostel, my doppelganger, is not hip, not alive, not even female. So why is he my doppelganger? He, like me, had massive comb-over hair.
Like Zero, I started losing hair early in life. Inconveniently enough, the majority of my balding is taking place in the top front of my scalp, right where my hair naturally parts in the middle. Because of this, for years I have parted my hair on the side. I’ve tried Rogaine for Women, various herbal supplements, and even a doctor prescribed pill (for slow thyroid or some problem I did not have) whose secondary effect was hair growth. None have helped.
While in Texas over the recent holidays, I went to see the original cast in A Tuna Christmas, a hilarious, yet reality-based comedy about the fictional tiny Texas town of Tuna. At one point, one of the characters refers to another’s coif by saying, “There’s more hair on an anchovy.” This is Zero. This is me.
When I mentioned how I related to the hairless anchovy, my partner of eight years whom I call Bitty said, “You’re Zero Mostel.”
At first I was offended. I mean, yeah, I have a hair loss problem, but, geez, couldn’t I look like someone younger, hotter… alive?
Then Bitty and I went out for New Year’s Eve, for the first time in, like, the history of Man. We went to a nice dinner and a concert and, to commemorate the rarity of this occasion, I brought along a camera. Upon looking at those photos, I realized the truth of Bitty’s words. There, in the photos (in which, for me, I am dressed to the nines) is the evidence: my parted hair and the first in what will surely be a long line of sweep-over strands, ala Zero.
So before this year’s Facebook Doppelganger Week begins in the first week of February, let me state it loud and proud: I wear the comb-over for all the non-hipsters, male and female, who may be nerds, but are truly, like our doppelganger, never zeros.