They may be gray, but they’re holding on

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 18, 2006

I found a gray hair, seven to be exact. I’m 25 years old. Now I know a lot of people who just read those two lines are thinking “big deal.”

Well, it is a big deal to me. It was made an even bigger deal this past weekend at my best friend’s wedding when the groom, who’s a short fellow at 6’5″, stood above my domineering 5’9″ frame and began to analyze exactly how many gray hairs I have.

When I bring the problem of my continually lightening hair to higher powers, my granddad and my dad, I am met with the same response: “It doesn’t matter what color it turns. Just as long as it doesn’t turn loose.”

Email newsletter signup

Which, I guess in a way is a good way at looking at things.

However, now that I made the discovery of the septet of gray hairs, I’m beginning to notice other things signaling my rapid decline into old age.

When I get out of bed every morning and begin the trek from my bedroom to the kitchen for a breakfast of champions, Red Bull and Pringles, I notice that it sounds like someone is making popcorn in my loft.

Then I realize the snap, crackle and pop isn’t from Orville Redenbacher invading Casa Dey Grif to surprise me with a hot and fresh bowl of his finest off the cob – it’s my knees and ankles cursing me for years of abuse as an athlete.

To add even further insult to my bruised and battered ego, I heard a couple of bands I listened to in high school and college on an oldies station.

Are you kidding me? Goo Goo Dolls, Sister Hazel, Black Crowes and Green Day are not oldies.

That night I went to Wal-Mart looking for some new music and DVD’s. What I found was stuff that I remember being new recently being thrown in the bin with the old movies. Not on the shelves with the $9 DVD’s. Oh no. They had been tossed directly into the bin reserved for the World War II epics and the incredibly pointless movies like Centerstage and Dirty Dancing: Latin Nights – not that I would ever be caught dead watching either of those celluloid masterpieces.

But still, movies like Basic and PCU have been put in the “we need to get rid of them because they are old and we’re selling them for cheap” bin.

What’s even better is that on the toy aisle, the action heroes that I played with as a child are being repackaged and reshipped to today’s youth in completely different and somewhat unrecognizable, yet politically correct version of their former selves.

Have you seen the new He-Man or G.I. Joe action figures?

I think some guy with a cowboy hat and affinity for “Callin’ Baton Rouge” once made the statement, “I’m much too young to feel this damned old.”

I agree with the guy.

I had no problem coming to grips with the fact that I am roughly a quarter of a century old.

Both my girlfriend and best friend remind me of it on a regular basis.

The problem I have is looking old.

I came up with a solution. I shall eliminate the offending swatches of zero pigment in my scalp.

With tweezers in hand, I plucked and plucked and plucked until all seven of the gray hairs were gone.

This morning I found that I still had gray hair, 21 of them now to be exact.

At least it’s not turnin’ loose.

It’s that simple.

Griffin Pritchard is editor of The Times. He can be reached at (334) 289-4017 or by e-mail to