Erma Bombeck Writing Competition: Essay

Photo of Erma Bombeck
"Hook 'em with the lead. Hold 'em with laughter. Exit with a quip they won't forget." ˜ Erma Bombeck

2007 Honorable Mention - Humor - Global

Del Shannon - Boulder, CO, United States

"Republican Hair"
With the recent reemergence of Democratic control of the House and Senate, I’ve become increasingly confused. To me, each issue is like a Rubik’s Cube with a nauseating number of combinations. Even so, I have managed to figure out one thing – I have Republican hair. There is little I can do about this. I would love to have a coiffure of progressive thinking and social justice. An ultra hip tangle of highlights that screams, “Rock the vote, dude!” Instead, each morning I look in the mirror and see tax cuts and defense spending packages sitting on top of my head. I see Dick Cheney on intravenous doses of Rogaine. I wouldn’t be upset if I didn’t think my hair was dictating my political leanings. It’s reaching into my brain and whispering, “You know, Rush Limbaugh has a point.” I’ve thought of getting a Democrat haircut. Locks that wouldn’t mind hanging out with Hillary Clinton for the afternoon and talking about taxing the rich into oblivion. But then I picture my Democrat hair swirling around me in shame after discovering I still have Republican roots, which voted against open space and higher taxes for the 15th straight time. I’m not sure why I want Democrat hair. Maybe it’s because all the hot women have Democrat hair. My very Democratic wife’s hair is the perfect examples of this, and she makes no excuses about its Democratness. So, I decided to ask her if she thought my Republican hair was hip. “No, not hip,” she answered. “But it is definitely Republican hair. Just like you, sweetie.” “But doesn’t my hair ever get you going? Don’t you ever look at my tresses of welfare cuts and think to yourself, ‘Let me run my fingers through that right wing mane of yours!’” “Yeah, nothing makes me hotter than your Republican hair,” she deadpanned. “Why do you care so much about your hair all of a sudden?” she asked, changing the subject. “Because I want to be hip and progressive,” I answered. “Then vote that way,” she demanded. “My hair won’t let me!” I exclaimed. “I have Republican hair and I’m forced to vote against social programs and for more F-16’s.” “You need some help,” she muttered, walking to the kitchen to make some tea. Maybe I do need some help, but then maybe your hair – and its political bent – is one of those predetermined things you have no control over. Maybe your hair is a direct conduit to your soul. Maybe your hair really is in control and tampering with it would be like kicking God in the shins. I still have no answers or advice to pass along save one – vote your hair.
Author's Bio:

Del Shannon is a civil engineer by day and a freelance writer by night, and holds degrees in both journalism and civil engineering. His fiction and non-fiction writing credits include short stories, columns, and serialized story's for the Denver Post (Denver, CO), Daily Camera (Boulder, CO), Winston Salem Journal (Winston Salem, NC), and Herald Sun (Durham, NC). Del's children's novel, Kevin's Point of View, was honored as one of four finalist for The Society of Children's Book Writers Illustrators (SCBWI) emerging author award in 2000. As an engineer, Del works mainly on the design and safety issues of earthen and concrete dams and levees on projects throughout the US and overseas.