Presidential candidate John Edwards said yesterday that unnamed elements were on a relentless quest to shave his head as part of a sinister plot to prevent his message of hope, opportunity and free beauty tips from reaching millions of Americans, especially female voters between the ages of 24 and 56.
"This stuff's not an accident. Nobody in this room should think this is an accident. You know, I'm out there speaking up for universal healthcare, ending this war in Iraq, speaking up for the poor. They want to shut me up. That's what this is about. They want to shave my head so you'll stop looking at me," Edwards said during a stop in Creston, Iowa.
"Let's distract the American people from John Edwards' lustrous, silken strands of chestnut boy-hair," he continued. "Let's distract them from the way the sunlight glistens on each gorgeous lock like a string of diamonds beckoning a virginal young maiden to her lover's concupiscent bedchamber. Let's distract them from the Platonic perfection of this shining head of frolicking follicles so that the American people will turn their eyes away from the man upon whom it rests with kingly demeanor and toward something trivial and inconsequential, such as the American economy's healthy 3.4 percent growth in the second quarter, the Dow hitting 14,000 or the fact that Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Fred Thompson are largely bald."
Edwards defiantly proclaimed that his hair would not be deterred.
"They will never shave me. Never. I know they won't because I wear a motorcycle helmet to bed. I'm taking other precautions, too. I have one staffer devoted full-time to inspecting all of my hair-care products for tampering and sabotage. And I have my stylist under 24-hour surveillance. If they get to him, they get to my hair, and God help America if that happens."
The Edwards campaign confirmed yesterday that the former North Carolina senator has taken out a $1 million insurance policy on his hair and has registered it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office so that no one can reproduce or manipulate images of it without his express, written consent.
Edwards staffers have begun to complain privately that their candidate has taken a somewhat irrationally reverential tone toward his hair as it has become a bigger and bigger news story in the past six months.
"I don't mean to sound alarming, but did you know the guy talks to his hair?" said a low-ranking staff member who spoke on condition that this magazine keep his identity a secret and run him to the salon to stock up on hair-care products. "I walked into his office the other day to bring him his mail, and he was looking in the mirror asking it what it wanted him to do. 'What is your bidding, my master,' he said. He was looking right up at his bangs when he said it. But maybe all the candidates do that. I don't know, this is only my first campaign."
In recent weeks Edwards has started to refer to his hair as a separate living entity, staffers say, sometimes calling it "His Shininess" or "My friend, Chester."
"It's kind of freaking me out," one staffer said. "But then I look at his hair and I'm suddenly soothed, like I've just been hypnotized or something. Oh, well. I'm off to hang these 40 x 40 banners of his head."
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