All signs point to Karl Rove as the culprit behind Mitt Romney’s sudden and shocking loss of all body hair, including his famous black pompadour. (Forensic experts believe Rove put germs that cause hairlessness, known technically as alopecia totalis, into Romney’s mouthwash.) It is well known that Rove, a pudgy, pasty-faced shlub with just a smattering of cornsilk-like hair, has always harbored deep feelings of antipathy toward Romney, a robust jut-jawed fine figure of a man (though he boosts his height a good two inches with high heels and lifts in his shoes) with the best head of hair since Ronald Reagan (both men, however, make judicious use of hair-color products).
It is Romney’s impressive head of hair, in fact, that is the focus of Rove’s antipathy. And the antipathy is not of recent origin, as I can testify. Because of Utah’s unique pattern of intersecting social relationships, I was fortunate enough to find myself intimately acquainted with both Rove and Romney, whom henceforth in this commentary I will refer to, as befits the personal connection to both men, by their first names.
Incidentally, it never ceases to amaze me how every celebrity has some connection to Utah. The connection is, most of the time, quite tenuous, and sometimes almost imaginary: Rove did go to high school here and to the University of Utah for a while, so we are justified in claiming him as a Utahn even though he says he’s a Texan. My favorite Utah celebrity is O.J. Simpson, whom The Salt Lake Tribune, at the time of his arrest for murdering his wife, bragged had once got a letter from the U offering a football scholarship. And now Lindsay is trying to kick drugs down at Sundance. Utah: Life Elevated!
I had the privilege of meeting Rove at Olympus High, where he quickly developed a reputation for the dirty tricks and smear tactics that have subsequently endeared him to righteous Republicans everywhere. The slime that he now exudes in copious quantities back then manifested itself as a viscous sheen, as if he had glopped hair gel onto various body surfaces.
Rove’s trademark dirty trick—turning an opponent’s virtue into a vice—was already his favorite weapon. The most famous example of making something bad out of something good occurred during the 2004 presidential campaign, during which Rove smeared John Kerry’s service in Vietnam, portraying a war hero as a cringing coward.
I knew Rove would go on to accomplish great things, so when he wrote me on my mission to Paris and told me he would be hitchhiking through Europe, I was eager to introduce him to my new junior missionary companion, Elder Willard “Mitt” Romney, who, despite our brief acquaintance, I knew with the same certitude that I knew the gospel was truth would go on to accomplish great things. (And, besides, he told everyone he met that he would go on to accomplish great things.)
But I should have known that dorky Rove would not fall under the spell of my dazzling missionary companion. From the moment Rove laid eyes on Romney, it was as clear as light from the noonday sun that he was consumed with envy for the strapping elder with glossy black hair. My two friends shook hands (just a social shake, not the Grip Patriarchal) and, almost immediately, Romney looked down at his slippery fingers, courtesy of Rovian slime, with a look of horror.
Needless to say, Rove’s visit wasn’t a success, though he did succeed in putting bubble gum on Romney’s pillow, and my missionary companion had to cut huge chunks of hair from his luxurious coiffure, making him look like a convict from Les Miserables.
Fast-forwarding to the present: As soon as I saw Romney’s hair falling out on Hannity & Colmes, the proverbial light bulb clicked on, and I said to myself, “Rove’s the culprit!” After all, Romney’s hair is his strongest feature, and who else but Rove would find a way not just to neutralize, but also negativize Romney’s Sampson-like strength?
But my old missionary companion may have the last laugh. Not only doesn’t he have to bother with getting his chest waxed for all those commercials showing him romping on the beach, he now can capitalize on his image as Mr. Clean, to whom he now bears an uncanny resemblance. He’s even considering getting his ear pierced like the original Mr. Clean, hoping to solidify his appeal to the piercing subculture.
D.P. Sorensen writes satire for City Weekly.