September 01, 2007

The Best Dandruff Cure

The Best Dandruff Cure

If you want to know who will be Russia’s next president, just watch the hair. Or lack thereof.

Throughout the 20th century, Russian leaders with hair and without have alternated: Nicholas II had a good head of hair; Vladimir Lenin was bald; Josef Stalin had thick hair; Nikita Khrushchev was л≈ысый как кол≈енка (bald as a knee); Leonid Brezhnev had густ≈ые в≈олосы (thick hair); Yuri Andropov was balding; Konstantin Chernenko had thick gray hair; Mikhail Gorbachev had a big л≈ысина (bald spot), and Yeltsin had a nice сед≈ая шевел≈юра (gray chevelure); Putin is balding, and so the next Russian leader will have hair by definition. It’s all so simple, this kremlinology...

Hair – в≈олосы – is becoming almost as important to Russians as it is to Americans. We worry about dandruff, though time was (in Stalin’s time) we fought dandruff as per the French proverb: Л≈учшее ср≈едство от п≈ерхоти – гильот≈ина (the guillotine is the best dandruff cure). Actually, there is a similarly dark Russian proverb: сн≈явши г≈олову по волос≈ам не пл≈ачут (when you’ve lost your head, it’s no sense worrying about your hair). It’s all about perspective. 

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