Mission: My Mom needs to get me ready for a passport picture, deciding that I need a haircut
Background: She’s never done this before, but we’ve got some clippers
Story: She decides that clippers are not really a mystery and that anybody can do it. Well, she can’t. Not on the first pass, anyway.
So, she lowers the barrier and tries for a clean clip again. Hmmmm…, looks a little lop-sided; maybe a clean-up clip will even it all out. What to do about the side with hair versus the side with no hair?
Finally, she’s got all she can get. I return to class the next day as the first absolutely bald 10 year old my fourth grade compadres have ever seen. Rumours rapidly circulated that I was being treated for the Big C (as we called cancer back then).
An untimely event soon unfolded: I ruptured my liver in a bike accident in late 1963, and we proceeded to move to Japan in early 1964.
It occurs to me now that there is probably never a good time to rupture your liver.
So when we arrived in Japan, I was looking a bit sickly, having just spent months in the hospital. The immigration officials noted that, and, with my bald passport picture in hand, decided that I must be some oddly diseased westerner. My father had to go through some gyrations to get me allowed in to the country.