In the course of time, the king of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun succeeded him as king. David thought, “I will show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, just as his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent a delegation to express his sympathy to Hanun concerning his father.
When David’s men came to the land of the Ammonites, the Ammonite commanders said to Hanun their lord, “Do you think David is honoring your father by sending envoys to you to express sympathy? Hasn’t David sent them to you only to explore the city and spy it out and overthrow it?” So Hanun seized David’s envoys, shaved off half of each man’s beard, cut off their garments at the buttocks, and sent them away.
When David was told about this, he sent messengers to meet the men, for they were greatly humiliated. The king said, “Stay at Jericho till your beards have grown, and then come back.”
- 2 Samuel 10:1-5
On the website for Hair Loss Daily, they have a “Bald Hall of Fame.” I would have discovered others, but this is their list. The list is in this order: Mahatma Gandhi, Larry David, Michael Jordan, William Shakespeare, Jeff Bezos, Bruce Willis, Charles Darwin, Winston Churchill, James Gandolfini, Mikhael Gorbachev, and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
I love these lists that have all of history in which to choose yet produce a list where more than a third are still living and most lived within my lifetime, Gandhi being assassinated four years before I was born. Okay, I was not old enough to be alive in the time of Shakespeare and Darwin (if you believe the internet, these two may not have ever existed anyway…), but of the other nine on the list, will they be remembered in the next generation? In a hundred years? Hey, I like Ike! Churchill, he was a great statesman, and a rock during hard times, with some really interesting quotes. But I have no idea who Bezos is, other than some news that is not complimentary. (Okay, my wife explained who he was, but is that memorable?) And where is Napoleon and Benjamin Franklin or even Carl Reiner? Oh, maybe they weren’t bald enough, just really huge foreheads. My wife thinks that Peyton Manning is getting a large forehead, too. My wife also reminded me that women can lose their hair, but of this, I shall not discuss.
And yes, for the Scripture, I took some liberties. It was the beards that had been removed, not the hair on top of the heads, but some people are obsessed with losing any hair on their heads. In this case, the beard was not to be shaved, but the enemy shaved only half the beard – thus creating a clownish look. It did not work out well for the Ammonites.
But what prompted this? It was not seeing my bald patch for the first time. I have been wearing hats for decades. No, it was a television commercial, and the reason for the seagull photograph.
Picture a destination wedding at the beach. They have said their “I do’s” and a mother in the audience tells her daughter, “Get your birdseed ready.”
With just this set-up, can anyone picture what will happen next? Okay, there is reality and then there is the commercial.
Note the photo above. This is reality. The seagulls are hovering. If they were aggressive, they might dive bomb to eat the stale bread being tossed their way or even out of your hand, but they would never peck or claw at a bald head. There is nothing there that they want to eat, unless you are an Alfred Hitchcock fan. It is not their nature to attack the head connected to the hand that feeds them. Now, releasing excrement from eating far too much bread is an all too common natural occurrence, and there should be signs at the ramps of the Galveston – Bolivar Peninsula Ferry – stated from the seagull’s point of view – that warns “Look Out Below!”
What does the commercial portray? The groom is divebombed by a seagull and gets a scratch on his head. The commercial is about a medical plan that includes video conferencing with a doctor 24/7. By the time the groom catches up with the doctor, the bleeding has stopped, with hardly any redness on the guy’s head.
Then the unforgiveable occurs! I know, God can forgive any sin, but we are talking “Man Card” here.
The groom asks if he’ll need stitches! Stitches are for two things: getting the bleeding to stop so that the healing can begin and lessening the scar.
“Dude!! You are worried about a scar and you call a doctor to whine? You just forfeited your “Man Card! On your wedding day! Right in front of your bride who is holding the phone for you!”
Ask Stone Cold Steve Austin, the wrestler, what happens when he gets a scar. (Hey, another person not in the aforementioned Hall of Fame.) Austin would first grab the seagull out of thin air and teach him/her a lesson. Then he’d show the scar to everyone. “Look, people, this happened on my wedding day. I have a permanent means of remembering this wonderful day.” But maybe this guy in the commercial is already thinking of dumping his wife and has no desire for a scar to remember the occasion.
The rampant stupidity continues.
What did we learn? God puts challenges in our path for us to grow, but some of us are like the weaker of the species that Darwin (someone on the Hall of Fame list) says should die away without reproducing so that the species as a whole can be stronger. Forget that last part. We are to learn and grow from these incidents in our lives.
- Logically figure out what challenges may exist for a destination wedding. Plan accordingly.
- Get at least one brain cell warmed up to realize that seagulls would rather eat birdseed than stale bread. Throwing it at the wedding couple is almost guaranteed to cause trouble.
- And if you have screwed up on the first two lessons, own your mistake. Confess your sin and live with the consequences. While the “Man Card” may be outdated, that part of the process provides a steady person that your spouse can look up to. Just never let her down.
In a way, the entire commercial is filled with humans trying to be gods. We use birdseed, when we supposedly made a discovery that birds died by eating raw rice, never proven, but it is a great way to kill fire ants. Yet, it was a bird that attacked a human.
When we deny God and try to fix things, we usually screw things up. My wife had a great idea. Why not get a whole punch and chop up autumn leaves? You’ll have something to throw, the colors would be great, and the result is something biodegradable.
Then again, when we veered away from rice, did we not lose the meaning of throwing anything in the first place? Rice was tossed to symbolize rain, which in turn symbolizes fertility, prosperity, and good fortune – all things that rice, for a rice grower, also symbolizes. Throwing birdseed simply attracts birds, and it might lead to someone slipping on the sidewalk and getting hurt.
This post has gone down a proverbial rabbit hole, but if Madison Avenue continues to make commercials, I could write a blog just to discuss them.
Follicularly challenged people should take note. When we try to fix God’s creation, we usually make things worse. God’s creation was good, perfectly balanced, until mankind started messing with it.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.