I once came within literal spitting distance of Donald Trump's "hair." He was seated at a banquette at a Manhattan nightclub that had been closed for a private party (some stupid media-industry event), and I was able to pass directly behind him. I was so surprised by the lack of a protective bubble of bodyguards and/or nightclub personnel that I decided to try it again -- and again. So I circled back, slowing down the second and third times so that I could peer into the abyss of one of the enduring grooming mysteries of our time: What the hell that grainy, poofy blond thing on Trump's scalp is.
Afterward, in the pages of New York Magazine, where I worked at the time, I pronounced it a "pompa-dover" -- a combination pampadour and comb-over.
Last month Vanity Fair's Bruce Handy declared it a "double comb-over" in a VF.com post titled "Shocking Truth Behind Donald Trump's Hair Revealed?", backed by photographic evidence -- a harshly lit close-up image of Trump's, uh, corporeal penthouse real estate. "It looks as if a length of hair growing from the part on the left side of Trump's pate has been combed left-to-right over the crown of his head," Handy wrote, "while a second length of hair, growing from the back of his head, has been combed back-to-front over the first length of hair. Salon-strength hair products likely play a role in the final construction of this lattice-like structure."
I have my doubts. I would need to not only reexamine the structure, but touch it. Repeatedly.
This morning, Trump is in the news once again -- is he ever not lately? -- because he's taking credit for prompting the White House to release President Obama's long-form birth certificate. The Los Angeles Times quotes The Donald as saying:
Today I'm very proud of myself, because I've accomplished something that no one else has been able to accomplish. I want to look at it, but I hope it's true. ... But he should have done it a long time ago."
Odd language for Trump to use, because journalistic observers of his "hair" have been urging him to come clean about it for decades now. I'm far from the first to question the provenance of Trump's head covering. If it is, as Bruce Handy postulates, a lattice-like structure, we have the right to know if Trump -- a would-be presidential candidate -- secured the proper permits for its construction, if he used documented workers on the jobsite, and if the structure is comprised, in whole or in part, of foreign-grown hair.
All of which brings me to this week's charticle -- which includes data collected and parsed, as always, by our editorial partner Trendrr, the social-media monitoring firm. Some notes:
- Trump needs Obama -- in the Twittersphere, at least. Despite nonstop media coverage of The Donald's every last asinine utterance over the past many weeks, on Twitter his buzz has been relatively moderate. Yesterday evening, for instance, he was being name-checked in an average of 98 tweets per minute. By late this morning, though, in the wake of his taking credit for the release of Obama's birth certificate, he racked up more than 35,000 mentions in just two hours.
- According to Trendrr, top Twitter hashtags trending in proximity to Trump (or #trump) include not only #birthcertificate, #teaparty and #foxnews, but #donaldtrumpisafraud, #YoureNotHired, #idiot and #pleaseshutif -- as in "#pleaseshutupif you're Donald Trump."
- To put things in perspective (kinda), I asked Trendrr to take a look at how Trump has fared in the past half day or so (i.e., pre- and post-birth-certificate release) vs. recent Twitter mainstays Charlie Sheen and Rebecca Black. Sadly for The Donald, his Twitter buzz was actually lower than those two until this morning when the birth-certificate story blew up. But the surge is clearly fleeting: By late morning Trump's Twitter buzz had already started to nose-dive. I suspect that soon he will fall below Blackian and then Sheenian levels -- and all will be right, once again, in the Twittersphere.
By the way, according to Twitter, the most retweeted tweet about Donald Trump right now is this one:
@EthanRayne: Now that the "Birthers" have been silenced, the "Combers" are out to get to the truth about Donald Trump's hair.. #POTUS
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.