Saturday, 21 March 2015


Greco rose, straightened his tie, ran a hand over his hair.  This would be his first appearance in the House, and he was nervous. – Death by Deficit

Greco has every reason to be concerned about his hair.  Heraclitus said character is destiny, and in Death by Deficit, character is hair.  (Haha! More like Hair-aclitus!*) This is the short-handiest Rohmer of them all, when it comes to people – where they’ve been, what they want, how they’re different in even the smallest way from the other people in the room. It’s barely a novel, even for Rohmer, and characters have two jobs: tell each other about austerity and have hair.  (Three. Sometimes they laugh at each other’s great jokes.)

Can You Match These Death by Deficit Characters and Their Hair?

Peter Smart
Mario Greco
Simon Camp
Aubrey Farnsworth
Leif Tromso
Federal Reserve Chair Al Weinstock
The PM
RCMP staff sergeant
The Leader of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition

“full head of jet-black hair”
“a sparse scattering of wispy, combed-straight-back hair”
“thinning brown hair”
“greying, thinning hair”
“wavy salt-and-pepper hair”
“a full head of wavy grey hair”
“now grey, naturally curly, full head of hair… slight thinning at the part”
“grey hair… combed straight back”
“grey-haired, still handsome”

And Now the Ladies

Abbi Black
Governor General Pearl McConachie

“wavy blond hair”
“wavy ebony hair”

Why nothing about Joe Nameth’s “hair”?

*The classics minor pays off again!


  1. When your book is a series of meetings, hair is one of the only thing you can latch onto to differentiate between them. I mean, how many times can you describe the furniture? (wait - that was rhetorical. I know I could go back and get an equal number of bland descriptions of the rooms.But I won't).

    I am personally unable to get over the fact that the Canadian Government and high ranking US officials have to stop and read a W5 transcript of a news report from 8 years earlier before they can discuss the crisis at hand.

    I suspect even Eric Malling would be embarrassed by the reverent praise he is given by the PM.

    "Our source was the New York Times: Russian Ambassador to US President in Dr. Strangelove.

    "Our source was W5" - not uttered by anyone in this book, but could have been.

    Just ain't the same.

  2. That Eric Malling is quite a guy all right. CTV rules. But who's the CBC buffoon the PM totally owns with his devastating "and by smart people, I'll bet you mean you, right?" It's gotta be a real person who crossed Rohmer, right?

    A zinger so utterly crushing he's still being praised for it in the next chapter.

  3. Yes, well the book is nothing if not a litany of conservative wish-fulfillment dreams - wipe that annoying CBC off the map, cut those annoying social programs, get rid of big government, stop those idiot politicians from spending spending, spending, etc, etc.

    If only he'd had a scene where they were all drinking tea, his status as a prophet would have been sealed.

    1. They're still trying to hurt the CBC today.
      They refer to Trudeau as The Hair.
      The exception is that the Harper Regime are the ones spending, spending, spending, adding $180 billion to the deficit so far.