(H)air Head


Then Delilah said to Samson, “You have made a fool of me; you lied to me. Come now, tell me how you can be tied.” (Judges 16:10)

Samson had his brains in his staff. The ultimate skirt chaser, he was beefcake without the beef, a Herculean cover boy who could tear a lion apart with his bare hands, kill a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass, hoist a city gate on his shoulders, and single-handedly push over a temple. He was also arrogant, self-centered, and really really dumb. Oh, and he had great hair.

Samson was a volatile mix of titanic strength and explosive temper. But what got him into the biggest trouble was his dog wagging libido. Samson simply could not resist the dames. They were his Achilles’ heel—well, his Oscar Meyer wiener anyway.

Still, I suppose he could be forgiven for that. There are worse things than being a dickhead. Like being stupid, for instance. Without a doubt Samson has to be the greatest Darwin Award winner of all time. He could star in Dumb and Dumber all by himself. Twice.

So he falls for this gal named Delilah. The first thing the Philistines do is bribe her to find out the secret of Samson’s strength. She asks him point-blank: “Please tell me what makes you so strong and what it would take to hogtie you.” Samson likes this kinky lady, but just in case he needs to leave early, he lies. Delilah sets him up for capture, but he escapes. So Delilah plays hurt: “You’ve been making fun of me and telling me lies! Now please tell me how you can be tied up securely.” Samson lies again, she sets him up again, he’s attacked again, he escapes again. Then Delilah tries again—again: “You’ve been making fun of me and telling me lies! Now tell me how you can be tied up securely.” Samson lies again again, she sets him up again again, he’s attacked again again, he escapes again again.

Up to this point, this sounds like the script for a campy movie turned cult classic, something like the Rocky Horror Picture Show, except tasteless. But it gets worse (really, it does). When Delilah is thwarted the third time, she pulls out the trump card: “How can you tell me, ‘I love you,’ when you don’t share your secrets with me? You’ve made fun of me three times now, and you still haven’t told me what makes you so strong!” (The “If you really loved me” line has been used by females with agendas ever since.) Delilah nags him until Samson finally spills the beans. “It’s the hair,” he says. Wham! In come the Philistines with a Nazi stylist and baldy is suddenly on ox duty.

It’s hard to feel sorry for Samson. I would make allowances for a “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” thing. But Samson obviously didn’t graduate summa cum laude from his local university (though he probably got a full-ride wrestling scholarship). Granted, after having his eyes gouged out and being manacled to a grinding stone for a few weeks, Samson did finally wake up and smell the coffee. God was so impressed to see Samson’s chakra move above his waist that he granted him one final wish. Glory upon glory, Samson requests not another roll in the hay but a shot at killing his captors. God agrees and our boy goes out in a plume of chalk dust.

Samson isn’t exactly one of the Bible’s better role models, unless, of course, you aspire to be a brutish, narcissistic, sex-crazed, steroid-inflated imbecile. Then again, the Samson story shows that God will use just about anybody when he gets hard up for talent.


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