Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has ordered round-the-clock protection for Dennis Hassan, his colorist. Hassan is the only member of the Mubarak cabinet who was not dismissed in the President's move to quell the democracy protests in the streets.
"The President feels he must demonstrate to the people of our country that he can relate to the dark feelings of every thirty-eight-year-old male in the country," said his new Vice President, Omar Suleiman.
Hassan is a long-time fixture in the Presidential palace, first appearing in the Presidential retinue shortly after Mubarak received his first 600,000,000 pound retirement check. According to Suleiman, "As a member of the Ministry of Culture's Supreme Council on Antiquities, Dennis has pioneered techniques for touching up the most revered icons in the nation, including King Tut and Tutenkaman."
Hassan has also won acclaim for his personal philanthropy, donating his time to the Regis Philbin and Larry King Foundations. As he has said, "I try to do fabulous work wherever and whenever it is needed."
The persistent rumors that Mubarak is about to seek refuge in another country have been fed, in great part, by the fact that Hassan appears to be vacating his storefronts throughout Cairo and consolidating their contents at the palace. At dawn, boxes of applicator bottles and styling capes could be seen on the rear portico, guarded by members of the elite Shaar (loosely, "Hair") Battalion.
The critical question facing Hassan in the event Mubarak is granted asylum in the US is whether he will also qualify or will face a firestorm of opposition, especially from the political right. Anticipating the possibility, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann today issued a statement:
"If we let this man enter the country, we're saying that just because an individual is a person of color, he gets a pass. That's not the America that many of us are willing to dye for."