Thursday, May 13, 2010


There is not much I like about hair cuts. I let it grow almost two months and give in only when I'm on the verge of going deaf and blind as hair covers my ears and my bushy eyebrows are full-grown hedges.

I never pay more than ten bucks with my senior discount, plus tip. Any chair in the shop will do; I have no preference among the six barbers. English is their second or third language which suits me fine.

The small talk in barber shops is smaller than any other place I can think of. Usually the banter is about the latest mutilation/ futuristic/ high octane/ apocalyptic flick. I can only surmise this from the overhead TV. It confirms my suspicion that I am an effete snob.

Sometimes they use scissors but mostly I get mowed. No matter how often I tell them, not too short, I get scalped. I walk with Albert Einstein hair and leave as a runner-up for the Yul Brynner look-alike contest.

I can't rely on their comic books to get me through the deforestation of my scalp so I always come with my own book. However after my last cataract surgery I can no longer read without glasses. Therefore I must first go to the library and check out a book, any book, from the large print section.

The smartest barber I ever had was Steve. He was so ahead of his time he invested all his money in some Pay-TV cable channel. It was 1970 and he lost everything including his barbershop. He was probably 75 years old, forty years ago but I wish he'd consider a comeback.

I miss the hand vibrator on my back for 15 seconds and his visionary talk. It’s not that I want to discuss the future of Postmodern minimalism. My only wish would be to ask Steve whether he’s enjoying his afterlife, if it's true that hair keeps growing and folks still need haircuts in heaven.

1 comment:

  1. I took a brief respite from the new computer and read your Haircut blog. I'll cut it short and say it gave me quite a few smiles. We are so different in regard to our respective tonsorial visits. I look forward to them. A few days before the tops of my ears are covered in gray I call Tom of Berkley Barbers and make an 8 ayem appointment for a day we have no doctor's appointments.

    On the day in question I sit in the chair and remind Tom that without my hearing aid, which is now in the glove box of my car, I am practically deaf. This discourages any chance of conversation. He points to my head with a questioning glance and by reading his lips I see what I always see namely "How short?' I reply "VERY short." One time in the six years I've been seeing Tom I said "Not too short today. I'm going to a Bar Mitzvah next week." I guess that's why he asks. Next I look at myself in the mirror, close my eyes and don't open them again till Tom is finished with me. Then I open my eyes, look in the mirror and see the difference. This is more fun than watching the gradual reduction of my growth. Tom holds up the mirror behind me and sometimes I say "You can take off a little more." I look forward to my haircuts. It gives me a chance to interact with someone without having to engage in conversation.