I haven’t been to the barbershop in nearly 20 years, and that makes me bad for business.
Barbers see me for what I am–a non-customer, inarable landscape, a fiscal down arrow in their bottom line. I have no place walking through their doors. Barbers look at me the way a Tree Surgeon sees the desert, or a Chiropractor sees spineless people–a no-sale S.O.B. So, imagine the looks I receive when I bring my 3 year-old son Jack in for a trim.
We head downtown to the old-school, male-dominated barbershop. The interior is mainly predictable, three barbershop seats, wood paneling, a small TV, the standard array of mags and some serious taxidermy. The lunging fox has Jack’s attention. He correctly admonishes, “Swiper! No Swiping!” I smile at Jack and look up at the Barbers, a proud father of a smart kid who watches Dora the Explorer. None of the Barbers return my smile. Hardcore cutters. Whatever. I chastise in my head–You’ll get no business from me, gentlemen!
I spot the main Barber, who, oddly enough, is wearing a rug. This gets me thinking–maybe I am a paying customer after all. Nah, wigs seem like too much effort. I buzz what little hair remains myself, with a cheap Wahl trimmer–done, in 5 minutes. Enough about me. The boy is here for a trim.
The wait time is minimal and Jack is soon seated, getting the works. He’s amazingly composed for his age, maintaining a preternatural stillness while razor-sharp steel whirs about his head. His platinum blond hair falls to the floor, a rare jewel radiating against countless shades of brown and black. More customers come in at this point. This is where things get a little hairy (pun intended). The new customers notice me, I’m an outsider.
Look. An interloper.
Their eyes scan, and stop: a barber chair becomes free. Now looking at me, an uncomfortable silence.
How could he possibly be next in line for a haircut? Inconceivable.
But manners prevail, somehow, and the rightful next in line offers me the open barber chair. I smile and point to my gleaming skull.
His response is nonverbal. Translated into words, he says, “Oh. Right, you’re bald. Sorry about that.”
While mostly courteous, he was wrong to feel bad for bald people. This blog post alone serves as evidence of how much money we’re saving on hair care. And generally speaking, we take less time to get ready in the morning.
A black comb slips into the blue Barbicide, followed by a little neck dusting. The cape is then removed with a traditional flourish. Jack hops down ready to roll. He ends up with a great 50s-style cut. Check him out. Pretty cool. It is nice to have hair.