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Conquering Cowlicks

Posted Wednesday, September 26, 2007, at 11:24 AM

Time for a trim...
I'm getting a haircut today. I mention that because this is supposedly a blog, and my experience reading blogs tells me that this kind of earth-shaking, "stop the pixels" kind of revelation is a pretty typical blogging subject, though admittedly still far behind "What I Watched on TV Tonight."

It really is kind of a big deal for me, however, since getting a haircut has always been a fairly traumatic experience. The trauma began with my first haircut, when my father told me he was taking me downtown "to get my ears lowered." It never really got any better.

It starts with the barber or hair stylist berating me about my hair. They announce that it grows completely differently on different parts of my head. It's apparently pretty daunting to get one side of my head to agree with the other. And they tell me this in an accusatory tone, as if I'm making my hair do that on purpose just to annoy them. Once, an exasperated barber told me that the best thing to do would just be to stand back and toss in a match. This is why I put off getting a haircut for as long as possible. I don't need this kind of grief.

After all, I don't really ask for much. I don't expect tonsorial perfection, given what the barber or stylist has to work with. And it isn't like I'm posing for pictures or anything. All I would like is a look that doesn't cause people to stop on the street and point at me, and that doesn't make small children cry.

Once when I was going through a period of enforced frugality (what a person who doesn't own a thesaurus might call "being flat broke"), it was pointed out to me that a local beauty school offered very good prices for haircuts. I thought that was a great idea. I wasn't worried about getting a haircut by a mere student. How much worse could it be, anyway? Plus, I figured that, if anything, a student would be extra careful, since my head might be on the test.

Once in the chair with the scissors snipping (after the usual period of staring at my head in disbelief), I got curious about how the lessons worked, and I asked how the students got started in their lessons before they had people's live heads to work on. The young lady said, "Oh, we practice on dolls." She meant those life-sized heads with hair manufactured for the purpose. But because of her timid voice and the buzzing of clippers and such, I didn't quite hear her correctly. I thought she said, "We practice on dogs." This led to a few anxious minutes before I figured out my mistake.

At least I'm pretty sure it was a mistake. When I left, I did bear an eerie resemblance to an Airedale.

Showing comments in chronological order
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The last time I had my dog trimmed, it set me back $60. What does a human head trimming run these days? I married a hairdresser, truck driver, and dangerous goods specialist, so I haven't had to pay for a haircut in 7 years. Fringe benefit I reckon!

-- Posted by kennethjones on Fri, Sep 28, 2007, at 11:02 AM

Free haircuts are nice, but the real savings come in the professional discount you get on all your dangerous goods.

As to what haircuts cost these days... I could get a haircut for ten or twelve dollars if they didn't usually demand a hazardous duty bonus.

-- Posted by kenteutsch on Fri, Sep 28, 2007, at 1:18 PM

I started shaving my head at a fairly young age, so people got used to seeing me bald and i can just zip all my hair off and no one thinks its strange

-- Posted by jonboon on Sat, Sep 29, 2007, at 4:41 PM

The hippies put the tonsorial profession on the dole in the late sixties, and they haven't fully recovered till yet....... you don't see many of those revolving peppermint sticks any more..............

-- Posted by Johnny Yuma on Sun, Sep 30, 2007, at 5:43 AM

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