Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In the very first blog entry I ever wrote back on July 21, 2006, I mentioned that I was having barber trouble, and a switch was in order. The only problem was, I was switching barbers within the same shop, which is an absolute no-no. Luckily for me, I was able to pull it off, because the barber I cheated on, ending up leaving the shop to become a bus driver...a logical progression indeed.

Two years later, I wrote about how I switched barbershops altogether, because I found one that was a 5 minute walk from my house, rather than a 30 minute train ride. The other reason I felt compelled to switch was related to my barber Dexter who worked in the old shop. He would run his mouth on the phone, talk to other barbers, go smoke a cigarette, try to talk to girls, and this was all while I was in the actual chair. I would be in the barbershop for 2 hours total, for a haircut that should have only taken 15 minutes tops, and then I had to pay $20 (tip not included). He was the model of inefficiency, and I was so glad a closer shop revealed itself unto me. Now a year later, I am again in a bit of tight spot.

Two weeks ago my barber left early due to a family emergency, but I was in dire need of a cut, so I let one of the other barbers cut me--and he did an impeccable job. The beard trim was sharp, he cut my hair the right length, and after every clipper/scissor movement, he'd check with me to make sure he was doing the right thing. That level of attentiveness is what I look for in a barber, and here he was doing exactly that, and it was at a higher level than my usual barber. Still, considering this shop only has 6 barbers, it would be highly ill-advised for me to switch. In my mind, I would just tell my usual barber to be a little more attentive (in a gentle way of course).

Last Thursday my regular barber was back at the shop, and I gave him specific instructions: I told him that I wanted my hair and my beard even, and I only wanted a little taken off. I instructed to take a little off, and then check with me, and said no problem..but he said it the way Theo would say it to Cliff Huxtable, so I was a bit concerned, but he earned the right to get the benefit of the doubt. But as soon as his clippers met my head, I realized he didn't get the message. My barber went crazy and cut my beard and hair too low, and by the time I realized it, it was too late to bitch and moan. I sat in my chair with an Ice Cube like scowl, and I tipped him less than I normally do. So now I don't know whether to pull off the switch once again, or just find another shop to avoid dissension. Or maybe I should learn to cut my own hair but I'm too old for that I think.

To make things worse, last night I had dream that I saw my old barber Dexter walking down the street, and he was all hurt that I left him. Clearly I have upset the barber gods.

Bobby McFerrin - A Night In Tunisia

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