Saturday 25 February 2012

Human Sphincter

I spent a lot of yesterday thinking about my kids. Mostly good thoughts…mostly. I was thinking about a couple of years ago when I was visiting Maegan in Toronto when she had an apartment on Isabella Street. There was a place on the corner of Isabella and Yonge St called the House Of Lords that is a hair stylisty place. I can remember going to this place over forty years ago and coming out with a froo-froo haircut that was way more than my budget at the time would allow. I think I got some kind of shag cut which I thought might help me to get …well…shagged. It was okay I guess, but eventually it grew out as hair is wont to do, and there I was, stuck with an expensive, messy head of hair. Well, there wasn’t anything for it, but to go back to the old German barber who only knew one kind of haircut, short and cheap.

I thought about getting my hair “done” while I was visiting, kind of like returning to the scene of the crime, but I looked in and saw what they were charging to cut hair in this century and I quickly backed out. They only get to fleece this patsy once in a lifetime.

I generally know when I need to get my hair cut if it starts to feel greasy all of the time even when it is clean. I had gone a little too long this time and I was sort of thinking of letting it grow out and see what I would look like with flowing locks. Louise had been dropping hints for a week or more about my hair. “Here’s some money, go and get your hair cut!” “Don’t you think it is time to get your hair cut?” I figured I had better go and get my hair cut before the weekend and Louise took me to the barber.

My father had been going to the same barber since he moved to London Ontario. Dad didn’t have a lot of hair, but he would go every couple of weeks. Usually he would announce that he was going by saying that if he didn’t get his hair cut people would mistake him for a Beatle. Long after I had left home and moved out west, I assume that dad kept up his haircutting habits. Dad had retired and I guess he and mom had gone downtown London to shop. While mom was shopping, dad went to get his hair cut. Mom finished shopping early or dad had to wait longer than normal, but whatever the reason, mom went to meet dad at the barbers. Dad was just finishing and paying for his haircut when my mom said “What? You aren’t going to charge him full price, he has hardly any hair.” Dad laughed, paid the man and I don’t think he talked to mom for a week or two. I know that he never went back to that barber. Ladies, you deal with your hair the way you want and let the men handle their hair or lack of hair as they see fit. 

So, I went in to see Dennis and get my hair cut. I always say the same thing when I sit in the chair, “ Hi there, Dennis. Just cut it short and try and make me look beautiful for the ladies.” Dennis smiles and puts the smock over my body, then puts that little strip of tissue around my neck and tightens the smock. We talk about the weather, if it has been good or bad and how long the current season will last. I don’t think Dennis likes me very much, but he knows what side of the bread the butter is on and he smiles if I make a joke and nods at the appropriate times. There are always awkward pauses. I think he is seriously conservative and I suspect that he knows that I have liberal, left leanings. He always does a good job and holds the mirror up at the end so that I can see what a good job he did. What the hell would I say if I didn’t like it? “What the fuck Dennis! You fucking butcher, put it back! I’m not paying for this shit!”
You know I just might get away with a free haircut if I did that, but I doubt I could ever go back again. I was in the chair once when a guy came in and said he didn’t like his haircut and got the other barber to “fix” it. His hair looked pretty good to me, but the dark look that was on Dennis’s face had me decide that I would live with any kind of shit haircut I got. I thought he was going to push his scissors into the guy’s ear. I’ll just live with my hair, and if it isn’t very good, it isn’t as if I have to look at it any ways. 

He raised his rates recently to $17 from $15, which was raised from $12 a few years ago, so with a tip I pretty much have to give him $20. I will pay it even though I don’t think having your hair cut is worth that kind of money. Hair is after all just a waste product the body sloughs off. In it’s way; it isn’t all that different from the other waste products that come out of the body. Having a barber cut your hair is just like when your sphincter cuts off the solid waste.

I am sure that Dennis thinks I am an asshole too.  

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