So I went into Supercuts last night to get a haircut and left without a haircut. I just didn’t have a good feeling about the situation after I put my name in and sat down. The one girl I could see seemed to be really struggling with the head of a guy who’s face was plastered with a perma-grimace. Lots of little corrections as she went along. Snip-snip, a step backward, hmm maybe if I try this. I glanced over my shoulder at the “stylist” behind. Nope, definitely not, she butchered me last time. Noticing the new Now Hiring sign on the front window was the kicker. I put down my magazine and slipped out the front door.
But I still needed a haircut. So this morning I decided to try the barbershop down the street from my job, the one with the homemade “$9 Haircuts” sign. Anybody who paints their own sign on a wooden board has to be good, right? I was greeted by Gary and his single barber chair. Gary looked a little sleepy or possibly hungover and started telling me about how he opened the shop late this morning. Cool, Gary. As I sat down I gave him my usual haircut description. One and a half on the sides, tapered up, and cleaned up and shortened just a little on the top. Gary gave me a look like “how about if I just cut ‘er down real Marine-like” and grabbed his clippers. You got that, right Gary, just trimmed up a little off the top?
The haircut started out pretty normal, but right about the point where every other barber I’ve ever gone to has done that thing where they lift up a little of your hair with a comb and ask “About that much?” indicating half an inch or so, Gary just kept on motoring with that clippers. I started to get a little nervous, but hey, maybe Gary’s got a trick. Maybe it’s a nouvelle Parisian technique that only the really good barbers know about. I felt the clippers bite into a chunk of hair on the back of my head and dive. Rrrrrow. “Whoops.” Oh come on, really? I don’t know if I’ve ever had a barber say whoops out loud before. I don’t think so. Maybe the one time I had Mary try to cut my hair with the dog clippers, but that doesn’t count. It leads to a sinking feeling, I can tell you now. Gary paused only half a second, during which time I’m sure he thought, “well, only one way to fix this” and then the clipping began with a passion usually reserved for athletes on game day.
About this time, Barb the vending lady walked in to refill the candy dispenser and proceeded to thoroughly distract Gary with a conversation about how the paint keeps peeling off her house. She appraised the top of my head with a look like “Oh yeah, I’ve seen that haircut before” and kept on chatting. Probably the most interesting part of the story came out when Gary asked if she lived in a nice neighborhood. To which Barb responded, “It’s much better now that the drug dealer down the street died.” Gary nodded without any followup questions, evidently content to accept this as a normal part of life in Yakima. Yup, it always cheers up the neighborhood when the drug dealers die.
So anyway, I now sport the shortest haircut I’ve had since my fourth grade buzz cut. I suppose it’s good for summer time, or something.