When You Get a Haircut
Viking, Minnesota

Rural Reflections Radio

Country music artist Ray Stevens sang the pitfalls of choosing a hair stylist in the selection  “The Haircut Song .”  Stevens song included barbers for loggers, born-again barbers and how you could end up “looking like Larry, Moe or Curly  if a stranger cuts your hair.”  I have always gone to a hair salon but recently decided to try out my local barbershop.

Hairs stylists need an outgoing personality coupled with hair-styling skills.  I have always been very happy with my haircut at the salon and amazed at the level of conversation while I’m getting a haircut.  Complex conversations that include me, the stylist and several other people in the room.  There have been many times when I questioned whether I had enough subject matter to keep the conversation going during a haircut.  Prior to a haircut I will run through a list of subjects so there’s no embarrassing lull in the haircut conversation.  I even sometimes review a haircut to decide if my conversation was up to scratch or did I seem dull and boring.  Will I be able to get a haircut again or am I now flagged as chit-chat-challenged?
Honestly it can be quite stressful.

I entered my local barbershop.  It was small and businesslike-no “Cosmopolitan” or “Bride” magazines either, just “Field and Stream”, “Popular Mechanics” and the newspaper.  My new barber apparently doesn’t take reservations, instead you just sit down and take your turn.   The fellow in front of me was quickly dispatched, exited the chair and it was my turn.  I had prepared myself with lots of manly tractor and hunting topics but I could have saved myself the effort.  The barber asked, “how do you want it?” to which I replied, “a half inch on top, number two around the edges.”  That was it until I paid and he replied, “thank-you.”   It was very liberating to just admit that we didn’t know each other and so had very little about which to talk.  I wanted a haircut, he was a barber (darn fine one) and that was it.  My haircut was something like the haircut scene from “Full Metal Jacket.”  No baloney, very workman-like and upon completion this quote from the Ray Stevens song rang through my head,  “I looked in the mirror and I was bald!”  I received different reactions from those I know the rest of the day.  I think I looked more intense or angry with my new hairdo because people looked at me twice and grabbed for their wallet or clutched their purse more closely.  Maybe they didn’t want to catch whatever disease had caused my hair to fall out.

I drove home after my haircut with a tingling scalp caused by the wind blowing past my newly deforested head.  I like my haircut and will visit my new barber again if my hair ever grows out.  Next time I think I’ll ask for an increase on top and maybe a number four around the edges as by then it should just about be winter.