Perhaps as I am aging my patience isn’t so much of a virtue anymore. There are numerous chores in life I don’t care for and getting my haircut is one of them. I truly believe my past experiences with getting my hair bobbed has darkened my attitude.
When I was a kid my father had the great idea that he could cut my hair and save a few bucks. I can remember sitting in the basement with a towel around my shoulders as pop mangled my hairdo with some salon tools he must have found at a garage sale. It would have been easier if he had just placed a bowl on my head and cut around the border. After being teased at school that I resembled `Woodstock’ from the Peanuts cartoons I think my father realized he should stick to the blast furnaces at the local steel mill.
The barber my father patronized must have been a drill sergeant in another life because when he was finished my do was high and tight. The only good thing about being butchered in that red vinyl and chrome chair was that I was rewarded with a piece of bubble gum. Actually, the best reward would have been to thumb through one of the men’s magazines the older customers were reading. Check that. They were gawking.
In my late teens I let my hair grow. After taking our photo on a Ferris wheel in Niagara Falls, my dad couldn’t resist telling me in front of my girlfriend that my lengthy hair resembled a soufflé. It was around this time I decided to start experimenting with gel. Dear old dad told me to try Brylcreem. I used some of that product and found my hair plastered to my skull. Pop thought it looked good but then again he was lost in a time warp where girls still wore poodle skirts.
During my days in television my hair took a beating. Under the hot lights my hair practically needed an entire can of hairspray. After taping the episodes I couldn’t wait to go home and wash my hair because it was brittle and I figured it would break.
I must admit that getting my hair washed before a cut was always heavenly. Not only did the young lady’s fingers massage my scalp but she had to position her body in such a way that my eyes looked directly at her chest and once in a lucky while a boob would smack me in the face. However, more often than not her charm bracelet would poke me in the eye.
These days I dread going for a haircut. Every time I sit in the chair the mirror reminds me of more silver strands and a receding hairline. I hear women swoon over a man with salt and pepper hair but mine is starting to stick to a strictly sodium diet.
Here is the biggest reason why I detest going for a haircut. The mindless chitter-chatter is enough to wish my father was alive and still hankering to cut hair.
Recently, I waited in the anteroom for my hairdresser to finish with her female customer. Listen folks, I don’t want to sound sexist but I watched six women getting their hair done and each one of them blathered on and on about the most mundane events in their lives. To be perfectly blunt, one lady didn’t stop talking from the moment I walked in the place until she departed. I don’t think she even took a breath. If she fell off the CN Tower she would talk all the way down.
I feel incredibly sorry for the hairdressers. They have to stand there all day listening to people ramble on about everything from soup to nuts. I could never tolerate that incessant chatter, not with a pair of sharp scissors in my hand. The only thing that could possibly make things worse is when customers start nattering to one another thereby causing the hairdressers to either stop for a few moments or God forbid, join in. I want to scream that this is a place of business not a sewing bee! Schedules must be met! That is why hair appointment books are necessary! Time is not infinite for me. I am mortal and the last thing I need to hear is how the bridesmaids’ gowns didn’t match the curtains!
After every haircut I hurry to get out of there. I mumble angrily to myself about the gossip I was forced to endure as I jump in my car. I can’t wait to tell the guys what a pain it was.
Written by: Ben Guyatt
Ben Guyatt is a stand-up comedian and a published author. Visit his website at www.benguyatt.com and follow him on Facebook. He also hosts The Ben Guyatt Show every Sunday at 9 pm on AM 900 CHML.