My Haircut

Scissors, baby. I didn't want to mention it yesterday because it was already so late in the day, and I was afraid some of you might not sleep. I know how you worry. The thing is, I had a haircut earlier in the day, but my barber couldn't find her own scissors so she borrowed some from one of her students. She has students because a few years ago she decided to start a school—as a kind of sideline, I suppose—to train people to do what she does, which generally involves cutting off other people's hair. They do supplementary things, too, like filing down customers' fingernails and giving them footbaths, but mostly they concentrate on hair.

Anyway, the only scissors she could find looked like those tiny scissors you see in preschool, or kindergarten. I didn't even notice it until she started mumbling about how my haircut was going to take all day because the scissors were so small, but I didn't want to say anything about it because it's never a good idea to antagonize your barber. I think Van Gogh antagonized his barber, but he didn't want anyone to know the real story. So I just sat there trying to think of something pleasant to say, but then she started cutting at high speed. I guess she was trying to make up for lost time because the little scissors can't cut off much hair at once, the way her regular scissors do. Finally, she said "there," and pulled off the big plastic haircut bib, which is the signal for me to get out of the chair.

One of my barber's students had been standing off to the side observing her technique, but he covered his mouth with his hand and ran into the back of the shop when I stood up. I could hear him making choking, snorting sounds as I paid for my haircut, but my barber was standing there with her hand on her hip, so I just thanked her and left. Since the barber's chair had been rotated away from its usual position where I can see what's happening in the mirror, it wasn't until I got home that I began to understand the full extent of the damage my barber had done with those baby scissors.

Certain breeds of dogs—notably those originating from cold climates—have a thick layer of fur under their outer coats, and this time of year they begin a kind of molting process. Their undercoats come off in pointy tufts, so for a while the dogs resemble unkempt mountain goats, or disheveled Yaks. If you were to combine the appearance of a molting Husky with that of a newly hatched goose, you'd have a pretty good idea of my new look, and you might then also understand why I lapsed into a fugue state shortly thereafter.

I didn't regain my senses until well after dark, and by that time I had apparently wandered into the bad neighborhood south of town. I know this because the policeman told me so. Today the situation doesn't seem quite so bleak, and the nylon stocking I'm using to cover my head lends me, I think, an air of quiet sophistication. My hair will grow back eventually, but in the meantime I'm planning to leverage my new look. I've always wanted to be a jazz singer, but felt I lacked the coolness. Not anymore.


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