Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sweeney Todd Died for Someone's Sins

Either I need to get a haircut or I need to get a bigger head. Seriously. After returning from one of my still-not-yet-world-famous-power-walks (where I hike across the wilds and milds of Norwich, Connecticut at a very brisk pace), I'm dismayed with how it's just this messy mop atop my skull with no style or grace. The joke, proving that God has a sense of humor and I'm the designated driver, is I also have, at the top of my head, a bald spot growing like the BP oil spill, with nearly as great a chance of containment (sorry shrimp fisherman).

Since leaving the Air Force in September of 1983, I've had ninety-two haircuts. I know this because I count them. And I count them because I've never had a use for any of them, to include the ones I had while in uniform. That was my (least) favorite joke at the time, and the DI (drill instructor) never tired of it, "How many times in his first enlistment does a good Airman need to be told he needs a haircut?" INSERT YOUR GUESS HERE. "Wrong! A good Airman NEVER needs to be told he needs a haircut." Talk about a laugh riot! Our sides ached from the hilarity. Zoomie stand-up. Please remember to tip your jet mechanic.

Anyway. Back in the day, it wasn't gray turning white which is what it is, for the most part, now it was sort of brown as I remember it (which I really don't). So you add that to the unkempt (what a wonderful word!) nature of the hair and I have a disheveled appearance that gives people pause. And on weekends, I don't shave (an activity that rivals, for me, the usefulness of getting haircuts) and I could stand on a corner with a paper cup and have a decent part-time job, except all the corners in my neighborhood already have squeegee guys and I cannot get the hang of that technology at all.

Eventually, when she gets sick of looking at me (after all, I'm inside of all of this) my wife will simply announce she is cutting my my hair (another of the many activities at which she excels) as she did for most of the time I was in the Air Force. She cuts it as short as when I was in the Air Force which doesn't always thrill me but it means that much bigger a gap until I next need a trim. She has a barber kit and everything that goes with it-she is a true Renaissance Woman.

Truth to tell, it's not the haircuts that bug me so much. My problem has always been with barbers, I think, even as a kid. Haircuts are rather intimate interpersonal activities (look at the way women and their hairdressers are and then ask yourself if you'd go shoe-shopping with the stylist from Supercuts. Yeah, me neither) I suppose, and the person you allow to cut your hair presumes to assume a level of intensity that elevates it to a relationship.

I'm not that guy. I don't walk to talk about the weather we're having, how the politics of the guys in charge are leading us to ruin, the big (or little) game, something that was on TV last night or anything else. Especially with someone holding scissors or a straight razor; because I don't want to wind up leaving in a rush with a piece of my ear, or my lower lip, wrapped in tissue paper, speeding towards the emergency room.

I want to sit in the chair and take a mental vacation for ten minutes while you trim the shrubs and tame the wild. You can talk if you want to but leave me out of it. There are, I'm told, only three species in the whole world who get get haircuts, so the next time you see me, don't ask me about mine, Airman!
-bill kenny

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