Well, it’s that time of the year again…time to get a haircut. I tend to procrastinate when it comes to getting a haircut, especially these days, because it seems to take too much time, it hurts, and I hate always trying to locate a good, sober barber. I had, for the past two years, been going to a good local barber shop in Haltom City, but the fellow there has had some surgeries which make it hard for him to do a good job on anything but a buzz cut. To be sure, I would go ahead and have this fellow give me a buzz cut if I could be certain that people wouldn’t start calling me “buzz.”
So, usually, after procrastinating a while, I decide to go to whichever barber shop looks the most authentic (think: run-down). There I have a greasy, hair-infested sheet wrapped around my neck and, with my windpipe thoroughly and securely tied shut, I sit and wait to have my hair butchered. The barber will begin strangling me while asking me how I’d like my hair cut. I usually say, through short gasps, that I’d like a medium taper, with the hair long enough to comb. The barber will usually frown at my head and say that a “Number 2” should do the trick. After returning from the bathroom, he pulls out a dull, half-horsepower electric razor which pulls out as much hair as it cuts. Hair begins falling, being sometimes accompanied by little bits of earlobe, or whatever else happens to be in the way of my hair. Now, your really classy barbershops will want to provide that extra touch of authenticity by quickly revealing, much like a crack-addicted alley thug who has nothing to lose, a rusty and nicked straight razor. By this point, I’m usually too tired to struggle and I have too little air left to scream, so the barber easily pushes my head forward and proceeds to vigorously shave away any excess neck hair, moles, or shirt collars that happen to rise above skin level.
Finally, the barber will untie the noose of a sheet from around my neck and, after experiencing a euphoric sensation from the blood returning to my head, I will look at myself in the mirror. I usually have to cock my head to the right or to the left so that my haircut looks semi straight. After two times at the same barber, I usually can predict the angle of my haircut by subtracting the degree of crookedness (Dc) from the normal angle of uprightness (NAu), corrected for any shot springs in the barber chair: Dc – Nau x Σ (√∆3.14/(6^42). Using this equation, I am able to predict how I should hold my head during the cut so that my hair will actually look straight when I stand normally. When I leave the barber shop, my hair will sometimes look like love-crazy, caffeinated wolverines used it for a place of mating: these are the good haircuts. With my new, good haircut, I usually leave a nice, generous tip as I walk out the door to face the mocking eyes of a cruel world. Remember, I’ve found that if you don’t leave a tip, the barber will make a note to intentionally not do his best the next time you return.