The Barbershop

Yes, the title does in fact describe where I went today. It’s part of a new blog direction I’m taking- “What’s new and mundane in my very boring life”. But unfortunately, this does not actually fit either of the descriptives of the blog, for I have been going to get my head sheared (yes, sheared) by random strangers for years, and today’s experience was actually semi-interesting, in an awkward kind of way.

See, my hair is the kind that looks normal when it’s cut for approximately the next three days; after this, all hell breaks loose. It explodes into a kind of surfer dude- jewfro- hat hair amalgamation, which is probably not the most desirable combination of hair qualities. Ever heard a shampoo commercial advertise its jewfro potential? Didn’t think so.

Anyway, I went to Umina (don’t ask why) and decided to get it cut, right there and then. Of course, this decision was made easier by the fact that West Street, the main street of Umina, has about 50 shops lined up along it, of which at least 11 are hairdressers. And while I’m on it, are they really dressing my hair? Isn’t it more the opposite? It’s not like they’re crocheting me a beanie with a bonbon on it (which I would definitely wear, irrespective of the weather).

So I decided to go to “Nathan’s Barbershop”; it had one of those old-fashioned candy-striped poles in it, which I’m a sucker for. However, the epynomous haircutter refused to tame my wild locks, and instead I got stuck with an ageing woman (its not an insult- literally everyone ages constantly, in case you hadn’t noticed). As I took my seat and explained what I wanted done (two inches off all round, thin it out with the “chomping shears”) she merely grunted, and got to work. Her fingers flying, my hair was soon just a puddle on the ground, if said puddle was made out of hair and not water. Beads of perspiration dripped down her furrowed brow as she expertly trimmed; beads of sweat dripped down me because I’m a prodigiously sweaty guy. As the finishing touches were applied, I stared in wonderment at the new man in the mirror in front of me, and once dusted off, paid my charge and left a happy, relatively unhairy man. So what’s wrong with this stupidly embellished story?

Well, during the whole time she cut my hair, she didn’t say a single word to me! Not one! For half an hour, I was forced to sit there in silence and not endure the tiptoeing nature of smalltalk. That’s bliss, you say. But you are wrong, because there is no such thing as silence in a hair salon (there I go again). There should be awkwardness due to too much conversation, and not a lack of it. But no, she wouldn’t even ask a simple, “So you’re 19. You’re getting your hair cut at 10 in the morning. What the hell are you doing with your life?”

And for those of you who feel that I should have made an effort to intiate, you’re crazy. What are we, ordinary citizens of the world, meant to say to these people? Here’s a sample of how smalltalk fares when initiated by the customer:

CUSTOMER: So, how has your day been?

BARBER: Are you actually serious? Can you not grasp the fact that my work is so inherently self-explanatory that even a small child would know how my day has been? (voice rising) How has my day been? It’s been great; having to listen to idiotic questions like this one is my passion! I’ve always wanted to do this; I remember when I was little, and I’d tell my mother, “When I grow up, I want to listen to inane strangers rabbit on about their pitiful lives, and when I get sick of this and ignore them, the barrage of questioning regarding my existence will just be the proverbial icing on the cake!




6 responses to “The Barbershop

  1. I HATE getting haircuts. Always awkward, and afterwards you feel poor and funny looking.

  2. Yeah that’s where I go. They do a good job but I’m starting to think they’re a little overpriced.

  3. Pfft dont go anywhere except T-53 mens barbershop at fountain plaza erina. Best guys all just talking about bloke shit all the time, foxtel on the tv set to espn or sports channels, mens magazines to read n shit.

    They also cut hair well 😛

    And if you have a hairy neck, they shave it for you 😀

  4. Yeah I got my haircut on Monday from a guy who has done mine before. I think he either remembered or just simply noticed from the vibe that I didn’t want to pretend I was interested in his life or in sharing my own, so after a “Day off work today mate? Where do you work?” he pretty much just went back to talking to his boss while watching Conan the Barbarian.

  5. Do it yourself. Like I do.

    Not the best argument. Considering my hair, cut, is probably longer than most peoples when they say “I REALLY need a hair cut…”

    I have to sympathise with you. It’s like Cab drivers. I always want to have my peace and quiet but they insist on talking.

    But when there is no conversation, it’s so awkward. I feel like for it NOT to be awkward, there needs to be awkward conversation.

  6. Yeah, the chick there is shit. Nathan is the most awesome bloke. If you go there again (unlikely), demand him! He does a sweet haircut.

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