I'm not a big fan of getting haircuts. The last time I went to get one was just before my job interview. I took the little card out of my wallet that says I should get a hole punched in it with each haircut, and then, after getting ten holes, I get a free haircut. A lady gave me this card when I got married in November of 2006.
When I took out my card, I saw that the latest cut would get me halfway there. The woman gave me a funny look and pointed to the sign that said they stopped taking those cards in December of 2008.
So, yeah, not real good about keeping up with that kind of thing. And I haven't really had to be--back when I got married, I was working a warehouse job where nobody cared about my hair, and since then, I've been a student.
But now I have a real job, so I sort of have to watch it. When I got my last haircut, I told the lady the wrong number to use on her clippers--that's how long it had been, was that I forgot that it was a five on top and a three on the sides. Instead, I told her a three on top and a one on the sides. This is basically a bur.
So I didn't have to worry about getting it cut again for a while. Sure, it got shaggy and didn't look very good, but it was short, and that's what counts, right?
It finally started growing over my ears again, so I had to do something about it.
Back when I lived in New York, I asked Trey where to get a cheap haircut. "Go to that place around the corner," he told me. "Just go to the end of the block, turn, it's right across the street."
The next day, I walked to the end of the block, turned, and went to the place across the street. The old Greek barber snubbed out his cigarette and told me to take a seat. He asked me what I wanted, and I told him, and then he proceeded to completely ignore me. It was straight up like that episode of Seinfeld where he kept getting a little-boy haircut.
Like that, but without the fancy dental work.
When he finished combing gel through my hair, he brought out the straight razor. "I clean you up a bit," he said.
"Really? Because it looks pretty good to me right now," I said, because I don't like straight razors anywhere near my neck.
"Ha!" he said, and grabbed the top of my head. He began scraping the razor against the back of my neck. Maybe he was cutting hair, but I think it was just to show me that my life was in his hands. But even this power must have grown boring, because he turned around and began talking about scores with the guy sitting in the chair behind me.
I watched the mirror in horror as the barber turned his head completely, not looking in my direction at all as he continued to run the razor up and down my neck.
I was too afraid to move, too afraid to say anything. I watched as the blade steadily worked its way around to the front of my neck. Occasionally, the barber would turn back when he wiped the blade off on the little towel hanging out of his pocket--I guess he didn't want to accidentally wipe it on his pants--and then he'd turn back to the other guy as he brought the razor back to my neck.
After several minutes of this, I finally broke down. "Hey, man, it's okay--I can get it from here. How much do I owe you?"
"I'm good." I quickly paid him and rushed from the shop. Once home, I hurried to the shower, wanting to wash out the odd-smelling gel, and hopefully comb my hair into something that faintly resembled a decent haircut.
What I didn't understand was that it was a hair cut. The dude hadn't just combed and clipped and styled my hair a certain way. He had cut it that way, so that the only thing I could do with it was what he had intended.
"What the hell?" I asked Trey. "I thought you told me that guy was good!"
"You took a left and walked to the end of the block?"
"No, I took a right and walked to the end of the block."
"There's a place to get a haircut down there?"
"If you want a haircut like this, there is!"
"Why would anyone want a haircut like that?"
Anyway, after that, I bought hair clippers. The kit came with about a million little interchangeable cut-guards, a pouch in which to keep them, and a video. Trey, Carey, and I sat down and watched the video, which I really wish I had kept. It was jam-packed full of information about how to give haircuts straight from 1993. This was in 2004, but still.
And then Carey took the clippers to my head.
UPDATE: I found an actual picture of her doing it:
"Oh holy Spider-Man, please watch over us and protect us from terrible haircuts."
I ended up like this:
This is what Joe Camel has dreams about.
Or maybe the above is a picture of my hair growing back after I had shaved myself shiny-bald with a razor. Honestly, a lot of my time in New York is a little hazy, and trying to distinguish haircuts is pushing it a little.
Point being, I have these clippers. I almost threw them away when I moved, but for some reason, I held on to them.
The other night, I broke out my kit--now in a plastic bag, but still with all the pieces--and I took the shaver to my head, much like the cliché boot camp scene in an Army movie.
I started out with a 6, because I wasn't sure if my do-it-at-home kit used the same scale of measurement as the pros. I ran the clippers over my head twice before the battery died and I ripped out a chunk of my hair. "Ah-ha!" I said, because I immediately remembered the pain from when Carey did the exact same thing to me. See, the clippers are supposed to be wireless, but the battery doesn't charge well, so after running the thing for about three seconds, it dies. You have to leave it plugged in, I suddenly recollected.
Also, there's a little pink button on the side that says "turbo," and if you don't push it, the clippers run slow and rip out your hair.
Essentially, it is a piece of equipment built to keep you from easily cutting your hair. I'm assuming this is because people kept getting drunk and cutting their hair, and then complaining to the company.
But I was sober and unstoppable, so I plugged my clippers in and pushed the turbo button, and I shaved my head. And it looked good. I was about to show my princess, but I decided I should do the part around my ears. No sweat, really, because they have special attachments specifically for that. They're even labeled, "right ear" and "left ear."
So I attached the right ear piece, placed the clippers against my head, and ZIRRRUP! A huge chunk of my hair was suddenly gone. I mean, I barely had any left and this was even less. A lot less.
I stared at the mirror, hoping it wasn't nearly as noticeable as it seemed. I put the clippers down and walked out to the kitchen.
"How's it going in there?" My princess asked.
"Well…not too bad. I mean, I was looking pretty good." I showed her my haircut, hiding the side of my head that looked like a weed-whacked ant hill.
"Hey, that does look nice."
"Yeah, but I got it kinda close over here…" I turned. See, I figured that if she didn't notice, maybe it wasn't that bad. I tend to over-react, so maybe it wasn't as horrendous as it seemed to me. Right?
"Oh," she said. "So…"
"I'm'a go try to fix it."
I attached the "2" guard, and made another run. By the time I was finished, my hair was short as hell, but at least it was even.
And that is my latest haircut adventure.