Just returned from a haircut, which is actually funny, because everyone around me jokes about how little hair I have left. Now they have something to really joke about because I look like I just joined the United Sates Marine Corps!
I had to locate a new barber as the old one finally closed up shop and it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. I’m not the type of guy who wants what’s left of his hair “sculpted” in some ridiculously over-priced salon that blasts hip-hop rhythms while a guy named Chad tells me about his boyfriend Julio and their new Shih Tzu named Prince!
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
I did find one of the last old-school guys around though; he had the spinning barber’s pole out front and the shop decor from the sixties complete with the brushes in mysterious blue liquid and the little transistor radio blasting phone-in talk shows. National Geographic from the 1980s sat in a pile on a metal table next to those old school chairs circa 1971.
He lived in the back of the building that housed his shop and you could hear his very Italian wife yammering on in Italian, of course. He closed the connecting door but her voice seemed to gain strength, as did the smell of pasta no doubt bubbling away in a nearby kitchen.
In other words, it was Heaven.
Why? Because while the modern world certainly has its advantages, (The web and WordPress, for example) there are qualities and professions that are rapidly fading from existence in a world that sorely needs them.
The old school barber may not be a hair styling Picasso like a guy named Chad but he’s friendly as Hell and he actually cares about every single customer that comes into his shop. He’s not just doing a job, he’s providing for his family and ending the day with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
The barber represents a simpler time when more people lived their lives according to a moral code. You just don’t see that as much in this day and age.
On a more personal note, someday I’m going to be gray-haired (They’ll be some left!) old bellman on the verge of being replaced by an automated cart that spouts out pre-recorded sayings like “How about all that flying car traffic, sir?” I wonder if anyone will remember the age I represent?
Until next time, this is The Hook, waxing nostalgic.
- Anchorage barber keeps on clipping after crash (sfgate.com)
- Fancy a sip with your snip? (theage.com.au)
- Barber’s shop boom heralds the return of the dandy (carpediemclub.wordpress.com)