13 Jan
Despite looking everywhere David couldn’t remember where he had put his socks… 

            So it’s haircut time again, the biweekly ritual where I head out to my local barber and get the works. Number one cut on the back and sides and a number two on top. I always leave the front a little longer as this helps disguise the hereditary male-pattern thing. An exercise in masturbation, a futile attempt to fool everybody apart from myself! I always call it the male-pattern thing as mentioning the B-word sends a bed-pissing shiver racing down my spine.


Don’t know what it’s all about really, the voluntary loss of hair, but I

always feel better for it. I compare it to one of those born-again experiences, a cleansing ceremony, where I walk in broken and come out whole. I always know when it’s time to go as the fat-fella shows up in the mirror and makes it painfully obvious that I’ve put on a bit of weight. Maybe it’s me, but there’s something about a centimeter of erratic stubbly grey growth that adds ten pounds to a bloke, or perhaps I’m just kidding myself and I truly am the barrage balloon sized gigantean that stalks my neighborhood?


Either way, after going through the motions and paying the requisite

fifteen bucks plus tip and tax, I always feel as though have completed my own personal twelve-step program, that I’m well on my way to a life of guiltless fat-free, slim-lined fitness. Illusions of Jenny Craig calling me up, asking me to be her poster boy; hate mail from Jared afraid of competition and losing his lucrative deal at the sandwich shop.


Normally I go during the week when the barbershop isn’t so busy. A simple case of grabbing a chair, flicking through the magazines, and waiting for the invitation to take my place in one of the high leather swivel chairs on the operations floor.


The magazines are always the same, outdated, dog-eared, and over

read. I say over read, however, if the rest of the clientele are like me then

they just nose through the covers and look at the pictures; browsing through

ads that try to convince me that, despite my crappy desperate day job, I can

afford a Ferrari-Gucci life style. Comparing myself, as I flick through the pages, to the six-packed studs, knowing that all it would take to look just like them would be a supreme effort on my part and an occasional visit to the local gym.



The customers were happy to see Debbie back after recovering from nipple-replacement surgery…



I always linger on the Bikini-shots; ogling the beach-dusted, suntanned

beauties. It’s not exactly pornography; I mean they’re in regular

magazines, not one of those top-shelf cellophane-sealed publications filled

with semi-legitimate stories on World War One aircraft and suggestions on how to super-charge your lawn mower! Even so the nice-girls are working their hardest to squirm out of every inch of cloth, their bikini straps hanging loose, their bottoms pulled so far down little fantasy is required to imagine the last couple of inches of forbidden flesh.

THE WRITER’S DIGESTS new editor  decided to follow market trends.



But instead of going during the week I end up going on Saturday, household chores and marital necessity forcing me to forgo my ritual and put my time on hold for an extra twenty four hours. Responsibilities fulfilled I break free from my institutional obligations and head down to the barbershop


The car park is full; I know this is going to be a pain. The chairs in the waiting area are bound to be taken and the only magazines left will be the gardening weeklies and the women’s supplements that have somehow managed to slip between the muscle mag’s and this year’s swim-wear editions.


Don’t get me wrong, Lindsey Lohan and her ilk interest me as much as the

next bloke, however there is only so much one can take. From the check out

lines in the supermarket, to the Hollywood insider TV shows, I’m bombarded with nearly-famous nobodies living coke-dependent Hollywood lifestyles. After a while all the exposure to wealth and decadence tends to make me feel inadequate and passed over, very clearly I am missing out!


 The North Korean nuclear device wasn’t going to scare anybody…


I walk towards the door. Can’t really see inside as they have put that dark

film across the windows giving the place an air of dubiousity, cloaking the

clientele in shaded mystery. However the one thing that is clearly visible, a

sign that even a blind man wouldn’t have trouble seeing from the other side

of the car park, is the red and white spinning pole. There is something about it, almost phallic in its appearance, an autoerotic symbol only truly appreciated by men. It seems to scream “Come in you manly men!” Banishing females and their feminine ways from the man only buffet of manliness inside.


To my surprise, apart from a couple of Dads waiting for sons, the chairs

are empty. Young boys receiving initiation rites into barber shop ritual, an experience they will carry with them for the rest of their lives; new warriors to fill the gaps of the fallen, shouldering the burden of the few and the brave, taking their place alongside those of the greatest generation. The older war-horses who, through no fault of their own have died off, or who, so addled with age, can no longer make it to the service.


‘Cos that is what it is. Getting your hair cut is a religious experience. The

Acolytes in their white coats, the silver chalices filled with AquaVelva and the holy-rood symbolized in crossed scissors; wielded with devotion and dexterity by the priests of partings. Bit like the church, but different! No hymns, no prayers, just pure supplication, the feeling that you have encountered something greater than yourself. Like I said, a feeling of being at one with God in his universe.


A church maybe, but not exactly a confessional, although Manuel who

normally cuts my hair, knows everything about me; my wife’s name,

the kids’ sports, how much I hate my job, and my Tuesday morning dalliance with the milf from number thirty six. It’s not like he is going to tell anyone; I mean its information shared; quid-pro-quo! I tell him, he tells me. A little dirt, and before you know it we’re chatting like long lost brothers.





Feeling slightly disheveled after choking the chicken, Babs wasn’t looking forward to spanking the monkey..


It’s no secret that me and Manuel have a lot in common. The fact is that he

likes redheads and I like brunettes, he likes butts and I’m more of a boob

man; subjects near and dear to our hearts that can keep us chatting

for hours. That’s what I like about our little chats, the in depth conversations

and the difficult topics that we choose not to avoid. But it isn’t always talk, it isn’t always fun and games, sometimes we say nothing at all. Not in the oppressive silent uncomfortable sort of way you might think. We’ll chat away and then we’ll drift into silence as Manuel concentrates on his craft, and I give myself over totally to the ultimate experience; putting the reigns in some ones else’s hands for a change, handing over the helm to a different captain.


So there I am sitting on my leather cushioned thrown, glimpsing image after image of myself in the eternal mirrors, watching some generic football game on TV. I spend a couple of seconds of my life trying to recognize the teams and ask Manuel in my deepest voice what the score is pretending that I really care. Both antagonists are from the college that I never attended and so I ignore his heavily accented recently boarder-crossed English.


A new customer sits down opposite me and I feel the draft from the sheet the barber wafts across the knees of the fresh inductee. Like white sail cloth the sheet billows up in the air, quite beautiful when you think about it! Nothing unusual though, I have seen Pedro’s flourish a hundred times, however on this one occasion I stare! The customer opposite stares back so I quickly look away. You know, the manly-thing, pretending to ignore each other even though we’re both perfectly aware of what just happened. I take a sneaky look out of the corner of my eye, pretending to look at one of the myriad examples of faux barbershop ephemera. You know the ones I mean, the sepia photographs of bearded mustached men from the 1930’s dressed in white aprons, advertisements for no longer manufactured shaving salves and safety razors.


The person opposite me is a woman!


Unable to remove the remains of the skunk after the auto collision, Anne decide to make the best of her unfortunate situation… 


I know I could hardly believe it myself. Shocked and stunned I was. A female! Surely she knows that this is where the men come? Don’t they have their own special places with their own special kinds of service? Beauty parlors and nail salons, massage parlors and Brazilian waxing studios. Given the multitude of choices I had to ask myself what it was she could possibly want here, and besides that, who had given her permission? Surely there has to be some kind of Papal dispensation before the opposite-sex is allowed to enter the temple! Of course I’m a little pissed, a bit annoyed, hot under the collar you might say.


The woman opposite me is a black female with short tight dark curly hair. I

hear her speaking to one of my confessors and by the sounds of things she is looking for a shave. No, not the kind where they press you with warm

towels, apply copious amounts of shaving cream and then drag an

instrument of death across your face leaving you whisker free for at least

two days; the head kind of shave! She wants her hair line shaved up, to give her one of those Nubian princess looks. The kind that you’ve seen in

National Geographic on the bust of Queen Nefertiti, high and tight, accentuating the strong African brow and the crease of her skull.

Quaniqua couldn’t decide if her earrings matched her new doo.. 


So now I have experienced it, didn’t think I ever would. I mean I‘ve heard a diamond ring and seen a dragon fly, as the song goes, but never have I seen a woman in a barber’s chair. I mumble something to Manuel who mumbles back, clicking his tongue in disgust. Now I’ve got a story to tell. My humdrum life has just gotten interesting; and then just as I thought that life had peaked and the buzzer had blasted for the end of the final period and the gauge had exploded on the interest scale, things  went from mild to worse.


Miss Nubian across the way from me pulls out a pink telephone, uncrosses her legs and proceeds to press the digits. Her barber stops, thinking that it must be something urgent however she waves a manicured hand indicating for him to go on. I’m not sure who was more shocked, me or Manuel’s buddy? How

the hell are you supposed to cut someone’s hair when their hand is glued to the side of the head? Unperturbed and demonstrating his sheer

professionalism, Pedro in desert-hopping precision carries on. His scissors whip around her hand held phone without even nipping her, not a trace of blood in the blur of hair and steel!


My time is done, my hair is perfect and I am good to go. Manuel walks me

to the till, offers me something for the weekend and then thanks me for the

totally unexpected five dollar tip which I give him every other week. He slaps me on the back, wishes me a fantastic rest-of-my-day and then jinxes my team

by wishing them good luck; my moment in the barber shop is done.


I catch my reflection in the window, admire how square my jaw looks and

notice my new slim line figure. Happy with the cut and satisfied with the

copious amounts of aftershave wafting around me I shake my head and wring my hands in disbelief. It’s not that my experience was totally ruined, it’s just that I feel a little violated, a little damaged.


 A female in a barber shop, the nerve of the woman!


I can get over the hair cut, even the shave as time eventually cures all. Every woman needs an occasional spit and polish, a little personal pretty time but making phone calls during the devotional on a pink phone!


 That’s going a tad too far, and no doubt will take a lifetime to get over!


2 Responses to “VIOLATOR…”

  1. xtina January 13, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

    love how you demonstrate the vain and prejudice that has infiltrated our society, disguised as a man’s jaded point of view

  2. happilydisgruntled January 14, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    BWAHAHAHA….Haven’t even read the post, but the first picture caption is a riot. I think your captions are my favorite part of your blog!!! TOO FUNNY

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