Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Random Access Addendum: Having Nothing To Do With Becoming Ironman

Right, so, I go into my usual upscale Salon for a haircut this morning - Great Clips - and this 40ish wanting to be 20ish woman with leathery but medically modified skin, bleach blond big frizzy hair and grossly (meaning "icky" and "a large amount") artificial breasts greets me. She smells of Marlboros plastered over with grocery store perfume. I have, I'm pretty sure, mistaken Great Clips for a NASCAR themed brothel. (Pretty sure that's offensive to somebody...mea culpa...)

My haircut for summer triathlon season is pretty damn basic. Clippers with a Number 1 length on the low sides, fade to Number 2 clipper up the sides, then fade to Number 4 on top. Usually takes somebody there about 6 minutes to earn their $13 from me. So Sheila (I have no idea if that's her name, she just seemed like a Sheila to me) asks me in her gravelly voice to sit down, and then gives me a rundown of how a haircut works. She did this the whole time, and it seemed more for her benefit than mine. Like she was repeating what you learn at Great Clips school, lest she forget the Haircut Protocol. "Now I'm going to put this cape around you." Remember to ask if it's too tight around the neck. "Is this too tight?" Remember to explain what you'll be doing to make the client more comfortable. "Now this is the clippers, and what I'm going to do is start here..." Right. Go ahead girl, do your thing.

So she's cutting my hair, and I find myself disliking her very much. I'm not sure why, probably the combination of everything. I can smell her. Her voice makes me feel crunchy. I find myself irritated at her absurd breasts, and I quickly envision the conversation she had with her doctor in 1994, when absurdly fake breasts were the thing to have. "I want huge boobs, doc. Huge. I want them to point north all the time, and for people to have to give me space on the sidewalk. You hear me doc? Say it with me. Huge. Boobs." "Absolutely Sheila, huge boobs are my specialty. You'll be the Queen of Boobelot when I'm done here." In an effort to protest their existence, I make it a point not to look at them. Not out of politeness or cordiality, but out of spite. I wasn't going to have her huge boobs forced on me, no matter how much she spent on them.

As she's cutting, she's doing an increasingly poor job. The "fade" between Number 1 clipper and Number 2 is an obvious line. She's gone way too high up the side of my head with the Number 1, so I look like a Marine. She's making confused faces with her Botox ehanced smooth yet wrinkly face, and making perplexed sounds under her breath like "Hmm" and "that's not right". I am unconcerned with my hair - I don't really care what the outcome of it is, it'll grow back, so whatever - but I am amused with Sheila. It's like trying to watch an infant figure out those toys where you put the blocks into the same-shaped holes, and she's confused why the square won't go into the triangle. Since she can't get the fade right, her solution is to just keep cutting shorter and shorter, higher and higher, until I essentially have a Number 1 clippers around all but the top of my head. All this time she's continuing with her Great Clips Academy approach to client comfort. Encourage the client to close his eyes when blow drying, in case he's too stupid to figure out that staring into the hot wind isn't comfortable. "Now if you'll close your eyes..." (and just that far into the sentence I imagine all these scenarios for how she might finish it, "...I'm going to do something really special to your hair, but it's a surprise", or "I have to adjust my huge boobs and appreciate the privacy" or "my face feels melty, I need a minute...") "...I'm going to blow the hair from your face." And she's giving me advice on how, when I get home, I'll want to shave my sideburns down. Because this is my first foray into the wonders of getting my hair cut, and thank God Sheila is my spiritual guide.

So we wrap up, and it's officially the worst haircut ever - shorter than it should be, not particularly handsome from any angle, featuring some weird lumps here and there. But hey, it should be pretty damn comfortable under my bike helmet. And as I'm walking to the counter to actually pay her for this escapade she looks at my shoes, which have the Jordan logo emblazoned on them, and says "What do you got there...Tom Jordan flip flops?"

Seriously?

Who the hell is Tom Jordan? I don't think you have to have the tiniest inkling of sports to know who Michael Jordan is. And if you recognize the logo, then you know enough to know. I think you've been hiding under a particularly suffocating piece of silicone if you think maybe his name is Tom. Tom Jordan. Priceless.

"Yep," I said. "Tom Jordan."
"I thought I got it right!" Sheila squealed. Her voice sounded like bearings were loose.
"He was my favorite player on the Chicago Bluebirds," I said as I gave her a two dollar tip. This was the most fun I've had at the barbershop since ever.
"Mine too. You have a good day now."

And Sheila and I parted, hopefully forever, but her scent lingers in the back of my mind.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! I laughed out loud when I read your haircut account. Reminds me of the time my husband let a friend cut his hair. He ended up buzzed, and my brothers called him "sarge" for weeks. Good luck this weekend!

SLS

Todd said...

This didn't happen to take in place in lovely Crapids did it?

PS, her name is Trixie.

xt4 said...

Ah yeeyeah 'zilla, the very one. Are you serious about her name? Because it's perfect.

Todd said...

Too funny! Nope, not serious. That was the best trailer trashy/Coon Rapids name I could come up with.

Patric said...

Ahhh I see you wrote a blog about my new girl friend the haircutter. Todd is correct her name is Trixie and we are madly in love, probably going to get married. I'll have to direct her to this Blog here so she can read about herself!!!!J/k

abby said...

I felt like I was there with you watching the whole thing. Too funny. Good luck on Saturday!