Thursday, 28 August 2014
A Cut Above
Like many other things in Picton, when you go for a hair cut, it's generally uneventful. When you go to John's there's probably 1 or 2 people ahead of you and you are in the chair in about ten minutes. When you go to Mark, you rarely have to wait AND Mark takes pride in having you out the door in 5 minutes --"no time at all". If fact, I once arrived at the door at 5:01 and, although he was locking the door, Mark put me in the chair and I was back in the car at 5:04. I am not kidding! You know where this is going, right? There is a little barber shop on the way to the local "Starlite" plaza. I've passed it many times and it looked good enough from the outside. On Wednesday, I decided to walk down to get a trim to be ready for school. Lights were on, but nobody home. Thursday is Frisbee night and I didn't really want to leave it to the weekend. So Wednesday was the best option. FAIL. Thursday it is. I was thinking that I could get a cut around 3:45, remember, haircuts take 5 minutes in my world, and be home in time to get Gayle and go play Frisbee for 5:30. I opened the door to find the place busy. One barber using clippers...promising. Simple math, there were 8 people (1 girl, 1 baby and 2 women), so it looked like maybe 4 people in front of me, I should be home in 45 minutes. The television above the mirror was blaring some awful noise. The chairs were all full, except for one in the middle of a family. I stood by the door not wanting to get between mom and her 1..2..3..4 cubs. She said, "it's ok" and pointed. I sat down...and began to learn. I looked at the TV. Planet of the Apes was just starting. The DVD player was hooked up to a stereo and it playing at a significant volume. People were talking. Kids on both sides of me looking at and playing with magazines. With the noise and the accents I was lucky to understand a quarter of what was being said. I picked up a week-old newspaper and began to read it. This barber was meticulously cutting, trimming, shaving the head of 10 year old. Much more detail that I am used to. As I watched, 2 customers left. Excellent. So that leaves 2 kids, then me. Should be ok, I will stick it out. One of the women leaves and returns with bags from the nearby grocery stores. She offers the barber a beer, he accepts. The mom takes one too. A couple of other guys come in and find chairs. I flipped through the pages of the newspaper and found the Sudoku. Damn, no pen. Second kid takes the chair. It won't take long to cut this little guy, I thought to myself. As I watched, I soon learned that everyone gets the full treatment. No short cuts. I watched a little of the movie while quietly interacting with the 3 year old beside me who is very interested my arm hair. I looked at my watch. 4:35. SHIT. Frisbee is going to be a stretch at this rate. The three year old gets into the chair and is quite thrilled about his opportunity to look as good as his big brothers. I'm next. Just minutes now...The movie is not holding my attention well. The three year old is done and I start to shift closer to the edge of my seat, as I am next. WRONG. The other woman, who I have convinced myself, is just hanging out, gets in the chair. Dammit. I can't leave now. Too late for Frisbee. I'm fully invested. Turns out, I was fully invested for her 45 minutes and another 20 for the next guy. Then ME! Sometime during all of this, Planet of the Apes ended and someone put on Hercules. I got a great haircut and walked home in the dark. I arrived at 6:45. Haircuts do not take 5 minutes.