Up until a few years ago I had a thick head of dark hair. Shocking, I know! It grew so fast that I would get it trimmed every two weeks without fail. For most of that time I went to the same barber shop. Tom's Barber Shop. He owned the stereotypical "guys barber shop." From the Guns N Ammo magazines that were strewn about the seats to the smell of freshly mixed shaving cream, it was one of the few places I felt like one of the boys. The walls were covered with random pictures that hadn't been touched since the day they were hung, there was a fish mounted on the the wall from a magical trip twenty years ago with his friends, and team trophies from the little league squad he sponsored in the 1980s were stacked on his mantle. We'd B.S. about whatever sport was in season and the only reason we would stop is if Tom had to shoot out the door early on Fridays so he could beat the "traffic up north" during the summer months.
Twenty five years passed in an instant, until one day I went to get my haircut and saw that Tom's Barbershop was no more. I found out from the new owner that Tom had decided to retire to his lake home. I left sad and disgusted by the fru-fru stench and the flowery border that only partially covered the sun-bleached fish tattoo on the wall. The search was on for a new place to rock my locks, but I wasn't worried. I'm a guy for goodness sakes! How hard could it be to find a new barber? Based on my first experience, harder than I thought...
When I walked into this chain barbershop I was immediately confronted by a woman who was built like a mack truck.
"Sit down! I'll be with you in ten minutes."
I'd never sat down so fast in my entire life. The whole time I was waiting felt like being at the dentist's office. I knew I needed to get this done, but I wasn't excited about the experience. Then I heard her King Kong-ish voice scream: "Josh, it's your turn!" If I'd had more time to react, perhaps I would have wet myself. Instead, I was yanked by the arm, thrown into the chair, and given THE MOST VIOLENT HAIRCUT EVER! My head was yanked around and my hair was pulled and painfully brushed...it was not pleasant. Every time she sprayed my hair to wet it down, I had to question whether the warm sensation running down my face was water or blood.
At this point you might be asking why I didn't get up from the chair? I can't give you the real answer to that because I don't remember. I can only fathom one guess: You know when you are watching those cop tv shows and the villain has a weapon of some kind fixated on a hostage? Okay, substitute the villain with an amazonian hair stylist and the weapon with a small scissors.
By the end of the mauling, I had what I considered to be minor neck injuries and a possible concussion. I frantically paid her and rushed out the door without looking back. When I got home I told my mother what had happened and she just chuckled. I don't think she believed me. Hell, I wouldn't have believed me! I went into the bathroom to rinse my head off of stray hairs and to check for any gashes, when all of the sudden something fell from my head and clinked down into the tub. I looked down and saw HER WEDDING RING! She was so violent with my head, that she got her ring caught in my hair! How this happened, I'll never know, but I was thankful that I had the proof to show to my mother!
She saw the ring and her jaw dropped. "Are you going to bring it back?" she asked.
"Of course I will...tomorrow. For all the stuff she did to me, she can sweat it out a little bit. Besides they are closed."
I returned to the barbershop the next afternoon. It was empty and I saw the same woman with a sad look on her face. She recognized me immediately.
"Hello sir. You were just in here yesterday."
"Yes, I was. But I had to come back because you left something lodged in my head!"
With that, I reached into my pocket and pulled out her wedding ring. She proceeded to hurdle the reception desk with the biggest smile on her face and wrap her gargantuan arms around me. There is no way to prepare for your body to be squeezed until you turn blue. While the color of my face returned to normal, she told me that the ring belonged to her grandmother and she thought she had lost it forever. Then she offered to give me a reward for finding it. All I asked for was my money back for yesterday's assault and that she never cut hair "angry" again. She apologized for that and then started babbling about how her boyfriend was terrible to her and never did anything nice for her. I bit my tongue. Her boyfriend was either a monster-sized fellow himself or a pint-sized guy like me who was cowering in the corner for his life. I can only imagine how much it must hurt to love her! The things that must have happened when she was mad at him?! Oh, the horror!
I left the establishment feeling good about myself, still on the search for a place to get my haircut, and making a call to my chiropractor. Josh needed some crackin'.....STAT!
Peaceful...Yet Painful Things,