As the door closes behind you, a feeling of angst pours down your scoliosis-stricken spine. With each step you take, you try and prepare yourself for the psychological molestation that is to follow. Your attempts are futile. There is no solace to be found. Instead, your anxiety heightens your sense of hearing. The low volume of the black-and-white antenna television now sounds like a Gwar concert. The sound of an electric razor sounds like an industrial sized fan ripping apart an Emu. You are just like that helpless Emu; your fight or flight instincts have failed you. So when you hear the words, “Who is next?”, you jump straight into that industrial sized fan.
Nervous, sweaty, and over-stimulated by the sounds around you, you try to relax by blurting out a casual, “How are you doing today?” In doing so, you have just made your local barber’s day… and ruined your own.
As a child, I always dreaded going to get my hair cut because I knew that my elderly barber would drill me with tons of asinine questions whilst I was pinned to his clunky metal chair. Talking about what was my favorite subject in school or what television shows I liked to watch was painful because I realized, even at that young age, that he didn’t really give a shit about anything I was saying. I could be wrong, but I hope I’m not. Because any 50-year-old man who is truly interested in what happened on the latest episode of The Big Comfy Couch really shouldn’t be touching little children for a living.
And really dude, what the frig’ is up with that chair? It’s just hair Mr. Barbershop-man, you don’t need the same seating that is used for major dental surgery. I would be much more comfortable if you cut my hair on a lawn chair or if I just sat pretzel-style on the floor. But even if you had me propped up in a leather recliner… or on THE Big Comfy Couch, my experience would still have sucked because of our conversations.
Ironically, I now look at these moments, and would give anything for them back. Having grown into an adult, the tables have turned, and I am now the one who doesn’t give a shit about what he has to say. My trips to the barbershop now involve painful conversations about how ‘things were better back in the day’. Seriously, Mr. Barbershop-man, what do you want me to say? I get it.. you’re old and are having trouble adapting to modern society. Complaining to me isn’t going to change a damn thing. The sad truth is that if you don’t make an effort to learn how to operate you TV’s cable box, you’re no longer going to be able to worship your prophets on Fox News.
Even if we did have a lot in common, I would not be able to enjoy my time with you Mr. Barbershop-man. It’s simply not natural to engage in conversation while having excess filamentous bio-material slashed from the follicles of my dermis. Maybe you really did enjoy our conversations about what color sweater best complimented the beauty of Mr. Roger’s eyes. Maybe things really were better in the old days under Reganomics. But as long as you’ve got your cologne-greased fingers through my hair, we can never establish a meaningful human connection.