We walked through the door and this is what we saw: two pictures of Jesus hanging on the walls, a Coke machine, a corkboard full of business cards, a cash register, a checkerboard with only a third of the checkers, three barber chairs, one barber, one guy with a Marine haircut, sitting in a chair in the waiting area, and one guy sitting in the barber chair.
The guy in the barber chair had the kind of comb-over that starts at the top of one ear and goes all the way over the head, rainbow-style, until it reaches the top of the other ear. If there was a stiff breeze, this dude’s hair could stand up straight for about a foot and a half. He was having the non comb-over part of his hair trimmed. And his goatee maintained.
So the wee one, the wee-er one, and I all sat down and I began to rethink my brain wave to go see a real barber. Initially I was like, hey, this will be cool. A real barber will be impressive, the wee one might get a spray of manly hair spray or something (thus smelling like "man stuff" – aka what he calls deodorant or aftershave) and it will be fun for all. Plus, I could save a few bucks. The place we usually go is one of those kiddie haircut extravaganza places with motorcycles you ride, and movies to watch. Cool, but not cheap.
Anyway, as Barber, Combover and Marine began somehow simultaneously discussing the war and broadband internet, I started to feel a little uncomfortable. For one thing, they could probably smell my commie pinko liberal blood from a mile away. For another thing, no one had acknowledged us when we came in, and ten minutes later there was still no nod of "I see you over there, be with you in a second."
We sat. The wee one fidgeted, begged for a Sprite, tried to play checkers, ran around and eventually it was his turn.
The barber put a big cushy block thing in the chair and the wee one sat on it. The barber ran his fingers through the wee one’s crazy rat’s nest mop and said, "How short do we go? A 2? A 3?" I was like, "Uh, 2 inches?" And then he showed me the clippers and I still didn’t really understand the whole 2 3 thing, but I agreed to a 2 on the sides and a 4 on top. The barber said it would be a Howie Long flat top. "Do you know who Howie Long is?" He asked. "Indeed," I answered, smartassedly, because even though I’m a girl I know about football. "Just don’t make it a Howie Long mullet." He gave me a sideways look, but didn’t say anything.
The barber got to work, shavin’ shavin’ shavin’. The wee one stayed very still, even when he was giggling. Then the flat top part began. "It’s like a carving," the barber said, as he buzzed and snipped and measured and combed. He had to put some kind of gel in the wee one’s hair, then blow dry it, and then comb it and then shave over the comb to even it out. He must have done this six times. The wee one was in the chair FOR OVER AN HOUR getting this damn flat top.
As the barber worked, he kept shaking his head. "There are a lot of cowlicks here. And tufts." He would shake his head some more and keep working. After a while, a kid appeared from a back room, carrying a math book and talking about dinosaurs.
"If the dinosaur could breathe fire, he wouldn’t have to use the microwave to make bacon!" the kid said gleefully. Then he bought a Coke and went back into the back room.
I wanted to say, "Are we in a David Lynch TV show?" But I said nothing. I was afraid if I spoke, the magical charm that was holding the wee one still would break and he would accidentally get his head chopped off, as it was at about this time the barber whipped out a STRAIGHT RAZOR.
"Uh," I said. "Be still, wee one." And I closed my eyes.
I heard giggling, and a sharp admonishment to be still, and I slowly opened my eyes. The wee one had survived. Hooray!
Finally the flat top was finished. "You may want to rethink this haircut in the future," the barber told me. "This kid’s head has all kinds of tufts and cowlicks and bumps and his hair is very thin. You’ll be very busy every morning making this haircut work." He looked at me accusingly, as if my child’s abnormal head was all my fault (which it is, I guess). I smiled, paid the bill and tipped him 25% because he worked very, very hard on his "carving."
The wee one got some pink lemonade Double Bubble for his trouble. He was quite happy.
His hair has not been flat since it was designed by the barber. I mean, are you kidding me? Use a blow dryer on a four year old every morning? Who knew flat tops were such trouble.
It’s damn cute, though.