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August 31, 2004

Pate Update

In an effort to save...let's see here...carry the one....less than $100 per annum, I no longer patronize the upscale and luxurious haircutteries of the world. Instead, when time comes for the shearing, we visit the in-laws, where my flowing locks are removed courtesy of the father-in-law's home barber kit. He doesn't use it, mind you, but it's good enough for the likes of me.

The first time I submitted to the ministrations of G-daddy's electric clippers it was an event. SW sat me up in a chair outside on the deck, running her fingers lovingly through my hair. The kids were gathered round to watch, and a towel was gently wrapped round my neck prior to the wielding of the scissors.

"This isn't so bad," I remember thinking. The more fool me. The shepherd may be gentle the first time, but once a particular sheep is used to the shearing, what's the point?

As you may have gathered, there was no such production this past weekend. No chair, no wife, no running of fingers through the hair. There was just myself, the barber kit, and a vaguely bored Ngnat on the back deck of the in-law's house, with no mirror save the poor one provided by the windowpane in front of me.

To be fair, it's not like my haircuts are complicated things. All one really needs is an electric clipper with a quarter or half inch guide attached, depending on how much hair I wanted left on my head at the end of the process, and ten minutes of time. The end result is perfectly acceptable to me--I'd consider any more effort on the part of my head to be the exercise of needless vanity*, and even when I patronized the discount barberies of the world my main concern was to get in and out in a minimum of time, with a minimum of chat. Getting my haircut was a chore, akin to taking out the trash or emptying the cat box.

All of that floated through my head as I pawed through the contents of the home barber kit, looking for the clipper attachments, eventually leading to two logical, at least to me, conclusions;

"The less I have to mess with this crap the quicker this will be over with." and

"The shorter my hair isat the end of this, the longer it will be until I have to do it again."

Now it turns out that used normally, the non-guide enhanced electric clippers will cut hair down to about an eighth of an inch, but even that setting can be adjusted downwards, to something that I estimate leaves less than a sixteenth of an inch of stubble behind--and it was quick. Save for some minimal retouching in the back, I was done in about three minutes.

It was a very positive experience, made more so by the reaction of the wife, who declared that I couldn't be left alone for more than five minutes at time without doing something stupid, dammit. She then intimated that perhaps I should have had a pass at the eyebrows as well, they being a little too MarkTwainian in appearance for her tastes. Scotty blinked in confusion for a few seconds when he first beheld the new me, but was otherwise pretty phlegmatic about the whole thing.

Ngnat liked rubbing my head, but told me I didn't look like Daddy anymore.

"Who do I look like?" I asked.

"That man from Annie," she replied, to the general amusement of all round.

I'm thinking about getting one of these for next time, though the extra time I would have to spend shaving would argue against it. On the other hand, use of it apparently drives the women crazy with desire.

*Oddly enough, I developed this attitude only after marriage. The thing I feared most as a teenager was that Mom was going to make an attempt to cut my hair with her home haircutting kit--a process that not only felt like it took forever, but left me looking like the class retard.**

**In my opinion. I may well have looked worse.

Posted by Bigwig at August 31, 2004 11:31 AM | TrackBack
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What I don't understand is that shaving any other part of your body only causes the hair to grow back thicker. Why doesn't that work on the scalp, where it would be arguably more useful for some of us?

Posted by: Kehaar at August 31, 2004 01:15 PM

How about some pictures? Great story especially after I just went and got the $8.95 Sport Clips special. Life lesson #132: Never get a cheap haircut close to quitting time. I now sport the Glen Campbell look. Not the recent arrested drunk version of GC but the old school 70's version. Long on the top and sides and straight accross the ears and around the back. After telling the lady 2 times: "No, you need to take some more off the tops and sides", I gave up. I'll trade you my Glen Campbell for your Sergent Carter!

Posted by: Mason at August 31, 2004 05:07 PM
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