The Handshake

I went to the barber this week and sat waiting for a free chair. It was a busy day and that meant about 15 minutes cooling my heels on the bench. The shop is one of a small chain throughout the city and the local branch is in my closest shopping centre. As I had nothing else pressing me more than the mop of unruly hair, I was quite happy to sit there.

I should have been happier had the barber shop kept better magazines to read. They had a rack full, but they were all publications about the hairdressing and barbering business. Very well produced, glossy and colourful, but totally uninteresting to anyone outside the trade. They were in a rack under the eye of the principal of the shop, but I guarantee none of them will ever be stolen…

But all was not gloom. When I went to the chair the barber introduced himself to me and offered his hand for a shake. This has never happened to me before in 71 years of having hair. We proceeded to the more mundane aspects of the business – what form of haircut, what number clippers, etc. I ordered one that left the ears intact but more or less razed the forest around them, and I am pleased to say that I got what I wanted.

When you are ” of an age ” your hair may not be what it once was. Unless you are Paderewsky or Einstein and sport a wild mane of distinguished white hair, the few tufts that push out amongst the increasingly bare patches start to look like rank growth, and the lower ranks at that. The comb-over is universally decried but equally almost universally tried. Each haircut is an agony of choice followed by the sort of expression that you get after a sheep is shorn. In some cases that tar is very hot…

I opted for a N0.2 all over followed by a N0. 1 at the sides. it is a Air Force haircut and would be equally at home on John Glenn or Mickey Spillane. I was frightened to look into the mirror but I’m actually quite pleased. And I shall remember the formula for the future – it was quick, simple, and done for $ 6 under the standard price. The wife has not collapsed into paroxysms of laughter so all is well.

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