We Need to Talk About Haircuts

By Thomas Hunter:


I am a bad person. There, I said it. Furthermore, I have notoriously messy hair that I try to hide with excessive amounts of gel and gorilla glue. However, whenever anyone points out this rat’s nest, I simply explain that I'm honing the “messy” style — no one is buying it. This combination of “bad-personness” and messy hair makes me a particularly bad customer for the average barber. Even more, I am something that every single person absolutely detests: a teenager.


Today, for example, I walked into the barbershop, and it was packed. A barber looked at me, then down towards my shoes and then back up — he was screening me and I barely passed the first test.


BARBER: Do you have an appointment?


Immediately stress fills my body. Nothing, and I mean nothing, stresses me out more than unexpected questions.


ME: Um… no?


Oh God, I sound like an idiot. Anyways, I have to be nice, respectful, and quiet. Not because I'm a good guy — like we’ve established, I'm not. The reason you have to be nice to your barber is the same reason you need to be nice to your doctor and dentist. They are all one snip away from doing some serious damage.


BARBER: Okay, well, sit down, and I will be with you shortly.


Again, I can’t perform under pressure. I look around and see a row of chairs. I point to one.


ME: There?


The barber cringes as if to say, “Who does the teenager think he is? Does he not know that everyone can see through his “intentionally” messy style and gorilla glue? This is why I hate teenagers.”


BARBER: Uh, yes.


I sit down, berating myself for being so idiotic. I glare at the middle schooler in the barber’s chair. He is getting his haircut, and taking up all my time.


I pull out my phone to one text message: my first of the week! Oh, it’s just my mom.


Ten minutes pass and finally the middle schooler is done. I stand up and begin to walk towards the grand, cushiony barber’s chair.


BARBER: Hold on. Let me clean up this hair first.


I stop awkwardly mid-stride. I waddle back to my chair. The barber cleans up and motions at me to come over. Finally! I really need a haircut and I - Suddenly, a heavy set, white man walks into the room.


BARBER: Appointment?


The barber asks the man.


MAN: Yep.


The barber looks at me as if to say “Get the H-E double hockey sticks out of here, scum!!!” Again, I waddle back to my seat. Twenty minutes pass and the man is finally satisfied with the EXACT SAME HAIRCUT HE HAD WHEN HE ENTERED. Finally, I walk to the barber’s chair. The barber looks at me, his watch, then back to me.


BARBER: Sorry, we’re closed.