Barber shop blues

So let’s talk about hair.

Not mine. Well, I did get my hair cut today.

But this is not about that. This is about Monday, when I took my boys for their back to school haircuts. Our goal was to secure decent haircuts and then head to the pool for one last summer hurrah. But things didn’t go exactly as planned.

To start, the first place we stopped was smokey and dark. It was only after Henry was up in the seat with the cape on that the lady informed me they only take cash. I had already paid for a parking meter, so it was with much sighing that I schlepped all 3 kids back into the car and drove to Kroger for cash. At Kroger, our exasperation grew when, while standing in line to buy something for cash back, we realized we were in the only open line and in front of us were several Moms with heaping carts of junk food.

A half hour later we were back in the car and headed to the cash-only barber. Except our parking meter was gone when we returned. A few doors down was another barber shop with an actual parking lot. We headed there, despite knowing that there was a 95% chance that “Crazy Barber” would be on duty there.

Oh, you need the background on Crazy Barber? Well, he’s this completely normal looking man in his late 30s who absolutely flipped out on John the last time he took the boys there for a haircut. A long story, but basically he acted like he doesn’t cut little kids’ hair (even though our boys have been there multiple times) and then he proceeded to jerk the boys’ heads around as he cut their hair, rambling on incoherently, completely scaring them out of their wits. (Really, it was worse than all that–John tells it way better, ask him) Later, as John was loading our shocked children into the car, Crazy Barber came out and apologized for going all psycho and invited them to come again anytime.

Which, I took to mean: Come again anytime.

So back to Monday: We pull in the parking lot. We know we are up against Crazy Barber. But he did apologize and invite our family back, so we have that going for us.

And then we enter the barber shop. Um, can I just say that Crazy Barber is THE definition of schizophrenic? He looks at me all crazy-eyed and asks what I want.

“Can you do the boys’ hair today?” I ask.

“I don’t do kids’ haircuts!” he practically screams.

“Well you did them before. My husband brought them, and you said…” and then I was cut off by him screaming,

“What?! I can’t hear  you! I’m trying to cut hair here!” Except he wasn’t. He was just standing there holding a blow dryer that was going full blast.

Now, a normal mother might have left. Ok, would have left. But I was fresh off an entire summer of not taking my kids to the pool, and we were already a half hour behind schedule. I just wanted the damn haircuts.

So I smiled. I pushed Henry forward until the man had no other choice but to button the cape around his little neck. Henry is a resilient little guy.

Henry of course came away afterward looking like he never even had a haircut. During the actual haircut, the man jerked his head side to side and ranted at me about how much he wants to be on the Rachel Ray show. (I never did figure that one out). When it came time for Thomas to sit in the seat, he declined. Wisely, I’d say.

We paid and left. And as we left? Oh yes, Crazy Barber casually calls to us on our way out the door, “Come back anytime!”

Sure. We’ll do that. Right after we SHAVE OUR HEADS.

You might think that is the saddest part of the story, but you’d be wrong. Because when we got home later that day, Thomas still desperately needed a haircut and I, unfortunately, took matters into my own hands.

Oh yes. Now I’m the Crazy Barber.

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