austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Clean your act up and don't be a slob

I went for a haircut. This is after a surprisingly short, for me, interval: barely two months since my last haircut. In college once I managed to go eight months without -- one thing or another kept me from my barber -- and the difference afterwards was so dramatic everyone asked me about it. I don't just mean friends or my roommate; I was asked by professors, by the person working by the change machine at the student center game room who couldn't give change just because the machine was broken, and by one of the food servers at the dining hall. It reached a point that when people asked me if I'd had a haircut I started saying ``no'' just to have something else to talk about.

So Thursday I called my barber -- he doesn't take appointments, but it's worth making sure he hasn't decided to skip the afternoon -- and he said it would be a great day: it was a bit of a haircutting lull. I got there just as he was out for lunch, and there was another person waiting for him. I provided my usual level of conversation, which he finds extremely satisfying. That is, I sat and made vaguely agreeable noises while he told me that he figured I'd eventually hook up with a Chinese woman about seven years younger than I am, and that he Knows People at a half-dozen colleges around the state so if I applied to them he could tell them that I'm a genius and they'd be lucky to hire me. He also promised that if I ever needed to do something a little wild I could call him and he'd swap cars with me so that I would have, uh, deniability, I suppose. I can't emphasize enough how much he enjoys having me as customer.

Today, it turns out, my father went to him too. He learned there that I had been to the barber shop and reported this to my mother, who looked at me and agreed that yes, I had gotten a haircut yesterday. And they hadn't noticed me yesterday? Nope. Or this morning when my mother explained to me that she had bought a Swiffer broom mop thingy and showed how you wield it at floors? Nope. I wonder if they were joking.

Trivia: Germany's representatives brought their own fountain pens to sign the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919, avoiding the pens provided by French patriotic societies. Source: Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed The World, Margaret Macmillan.

Currently Reading: The Siege of Eternity, Frederick Pohl.


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