It’s time for your final NYCWD update:
We reached $3500! That’s an average of $350 per day, and $14.58 per hour! We received 275 donations from almost every state in the country plus Canada, Australia, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Now, I’m just waiting for some pending check payments through Paypal to officially clear, and a check will be sent to NYCWD to help alleviate any of his costs, personal or otherwise.
Thank you to everyone for your generosity. I was completely amazed at the outpouring of support from the blogging community. It was absolutely tremendous. And thank you to Amy for creating these great graphics that have circled the globe and been downloaded 700 times!
And now, Tuesday’s post:
Since learning about the awesomeness of a professional shave, I started going to the barber’s every Monday. I would get shaved every week, and every third week, I’d get a haircut. I started off with the original guy, but he was a bit unreliable, so I moved on and started getting everything done exclusively by the owner, Cori. She was great, didn’t make small talk, and it’s been a great 4 months.
Then came yesterday. I should have known that something was up when I didn’t see Cori’s car in the parking lot. I walk in and ask the barber who was there (who I didn’t recognize), “Where’s Cori?”
“Oh, Cori’s out until Thursday. She rescheduled all of her customers with Anthernee.”
“Who’s Anthernee?” I ask, with severe trepidation creeping into my voice.
“I am!” A voice booms out from the back of the room. I expect to see a virile young man walk out, ready to give me my shave and a haircut. Instead, a wizened little black man comes slowly around the corner. He was only about four feet tall, and it took him a full five minutes to walk the 15 feet to his chair. “Hop on in,” he booms, and I jump because his voice is so uncharacteristic of his size and age! How do his lungs produce that much power?
I reluctantly sit in the chair and watch helplessly as it takes all of his strength, pushing with both of his hands, to turn the chair to face the mirror. “I’d like you to do a shave, trim the beard, and give me a haircut,” I say. “Just trim the sides and the top – nothing fancy is necessary.”
“No problem,” he says, and, after putting the apron around my neck and fastening it, picks up a comb and a pair of scissors. And I watch in rapt fascination and abject horror as his hands shake worse than Michael J. Fox on a bad day.
Moving so fast that they almost blurred, his shaky hands holding implements of sharp pain got closer and closer to my head. I closed my eyes and said a quick prayer. “Oh God of Haircutteries and Salons, please let my death be quick and painless at the hands of the vibrating scissors of doom.”
I’m not sure if he just had to get the shaking out of his system, but once the scissors actually touched my head, it stopped immediately. Or so I thought. It could have been that with one hand he was just shaking the chair at such a rhythm that we were all synchronized in our movements. I don’t know. At any rate, the haircut was painless.
Then we move onto the shave. “You’re going to look like Charlie Daniels,” he says.
Having no idea who that is other than a vague memory of the name, I nod sagely. Well, as sagely as one can nod when covered with a towel and with a razor blade against your neck. “Most people think I look like Kevin Smith,” I said.
“Cam Sharif? No, you don’t look anything like him.”
“Ah yes, of course.”
Slowly (oh every so slowly), he shaves my face. I feel the straight razor scraping my cheeks, my neck, my ears, and, strangely, right under my lips. That doesn’t make any sense, because I have a beard there, but I assume that he’s just making a straight line so that it doesn’t look quite so grizzly. I soon forget and close my eyes and relax, figuring that I’ll either die by Ol’ Mr. Shaky Hands, or he’ll finish the job and I’ll survive.
Once he’s done, he removes the hot towel from my eyes, raises the chair, and I look at this in the mirror:
I mean, what the fuck? Why do I have bald spots under the edges of my lips? What would entice this ancient barber to give me a perpetual frown? I went home and showed my wife, and the first thing she said was, “Oh my God. You look like a clown now!” And she was right.