Well, my throat wasn’t cut by an inexperienced knuckle-dragger who got his barber’s license in a Cracker Jack box. I survived and actually enjoyed the experience. The guy cutting my hair was this little tiny wiry guy from New York who had been cutting hair for 25 years.
When I walked in to the shop, I looked like this:
Click on that for a larger version to truly get the full impact of my appearance. I looked like the unholy love child if Bigfoot and Ted Kaczynski fucked.
After running for the door thinking I was a bear foraging for food, the barber calmed down after he realized that most bears don’t wear shoes. He sat me down in the chair and asked me what I wanted.
“Shave it all off. Use a #2 on the head. Shave the beard but leave a goatee with a line along my jawline.”
With a thick New York/Puerto Rican accent, he explained that shaving my head was beneath him. He is a barber and he had been barbering for many years. My head was just a sculpture that needed to be let out, and he was the artiste to do so.
So I let him do his thing, and after I said no to the afro, the bouffant, and the pigtails, we came up with a nice clean hairstyle that felt nice and wasn’t as extreme as a total buzzcut. As a married man, I’m great at telling someone that they’re right, so I thanked him for doing what was best for me and told him he clearly was the expert here.
Then it came time for the shave. He makes you put your feet up and elevates you, completely prone on your back. It’s actually quite a vulnerable position and makes me more empathetic to how women feel at the ob/gyn and how mobsters feel at the barber’s right before they get shot in the face in their chair.
He does the whole thing with steam and hot towels and lather and lube and probing. Then he used an electric razor to trim the beard down. I think he had to change razors two or three times because my beard was so thick it kept burning out the razor motors. Next is a Gillette Mach 3 to do one shave. Since I had a hot towel on my upper face, covering my eyes, I’m not sure how many safety razor blades he went through, but I’m sure it was at least four . I think he might have used a blowtorch, a chisel, a sander, and steel wool, as well.
After all this pre-shaving shaving, we got down to the nitty gritty. Out comes the straight razor. The very first thing he does is go right for the jugular and I start spraying blood all over the place. Actually, I barely even felt a thing. The only difference is that a straight razor feels much, much sharper when it’s being run across your face when compared to a Mach 3. The barber had this method of shaving a little at a time, and then smoothing with his hand that made it feel like he wasn’t shaving at all. I almost feel asleep, it was so soothing, but I didn’t. With my luck, I’d start snoring and he’d slit my throat just to get me to shut the fuck up. I know my wife would like to do that some nights.
When he was done (2 hours later) he said, “My God, that was like shaving a bear. I can’t believe how stubborn the hairs on your face were – I’ve never had to shave someone five times before just to get it somewhat smooth!” I laughed because I knew that it would be stubble again by the time I walked out the door. That’s the curse of being related to Captain Caveman, I guess. This is the first time in my entire life, though, that my face has felt smooth when I run my hand both up and down! It’s like the time I set my pubes on fire instead of trimming them – now that was smooth skin!
So I gladly paid him the money and even signed up for a monthly membership. Unlimited haircuts and shaves for $55/month. Seems like a deal to me – I might even start going once a week. I wonder if they give happy endings?
Oh yeah, and here’s the final product: