Thursday, December 20, 2007


Meet Vick, my new barber...
Today started out like any other day. After a really good night's sleep, I was determined to go out shopping alone and actually get something accomplished. I headed to PV Mall in hopes of finding a gift for the "Lovely Jules" and I did, in fact do that, but I cannot divulge the events of that experience until after the blessed holiday, just 4 days away.
I already knew that Julie was at another shopping center, having come to the realization that we play so much while shopping together, that we don't accomplish any real purchasing. From the men's room at Sears, my new office, I called Julie who I found at her beloved Arrowhead Mall sitting in a vibrating chair, one of her new favorite pastimes. We agreed to meet at Papadeaux for lunch in 30 minutes. Papadeaux is where we met for out very first date back in August. Somehow that seems like 20 years ago and I mean that in a good way. I thought certainly that Julie would be waiting for me by the lobster tank where she was supposed to meet me 5 months ago, but I found her waving to me in the parking lot like a cheerleader. We dined on deep fried foods and even were able to take home a "mistake" that they made for Julie, fried Calamari. I ate it for dinner....
After lunch, in 2 separate cars we headed to Metro-Center, yet a third shopping center. As soon as we hit the mall, Julie ditched me like a bad habit, yelling that she has GOT to get some shopping done and I seem to prevent that. I wandered about Sears, my old faithful, coming to the realization that my old friend has gone out of the toy business. I bummed around counting mullets on the locals and decided to go back to more familiar territory. I called Julie and she agreed it has gotten awfully ghetto around there. She was heading home and I decided to try for a haircut that I was about 2 weeks late for.
As I pulled into the parking lot at the barber shop, there wasn't a soul around and I was going to take a drink from my water bottle, when a car pulled up on either side of me. I quickly threw down my water bottle, not even stopping to lock up the car and ran into the barber shop. Do you realize how long I would have to wait if those other 2 cars were there for haircuts? As luck and fast moves would have it, the 2 cars went to another shop and I was first into the barber shop.
As I entered, my little Italian barber got up from his chair, put down his newspaper and shook my hand, saying something in Italian. I figured what he had said was, " go to the other barber this time, I gots a sore toe", because he sat his ass back down into his chair and picked up his paper. The second barber greeted me and offered me a seat. That was fine, the little Italian guy bored me with his negative personality and I wasn't really thrilled with his work either.. My new guy and we'll call him Vick, looked about 60, had a shaved head and also spoke in broken English. Although I'm always cautious with a new barber, I kind of liked this guy as he seemed to be taking his time and asking me a lot of questions about my hair. He almost seemed timid. After discussing and analysing and inquiring, he took the clippers and began to give me a crew cut! Vick, I yelled WHOA!!! What are you doing? Too short!!! I excitedly said, I know you can't put any hair back on and start over, but I WISH you could. If you can, can you keep to the longer side of what you've already done and try to leave me a little hair, afterall I not going to the prom! When a man my age goes to a barber shop, after spending half of my fortune on hair transplantation, after spending 15 minutes every morning re-arranging my hair to TRY to cover most of my scalp, along comes a Vick and ruins my plan. Geesh!
I calmed WAY down and let Vick continue to do his magic, afterall it's just hair. Vick started making a little small talk with me and that he's only been in this country for 13 years from Russia. Then he asked me where my people were from and I told him that we are of Russian descent, as well. Vick, short for Bolshevik, got this big smile on his face and asked where??? I told him I thought it was Latvia. He got very serious and asked, WHEN.. Oh, I'm not quite sure, I'm third generation American, but probably around the turn of the century. Again a very stern look and he said, if it was before 1900, you were Polish, not Russian! Latvia was part of Poland until 1900. Just to keep the peace and remember he was cutting my hair, I told him I thought it might be around 1905! Vick was good with that and continued to cut.
Suddenly Vick STOPPED cutting. He stood back and said, what's this, not your hair? I confessed that it was transplanted hair, hair form the back of my head, moved to the front in surgery. What's this transplanted hair? It's YOUR hair? Yes, as I explained the theory again. ....and it grows too?. (Now get this, I'm explaining my whole life to this guy that I named Vick, that I'm entrusting my hair to and he's a barber and has never heard of a hair transplant) Frankly, I'm thinking I really shouldn't be here. Then Vick asks if there are special barbers for people with this kind of hair. I tell him no, I've been using regular barbers for the 15 years that I've had it. Finally Vick is quiet for awhile when he suddenly wants to know my age. Sixty-one, I tell him. With his Russian accent he is in shock, no way, he says. I thought you were MY age, 48. Holy crap, I thought Vick was 60 at least. Those Russians must be hard on you when you tell them you want to leave!
Every barber shop I've been to, has a mirror facing the victims, so you know at all times what the barber is doing to you. That's not the case here. I only got the news that I would be waiting for about 30 days for my hair to grow back, when I got to the end. He wheeled me around and I looked into the mirror and saw the damage. I accessed and decided to call Julie and invite her to a prom and decided to pay for the haircut instead of just calling the police and reporting them for scalping me.
Then Vick held a hand mirror behind my head and showed me the completely bald spot that I knew I had. He told me that if I decided to comb my hair straight back, I could cover that bald spot up, which is exactly how my hair was combed when I walked into this place.. I just might have to go back to Ernie..................on my knees! Merry Christmas.

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