Haircuts Are a Tool of the Devil

If you’ve seen me on campus lately, you’ve probably noticed something different about my appearance. “Hey, Joe, did you add 25 pounds of muscle weight to your biceps?” No, but nice try. “Is that a new coat, keeping you both warm and at the forefront of current fashion trends?” Wrong again, I’ve had this one since last season. “Is it breast augmentation surgery?” No and you’re just getting creepy, so we’re going to stop playing this game. Actually, the cosmetic change that eluded your kind flattery is just a simple haircut.

For the first eighteen years of my life, I went to the same barbershop for every haircut. When it came time for me to leave for college, I found myself in search of a new barber. The thing is, they don’t have barbers in the city. They only have stylists. “Stylists?” you ask. Stylists, I reply. Yeah, I don’t like it either. Ever since, I’ve had a bad feeling about going to get my haircut, but now I’ve finally put my finger on it as I’ve discovered the true evils lurking beneath the looming symbol of a pair of scissors and a smiling Italian caricature.

Typically, I have problems at my respective hair-removal establishment right off the bat. “What are we doing with your hair today?” It’s such a simple question and yet each time it is posed it catches me off guard, completely preventing all rational thought. The first thing that comes to mind is always, “Well, I guess I’d like it shorter on top. Shorter on the sides, too. And, oh yeah, let’s shorten up the back while we’re at it.”

No kidding? Shorter? Because these people are generally in the business of lengthening hair. Are you sure they know how to do that? To further complicate matters, a hair-chopper will typically respond with utmost patience, “Okay, how much shorter?” To which I can think of no clearer response than “Oh, only a little bit.”

Friends, after deep consideration, I have calculated that there are approximately an equal number of hairs on my head as there are different interpretations of “a lil’ bit.” How many times do you think hair shredders of the world have received such ridiculous instructions? You watch, within a couple of months you are going to hear about a barber who hears this one too many times, loses it and goes postal by taking a little too much off the top. Like the entire head.

I think I got my just desserts this time, though, because my assigned hair attendant appeared to have issues with touching people. Not a good choice of profession in my humble opinion. It took a pretty significant amount of effort for her just to get her hands on my head. Eyes flustered, she would spastically flinch until making contact, and then her hands would shake like a recovering alcoholic at an Irish wake. A word of wisdom to all you future stylists out there: undergoing violent jerking gestures in the area of another person’s head while holding a pair of sharpened scissors in your hand is not going to be good for any business. Just ask my father the accountant.

I must ask: how the hell do they get away with the prices in these places? First of all, it’s just unfair that my getting an eighth of an inch snipped off the top is the same price as Chewbacca coming in for a full body crew cut. Equal prices for everyone regardless of work? That sounds like the blatant calling card of Communism to me, my proletariat friends. It seems that the Big Red Menace has set its sights on the hair-care industry. It’s a brilliant plan if you think about it. Wait- no it isn’t.

Anyhow, the way the prices should work is that they cut your hair, then weigh all of it that falls to the floor and charge you by the pound. Now that’s democracy. The kick in the pants about it all is that even if you get a horrible, put-your-head-in-a-bag-until-April kind of haircut, you still have to pay for it. At full price!! Where’s the justice in that?

As if the prices weren’t ridiculous enough, can somebody explain to me why I’m expected to tip these people? At restaurants we pay for the food and then give the server a little something extra for her services. Be it salon or barbershop, you’re not getting any food (at least not at the places I’ve been to), so the price you are paying is completely for the service. The thing that could be considered as an act of consumption would be the dime-sized amount of hair gel they glop onto your head. Even with your most expensive designer hair goop, that can account for no more than 37.5¢ of your total price. So what the hell is the tip for?

I’m sure you’re currently thinking, “Joe, you are so brilliant. And handsome. But a simple-minded person such as myself cannot possibly come up with a solution to this tragic state of affairs.” First of all, you’re being too hard on yourself. Second, thanks for the handsome bit. But worry not, for what kind of a hero would I be without providing an ironclad solution to this dilemma? I say that the only way to stop these dastardly devious stylists from succeeding in their fiendish plots to rule the world is to train and excel our skills in home hair styling. That’s right, I propose everyone go out and purchase a Flowbee. Vacuum assisted hairstyling may seem outdated and yeah, quite pathetic, but I think it is the only way to go.

Such an action will allow everyone to give themselves their own identity and revolutionize the world of hair fashion. No longer will we have limited options when choosing a hairstyle. Starting today, we define ourselves through the artistry of our own hair. Also, this will ensure that somebody out there has a worse haircut than the butchery I had the pleasure of paying $20 for last week. Oh yeah, let’s not forget the tip.

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