August 6, 2006


My barber recently retired and it was more traumatic than I expected it to be. This was a female barber, but with the sharp tongue and crusty persona of an old buzzard in a Western movie. When she moved away she sold the business to a younger guy, who hired an older woman to run a second chair, and entering their shop was a tension-filled experience. The first look around was reassuring. There were still combs and stuff in blue Barbicide jars. The magazine rack was filled with sports, car, and hunting mags. The smut was up on the counter, where the kids can't get at it too easily. The daily paper was still the Union-Leader. They hadn't gotten rid of the R2-D2 vacuum with which to suck your neck clean after your cut. There were no women customers. And, best of all, the price was still under $10--though not the blessed $6 it had been for years. Despite these comforting signs, my trepidation returned when the next open chair was the lady's. We kept it light on the conversation, but as she finished up, and was trimming the back of my neck, she grumbled: "It's like sheering sheep back here." And all was right with the world...

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 6, 2006 3:20 PM

What barber do you go to? I used to go to the old guy upstairs on main street but his default mode was the "First Day at Ft Leonard Wood" special so I switched to Wally & Bert's No Shaves (or whatever it's called) on the green. It's more expensive but they give a quality haircut.

Posted by: Bryan at August 6, 2006 3:50 PM

Karen's--though they must have changed the name. Where's the guy on Main? In Hanover?

Posted by: oj at August 6, 2006 3:54 PM

My barber for the past 21 years appears to be either gay or asexual. (I don't ask, and he don't tell.) He is without doubt the best tonsorialist I've ever frequented, with just one flawed haircut in two decades.

My wife is the ultimate judge of such things. She trims my neck every weekend.

So there.

Posted by: ghostcat at August 6, 2006 6:10 PM

He's across the street from Lou's Bakery and Hanover Stings, between that burrito place and the overpriced clothing store. Go upstairs. Nice enough fella and his haircuts are beyond cheap (seven dollars compared to fifteen at No Shaves) but I think he's been nipping at the Barbicide and his haircuts show it.
I'm aware that saying "Near the overpriced clothing store" doesn't narrow it down much in Hanover, but that's as good as I can do.

Posted by: Bryan at August 7, 2006 7:31 AM

Shaky doesn't bother me. We had a guy at Colgate--Old Blind Woody--who had to wear wrist braces because his Parkinson's had gotten so bad. He retired briefly but we were all lost without him so he came back. If you tried watching him cut your hair in the mirror you thought you were watching in sensesurround....

Posted by: oj at August 7, 2006 8:09 AM

oj. Ears being over-rated anyway.

Posted by: erp at August 7, 2006 9:18 AM

Ears are just an evolutionary throwback.

Posted by: Bryan at August 7, 2006 9:35 AM

Bry, didn't Darwin predict that ears would be selected out when mankind evolves from Homo Sapien to Homo Sap?

Posted by: erp at August 7, 2006 5:53 PM

He didn't foresee the evolution of toothpicks into Q-Tips, which has preserved the ear from selection.

Posted by: oj at August 7, 2006 5:58 PM