I love talking to my barber. He is a great judge of character and has an opinion on most every subject. He is an absolute authority on sports and politics. I always seek his advice on controversial subjects and he almost always proves to be right with his recommendations. I certainly wish President Bush had him as an advisor. We wouldn’t be in the mess we are in with Iraq. The Dallas Cowboys and Temple Wildcats would also have winning teams if his advice was followed.
It is sad that the old time barber is disappearing from the American scene. They are being replaced by the young kids, at the jiffy cuts in the mall, who know nothing about life and very little about cutting hair.
Barbering has changed a great deal in the past several years. Men no longer get a shave in the barbershop. As a matter of fact, razors are no longer allowed. The barber is afraid of spreading hepatitis or AIDS with the nick of a razor. The familiar razor strap attached to the old barber chair is no longer there. Styles have also changed a great deal. Men let their hair grow longer and get cuts much less frequently. Because of the decrease in demand for services, the number of barbers has greatly diminished. Men also want their hair styled rather than simply cut which requires the expertise of a beautician. The price of a hair cut has gone from 25 cents when I was a child to 10 or 20 dollars. To go to the beautician for a styling, it is even greater and you have to leave a tip to boot.
The other day we got on the subject of eyebrows. Of course women pluck all of theirs out and simply leave a black pencil mark in place. I can’t stand bushy eyebrows line Andy Rooney, but according to the barber this is the distinctive mark of actors and politicians.
For now I’m just happy with going in for my routine cut and eyebrow trim; plus cutting hairs away from unwanted places like the ear. I mainly go for the great conversation and advice. It is a therapeutic experience.