Yesterday’s trip to the barbershop did not go as planned. I should have asked for my usual barber, but I figured, this guy I’ve never seen before at this shop couldn’t possibly screw up such a simple cut. And it is a simple cut: clipped with a #2 guard around the sides and back, short enough on top that I can brush it forward.

Well, the New Guy managed to screw it up. He used a #2 around most of the sides and back. I say “most of” because when I got home, I found a few spots behind my ears that he completely missed. Then on top, instead of using a scissors, he used a #3 guard (maybe a #4) to buzz my head. It hasn’t been this short since the summer of 2001, and I see a lot more of my scalp now than I did back then.

So after New Guy buzzed my head–which I could have done myself for a lot less money–my usual barber (who is also the owner) came over, looked askance at my head, and could tell I was pissed. Usual Guy pointed out that New Guy had forgotten to blend the two different lengths together. Mercifully, Usual Guy did the blending and fixed it up as best he could–but even he missed the same spots behind my ears that New Guy had missed.

When it was all said and done, New Guy removed my apron in such a way as to dump my own hair on my shirt and jeans and, without saying a word to me, walked to the cash register to cash me out. I brushed the hair off my clothes and remained seated. I also remained calm, which I’ve been working at lately because I don’t want to have a heart attack. And I’ve gotten pretty good at not-blowing-up, too. My finger was broken recently, possibly twice, and I would have been perfectly justified in beating the aggressor to death. But I didn’t.

He came back over after a minute or so and asked if anything was wrong. I asked for the mirror to see how badly he’d butchered the back of my head. It wasn’t too bad.

I cashed out and left no tip. That was a mistake–not the no-tip part, I mean the paying-any-money-at-all-part. I should have spoken up earlier and angrier and maybe even buzzed new guy’s head on my way out the door–but then I might’ve blown a gasket. I went home, dug out my scissors and clippers and fixed what I could.

Oh well. At least my pillow feels cooler.