So, I’ve got a stupid haircut.
I’ve mentioned my barber before — my allegedly bilingual barber, for which English is apparently some sort of ‘hobby’. I’d link to one of those earlier posts, but — well, I’ve got a stupid haircut right now. So I can’t be bothered.
To quickly recap, though, the proprieter of the clip joint isn’t the problem. He’s a nice older man, and speaks fairly fluent English and Spanish. And probably Spanglish, too, though I’ve never asked him, ‘Que es shaking, mi homey‘. Because that’s just not how I roll, mamacita.
Anyway, the real difficulty comes when the main guy’s not available — which is all the time, because everyone else who goes to the barber shop knows to run to him. Me, I’m not that smart, apparently. I don’t think about such things beforehand, and only feel stupid and sad and ashamed afterward. Sort of like sitting through a chick flick, or having sex with a transvestite hooker. Or in Hugh Grant’s case, both, I suppose.
So, I end up getting stuck with the woman, whose English seems to be limited to:
Clearly, she’s not the sort of ‘barber’ that you can discuss the Patriots secondary with, or count on to banter about the sorry state of the Red Sox bullpen. And dammit, that’s standard barber shop fodder. You talk sports, then mention the weather, and maybe — maybe — you ask about the family. That’s it. If the haircut’s not over after that, then you’re not at a barber shop. You’ve gone and sat in a stylist’s chair, and I’ve lost all respect for you. Also, you’re going to pay more than feefteen dollars, that’s for damned sure. Pansy.
Now, she seems to be a nice woman, as far as I can tell from this side of the language barrier. But she’s not much of a barber — by my standards, at least. She’s got this habit of buzzing the back-of-the-head hair away with the electric clippers, then *snip-snip-snip*-ing ever so slightly in the front. Maybe that’s the style; I’m too old and married and dorky to know such things. But it doesn’t really suit me. For three weeks after a haircut, I look in the mirror and think Brian Setzer is stalking me in the bathroom.
I suppose it’s not the absolute last thing I need when I’ve just woken up, but it’s pretty goddamned far down the list. Somewhere just below having Jimmie ‘J.J.’ Walker jump out of my closet, and just above Dame Edna lurking under the bed. Not exactly ‘DYN-O-MITE!‘
At any rate, I know I could try to reason with the barberette. And I do try, I really do. But the conversation usually goes something like this:
Her: You like eet, yes?
Me: Um… well, could you take a little more off in the front?
Me: Can you take it off? Here, in the front.
Me: Take. It. Off.
Her: Meester, ees not that kind of haircut.
Me: No, no — I didn’t mean that. Here, on my head. Can you cut more?
Her: Cut? More?
Me: Right, in the front. Cut more in the front?
Her: But… ees another customer in the chair in the front. No can cut there.
Me: No. The front of my head. Can you cut more hair, on the front of my head?
Her: Que? Jou’re dead? I don’t get eet.
Me: Just… can you… *sigh* Look, here. On the… um, fronto. Of my, uh, cerveza.
Me: Si, si! Cerveza! Get it?
Her: Meester, you can buy me a beer… but I’m steel not going to take off my clothes. You loco, hermano.
So, I figure a stupid haircut is better than being arrested for sexually harassing a Venezuelan lady barber. Or worse, finally convincing her to ‘take eet off’, and having to pay for that. ‘Cause that’s not going to be fifteen bucks. I can tell you that.
Still, that doesn’t make it right. Should I have to suffer with an unfabulous ‘do, just because I slept through high school Spanish class? Must my follicles endure this embarrasment, simply because I don’t carry a Bostonese-to-Latino translation dictionary in my back pocket? Well, apparently so. That’s just the way it goes, I guess. But if it happens again, dammit — cervezas are gonna roll!Permalink | 2 Comments