There are six things the Lord hates, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies and one who sows discord among the brethren. Maybe there are eight things; looking for a new barber.
What is it with barber shops? Why is going to get my hair cut such a traumatic event in my life that I postpone it until the last possible moment? It’s not until I wake up in the morning and discover that my hair has miraculously turned into a shark’s dorsal fin that I begrudgingly head out in search of a barber shop.
I’d prefer to attend formal confession then make my quarterly trips to the barber shop. I’d rather visit my dentist, who by the way I actually like, and have a root canal that lasted for three weeks then walk a green mile to the doors of a barber shop.
So why are most barber shops built with a 1920’s brick facade that make me think of the story about the three little pigs being eaten by a ravenous wolf? Why upon entrance, into a small seven by nine foot room, are there always two televisions running totally different programming? If there is a heaven, and I believe there is, then there won’t be long hair, barbers or quaint little brick barber shops to visit.
It never fails that every time I enter a barber shop every single person, from the six month old baby in a car carrier to the fifteen men waiting patiently for their turn, always turn to look at me. And they gaze at me with the inquiring eyes giving me a very thorough examination. If I think hard enough I can almost read their minds “Wow, I’m glad I didn’t wait as long as that guy to get my hair cut!” or “Gees just look at that doo, he’s probably homeless and just wants to use the bathroom.”
Once inside with my blood stream full of adrenalin I’m forced to decide which barber to pick. Six months earlier I had the pasty white looking fellow with the shaky hands who did a decent job of cutting my hair. Now, he’s busy and I’m forced to choose the new guy, whose chair is empty and resembles someone just released from prison and is out on parole.
“Sit down, what can I do for you today?” the man inquires “Ah…, I want my haircut?” I reply questionably, not sure if this is why I had come in. After a short time of surveying the price board I brilliantly reply “Regular hair cut, please”. The barber then places a white apron tightly around my neck which pinches me and feels more like a hemp noose as it is being cinched up around the neck of a convicted cattle rustler.
“How do you want me to cut it?” the barber’s boisterous voice echoes off the full length mirror “carefully” I think to myself would be a good start . I begin to scrutinize his credentials as his hand reaches into what looks like an old pickle jar for a pair of 1920’s scissors. I gulp and ponder “Did I remember to tip this guy the last time I was here?”
Now comes the part of the entire experience I despise the most, “small talk”. “It’s been awhile since you’ve been here? Are you new around here?” exhales the barber as if the question is part of a reusable sound track loop embedded in his brain. The barber operates his prehistoric scissors as they make a kind of metallic crunching sound and tear a clump of hair from my scalp. “Oh, I hate this pair” exclaims the barber and puts the broken scissors right back into the glass jar that I’m hopeful is filled with formaldehyde.
Meanwhile the entire shop has managed to clear out completely and I find that I have been left alone with the barber from Seville. Looking down for a moment, as the barber forcefully twists and contorts my chin back into a face the front orientation, I notice a long abrasive strap hanging from the chair I’m fastened to and several straight blade razors lazily lying in a Pyrex laboratory dish on the counter.
Out of the corner of my eye I see the barber grab one of the razors and sport a familiar smirk in the mirror “Sha..ve?” says the barber. That’s my cue as I jump out of the chair, tear off my smock and ask “How much do I owe you? As I contemplate the eight things the Lord hates.