I’ve enjoyed some awesome haircuts in my time. From the Damien Thorne-style bowl cut of my youth, to the (then-terminated unfashionable) mullets of my headbanging teens, to the 1990s grunge Jesus look, how many weird styles did I shed before I learned to embrace and love them. Short-back-and-side.
It was not an easy transition; I thought long luscious hair like Charles Manson made me artistic and interesting, when in fact it made me more like Charles Manson. But it was hard to lose it all, no matter how many nightclubs I was now able to access.
The short-back-and-side works because it’s so simple; Tight all around so that my big jug ears can catch every conversation Alan Bennetsch has around me in line for the self-service checkout at Tesco, but with enough length on top that I can try styling it or simply wear it with my hands To walk through this Hold my head in my hands And cry about my dwindling hopes in life.
When I get a haircut these days, I am guided by one principle – do it where for the least money. It’s not that I don’t care about my looks anymore, but I’ve come to the conclusion that even if the barber gives you a great cut one day, a month later the same person can give you a cut that doesn’t look like you. look good in like Anne Hathaway’s tragic Fantine Les Miserables, There’s no buyer’s remorse when you know you got a deal.
Obviously my wife has different views. When the boys were young, at her request, they all had long hair. If they had to get even a little haircut, she would either do it herself or insist on taking them to the barbers herself. She was also deeply critical of almost every barbershop in our hometown and still insists on bringing them to a personal barbershop on campus, as if she somehow found Edward Scissorhands and every other haircare in the Middleton metropolitan area. The pro drives it like leatherface swinging. his chainsaw at the end of Texas Chainsaw Massacre,
Her insistence on long hair usually flared up around bath time when the boys turned into Krakens as we tried to wash their unruly mops. After the trauma of trying to wash all the suds out of our eyes, ears, nose and scalp, there was a respite in the school-going years, when haircuts became an important part of looking sharp so that other parents wouldn’t think we were Hills of some sort (we are not rich enough to be mistaken for members of organic farming).
I’m also happy to report that now, along with my youngest, eight, and her older brother, 10, I’m finally being allowed to bring them for haircuts. It took a lot of pleading on the boys’ part to make this happen, but once I told them I’d found a barbershop that was not only the cheapest in town but also offered free soft drinks, they took my side. So off we went, and this time it was going to be different — I wasn’t about to stand there and give incredibly detailed instructions to any haircare professional. My wife does this and I always find it a bit insulting for these highly trained people to give them a 10 minute lecture on phrenology before every cut, and then watch them like a hawk to make sure they follow every instruction to the letter do follow. So I asked the barber to give the boys a short slicked back, with a trim on top, and then I sat down and stared at my phone.
When I looked up, it was a tale of two trims: One son, with a head the size of a thumb, seemed fine. The other son, his mother’s favorite and darling child and the one she adores, had a haircut, looking as if he had lost a bet. I’m not sure what the barber heard when I said short back-and-sides and trim on the top, but it sounds like it was ‘please make my baby look like folk troublemaker Paul Simon circa 1968’. The kid was quite amused by it – he thinks it makes him look like Premier League footballer Phil Foden, when in fact it makes him look like Lloyd Christmas, Jim Carrey’s character fool and fool, It’s a horrendously bad haircut and I’m now forbidden from ever taking them to the barbers again. More free soft drinks for me.