April 25, 2010

Rocking the Skin Head Look: Life After a Bad Hair Cut

In light of the times I think it's best I enter the disclaimer that I am by no means a skin head. I don't aspire to be one, nor do I act like one. I just look like one from the adam's apple to the top of my misshapen head.

I have cut my own hair for about 6 months now. A buzzed head really doesn't deserve the full price of admission at my local Super Cuts ($17!), and I have grown tired of them calling me "Grang."

"Haircut for Grang!" they shout. "Grang you ready!" Oh ladies!

I always thought "Grant" was easy to pull off, especially when spelled out, but the friendly, non-English speaking ladies prefer "Grang." I've always been curious if that is a popular name back in their mother land.

I also gave up on sporting a reasonable haircut with longish locks some time ago. Like Andre Agassi, I fully believe that a man who cannot support a full head of hair deserves none at all. As I am self-diagnosed with pre-mature (when is it not?) balding, I see it as both good form and good taste to own up to my disability both publicly and emotionally.

Clippers are easily manipulated...perhaps too much so. Like a handgun that ends up in a child's hands and puts two holes in a beloved piece of upholstery, I accidentally scorched a stripe down my head that was way too short. Short like handing the bartender $3.47 when you really owe him $60 + tip.

I knew I had gone too far when a beacon of pale whiteness bounced off my bathroom mirror and temporarily blinded me. I now know that the Indians didn't scalp the white man because it was a cultural thing, but because the pasty heads of European settlers were obnoxious. If I didn't have so much to live for, I probably would have scalped myself.

The problem with a bad buzz is that there is no turning back. Once you go to short you must continue onwards. I did this with quite a bit of amusement as my hair became so short I was able to experiment with the clippers and obtain glimpses into my future of baldness: the friar tuck rim, the partial comb-over, the unnecessarily long sideburns, and of course, the little back of neck curls. The kind of curls that stereotypes require of men from New Jersey.

What does one do with such a bad haircut? I wore a SF Giants ball cap to the party that evening but that's a temporary band-aid. Perhaps it's not enough to change how I look, but also how I act? Society has expectations and I don't like to leave society hanging. We're too close.

I'm not sure if the military actively recruits in the Bay Area, due to the whiny nature and sissy forearms of its inhabitants. But if I were to find a recruiting station I would absolutely show up and entertain the notion of enlistment. The recruiting sergeant would see my buzzed head as I open the door and just start licking his lips. He might whistle to his comrade in the back, as if to say, "we got one Bill. We got one."

I'd sit down, explain my interest, and just before I sign I'd say "psyche!" I may follow that up with some sort of end zone dance and either "Oh man I got you so good" or perhaps a simple "yes!" The "yes" would probably last about 6 seconds.

You might think I'm a selfish prick, but just imagine the 10 minutes of pure joy I'd provide this man. Yes, long term, I ruined his day. And sure, past those 10 minutes, I did nothing for anybody. But as a society, we are all about the short term and frankly, I'm pretty sure he'd be forced to give me props for bringing back "psyche!"

Plus, I'd be getting more life out of this hair style. More miles. Once this sergeant (and if not him, somebody) manages to get me in jail I already have the haircut required. I don't know about you, but I want to hit the prison yard running.

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