Circus Giganticus

A Slanted Look at our Twisted World

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A Hard Day’s Hair Nightmare

December 22nd, 2009 · No Comments · Comedy/Humor

One morning, while inspecting myself in the mirror, I noticed there was something on my head that looked like the kind of clotted mass you fish out of a clogged drain. Or maybe it looked like the handiwork of a crazed Bulgarian stool sculptor. I peered closely in the mirror to determine just what it was. “My God!” I exclaimed as recognition dawned…IT WAS MY HAIR I was looking at! My panicked mind could offer no answers as to how this hirsute horror came to crown my head. I recoiled from the mirror covering my eyes crying out, “Make it stop! Make it stop!”

This was a problem that was going to require the skills of a seasoned professional. I needed not just a run-of-the-mill haircut. No, I needed a hair artist! But where to start. My idea of fashion are baggy cargo shorts and logo-free t-shirts. I wasn’t going to be able to say to my wife, “You know, spike it up a little and make it look good.” No, those days of free take-what-you-get basement haircuts were over. Uh-uh, I was going to have to “choose” a “style” and have a “stylist” “style” my hair. I was not altogether sure how to begin when inspiration struck! In one of the strip malls I pass on the way to work everyday was a place with a sign that read: International Haircuts $9. Perfect I thought. Maybe I could request the Filipino Flip, or the Mexican Marcel, maybe the Belgian Beehive, or the Shanghai Shag. I was going greater distances than to a local hair salon… I was going hair fashion global!

“You are a moron, “ my friend assured me with disgust when I told him my hair fashion plan. “ 9 bucks is what you pay for a basket of tacos, not a hair correction procedure. And what the hell is the Mexcian Marcel? A wrestler? Listen, go to the salon that has the babes in lingerie. You’ll pay a pile of money but hey, you get to hang out with women in lingerie.” My friend had opened my eyes to the expense of hair fashion restoration. No, I was looking at serious money for my problem. But I couldn’t go the stylists-in-lingerie-route. I needed to be focused and free of the distractions such a styling salon would most assuredly present. But where to go? I was as a Yul Brynner in a Robert Plant world.

Serendipity presented itself later that day at the grocery store. The woman in front of me had a beautiful hair-fashion-style-creation that announced to the world, “This is one expensive and stylish do and you may stare. It is expected.”

“Excuse me miss, “ I stammered. “I…er…your…I was wondering if you could tell me where you get your hair done? I mean it is a really…um…terrific hair statement.”

“Emils,” she answered icily, not deigning to look at me.

Emils? I did the homework when I got home and learned Emils was THE salon located in the most exclusive shopping enclave in the city. My mind was made up. I made the call to Emils.

“Two months? I can’t get an appointment for two months?” I asked the person at Emils incredulously.

There was a long, bleak silence on the other end of the line.

“Well how about if there’s a cancellation? Can I get in then?” I inquired.

“There are never cancellations at Emils,” responded the snobbish voice on the other end of the phone.

“O.K. then, see you in two months,” I said cheerily and hung up.

Those two months passed slowly. I gathered quite a collection of hats and even broke out some of the Halloween wigs stored in boxes in the attic. I couldn’t help but notice I was stared at less in public when wearing the old Halloween wigs.

Finally, the big day arrived. I wore a pair of baggy cargo shorts and an old Neil Young t-shirt to create an aura of fashion insouciance. I was greeted by the hostess, ushered into what they called the “green room” and told to help myself to refreshments from the cocktail cart. Not too much later a stunning woman with altitude defying hair entered the green room and, when she locked her gaze on my hair, registered such a look of disbelief she might as well have been looking at a roomful of meth crazed woodchucks playing Twister.

“Come with me,” she gasped and led me out of the green room and down a hallway.

“Ordinarily,” she said to me over her shoulder while walking briskly, “we would finalize our ideas in one of the style consultation rooms. In a situation such as the one we face we must bypass idle deliberation and seek the Master’s counsel.”

I was deposited in a spacious leather chair in the “style studio” and told to sit quietly and to make no eye contact with the other clients.

“Emil. I must find Emil,” my stylist muttered as she crossed the studio in quest of Emil.

Some minutes passed before my stylist reappeared before me with He Who Must Be Emil.

Emil was whippet thin and dressed in tight black trousers that had a sheen, a tight black shirt that had a sheen, black shoes that had no sheen, and a small pencil thin black mustache. My stylist stood in place wringing her hands while Emil slowly circled my chair.

“Do not move your head!” he hissed in a strange accent that could have been Eastern European or New Jersey turnpike.

After several revolutions around me, Emil muttered what I thought was “Jesus wept” and strode back to my stylist where they began to converse in frantic whispers with much gesticulating. My stylist kept shaking her head until finally she gave one quick nod and approached me.

“Emil says that our best chance of success is to administer a general anesthetic to you.. This way please.”

My stylist marched me back to the cocktail cart, crossed her arms and demanded I drink. I poured a small glass of Bushmills’ and took a small sip.

“No!” she shouted grabbing the bottle of Bushmills’ and filling my glass. “Drink! DRINK!”

I was escorted back to the stylist chair and when the anesthetic was causing me to drift off from consciousness I remember seeing Emil approach in a full apron and a hair net and rubber gloves.

Later, I came back to consciousness, my stylist gently slapping my cheeks.

“Success!” she exclaimed

I was led to the customer service area and told today’s services totaled $149. I groggily settled up and as I was leaving I looked in the mirror. I looked… good! I smiled. My stylist stood next to me beaming with pride and a look of real accomplishment.

“Emil agonized over the problem at hand, but after careful consideration chose the one best possible style for you. Emil graced you with what he calls “an international haircut.” The Mexican Marcel! Emil is a genius! A genius! No one in the world could have done what Emil has done today.”

“My ass,” I said as I set down a $9 tip for Emil and exited the salon into the bright sunlight of a well-coiffed afternoon.

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