When I'm keeping my hair short, I go to a cheap barbershop and tell them to sse the #6 guide on the clippers and that it's just like mowing a lawn. However, whenever I decide to grow my hair a little longer, or to be more accurate, lumpier, I go to the rockabilly themed barbershop that's about a half hour's walk from my apartment. I make an appointment with D. and I'm usually happy with the results.
But there is a twist. With D., the longer you can keep him engaged in conversation, the better the haircut you get, so it's best to come prepared with a couple of topics to discuss. I hadn't realized this until one time D. was either talked out or not in a social mood. Then my haircut consisted of clip-clip-clip okay you're done. That's it? Yeah, that's it.
Beyond the obvious benefit to my coif, I enjoy talking with D. for as long as possible because he's an entertaining conversationalist. He once swore me to secrecy before telling his idea for a novel. Upon hearing the idea I regretted my promise and wished I was the sort of person who stole ideas. It was that good. Another time, his story of the police trying and failing to arrest a local drug dealer slowly evolved from "guess what happened in the neighborhood today" to a great unfilmed Keystone Kop misadventure. "He looks like...Stan Laurel" D. said of the drug dealer, an image that still makes me laugh.
So while getting my hair cut last week, I was able to keep D.'s attention for a good long time with stories about my recent trip to London and Paris. "You took your mom? That's so sweet! I'd love to take my mom and dad on a trip overseas, but one at a time, thank you. Not together."
This seems to be the definition of karma: do something nice like take someone on a trip and the universe rewards you with a better haircut. On the other hand, last time I saw my sister, she asked "Did you get a haircut?" Hearing yes, she looked it over before asking in earnest "Did you do it yourself?"