Holy shit. I was just about to begin expounding about haircuts and barber shops and it occurred to me that I’ve gone down that route here before. The ol’ broken-record blog syndrome! Haha, standby, I’ll try to detour from the beaten path, give me a sec. But I must talk about haircuts because I’ve found this little shop that has gave me the best damned haircut I’ve had in a while. It is owned or run or staffed by a couple of middle-aged Hispanic ladies. Frankly I haven’t the slightest clue their role in the operation, I just know they are there all the time. Remember that show on Food TV, “Two Fat Ladies?” Well, think of that; but in the realm of barrio hairstyling. They are not as old, or as heavy, but the vibe approaches that… I judge a haircut’s effectiveness by how long I can go without the next one while still avoiding a BHD (bad hair day). In other words, if the haircut is bad I may experience a bad hair day the first week already! The average span of time before most haircuts allow a first BHD is about 3.5 weeks. The average life span of a decent haircut. I first visited these chubby ladies about a month ago and it isn’t until now that my hair has begun straddling the territory of BHD, about 4.5 weeks in. I was looking bad and it was affecting my self-esteem, again. So today I decided to drop in and celebrate pre-Valentine’s festivities amidst the buzz of clippers and shearing of scissors, and background Spanish booming over the strange variety show with everyone on the stage busting up at each word the hot blonde host uttered. Obligatory entertainment, of course. After waiting for 45 minutes (what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon), I was finally seated and one half of the hefty barberretes tackled my overflowing ‘do. We agreed a #4 on top and #3 on the sides would give the best nice and clean result. None of that stupid ghetto/gangsta Dodger-rooting BS for me, I’m no damned caricature here to fulfill your racial expectations! Ah the sound of the clippers sloughing away my wild overgrowth, the sound of a lighter scalp returning. Bliss! Halfway though the haircut, I suddenly became aware that all the seats in this place had that strange old-fashioned metal compartment on the right armrests with a cover which flipped open…a built-in ashtray. From under the barber gown, I felt around and there is it was, on the haircutting chair itself. Wow, what a relic. It brought back memories and I realized just how archaic the furnishings my 2 chubby hairstylists decorated their little saloon with actually was. This shit is vintage 1970’s man, at the latest. No one builds built-in ashtrays anymore! Thing is, these seats did not look old. They were black vinyl but clean and without rips or holes or patchwork duct tape keeping their foam innards from spilling out like a bloody, fat-laced hernia from the navel of a distended 315 pound man. These seats looked impeccably maintained but who the fuck builds shit like that anymore? Is it something they coyoted illegally into the US from lands where people don’t care if you smoke while you get a haircut because they have bigger problems to worry about?
I love that man, vintage decor, vintage accessories.
I tried to think of other items that continue to linger around in our modern era but laced with the un-PC fabrication from olden eras before the Nanny state blossomed into an uncontrollable glutton helpless to stop devouring good sense and freedom amidst anxiety-ridden layers of regulation. I couldn’t think of any off the top of my head because any such items have become borderline-extinct cheesy antique pieces, embarrassing crap that no one has the balls to decorate with unless they happen to be two chubby hairstylists scavenging old items in order to run their small business. In retrospect, my $3.00 tip wasn’t earth-shaking but it was entirely worth the trip down memory lane.
Thinking now, I remember 3 items that outlived Nanny’s intrusive and functional bosom:
-My first car, a Ford Maverick, had a front bench seat!. The cloth upholstered sucker could seat up to 4 fastened in by the slightly curious safety of a springy lap belt.
-When my parents bought their first house in 1969, the backyard still housed an old concrete incinerator which oozed memories of ages past when L.A. County residents could happily burn leaves and dead bodies in the comfort of their own back yard.
-My 2nd car, a 1985 Ford Escort did not have that annoying 3rd brake light which the Feds began requiring in all passenger cards in 1986. I love spotting old cars that don’t have one because they seem just as safe with their existing standard 2 brake lights which served us well since the beginning of autmotive history.
And that’s just the shit that has changed in my lifetime.
I actually welcome government’s intrusion in my life when I feel it helps makes a justifiable and logical impact, not when it’s the result of some idiotic overprotective meddling born of that obsessive brand of modern microanalysis that is draining enough in the new corporate boardroom with its swarms of MBA’s and financial reports and spreadsheets, much less when it is hoisted on my by my overly nurturing public officials. We laugh at helicopter moms but aren’t they only possible and invigorated by our helicopter government, always looking over our shoulders while it prepares to band-aid whatever little flaw in Operations which might skin our knees while disguising it as good-sensed, better-safe-than-sorry regulation and illogical concern? Bullshit. This stuff is draining for those of us who endure constant curtailments in liberties of life. The small amenities that don’t mean shit one way or the other. Even if it’s a damned ash tray built into my barber chair. This stuff sucks vitality and puts its cold maternal damper on anything that might have been interesting or just a tad bit risky.
I can’t burn leaves in my yard. I’d rather smell thousands of incinerators fluting burned brush on a winter day than the suffocating black exhaust of garbage trucks carting that shit down the freeway after unloading it from the pretty green city-provided bins.