Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Opie Gone Gay?

This ain’t Opie’s version of Floyd’s Barber Shop!

OK, so I needed my hair cut last week. I have been going to Crap Clips for years, mostly because it was close, cheap, and they actually listened to what I wanted them to do. I did go to an actual stylist/friend of mine until she TOLD me how I wanted my hair instead of listening to me. Mostly this happened because she was overbooked and in a hurry to boot me out. Oh, and she charged a little more than the other guys. But I digress.

So I went on a little walk up to our new favorite local restaurant Tin Star the other day. On my approach, I saw a Floyd’s Barber Shop right next to Tin Star. I thought, maybe I should try this place. So, as I was about home on Friday night, I turned in and decided to give them a shot at making me pretty again. Besides, I was getting a little scraggly and my big performance at Freak Train was just a few days away.

I walked in, gave the young girl behind the counter my name, and took a seat as all stylists/barbers/barberettes were with clients. I took it all in, and I was thinking this place was pretty cool! The floors are all hardwood, and there is brushed silver or black metal everywhere. The front was all glass, the side wall where people sat to wait was a dark red color, and there were a few HDTV’s around with sports playing. The music was a great mix with everything from Hole to U2.

Each stylist had their own sink, angled mirror, and classic barber chair. I looked around and wondered who I would get paired with. Then I noticed the wall the across from me – all rock posters! We’re talking Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, Dead Kennedy’s, Johnny Cash, Beatles, Beyonce, Beastie Boys, I can go on forever! I just thought it was really cool.

A few women seemed to be finished with their clients, but my name was not called. Then, as fate would have it, the one male cutting hair went up to the front, turned around and called my name.

OK, I’ll admit it: I thought he was gay immediately. He was a thin black man with a blue wife beater shirt and plaid pants. His hair was very short and he had a neatly-trimmed goatee. His left arm was tattooed with various Japanese symbols, and his smile was big, straight (ironic) and bright. He stuck his hand out to shake mine, and said, “Hi. I’m Ron.” He had a solid grip, and seemed very friendly. I shook back and said, “Hi Ron, I am Patrick.”

So I sat down, trying not to feel intimidated because the guy about to cut my hair is probably gay. Who cares? I’m a happily married straight man, so why does it matter if he’s gay? It’s not like there are no other gay barbers in the world. In fact, I’m pretty dang sure that the man who cut my dad’s hair when I was little was gay, now that I look back. I know he was divorced (I wonder why) and had kids, but I could just tell that he wasn’t straight. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

Ron asked me how I’d like him to cut my hair. I told him I have been going to “Crap Clips” for the last 5 years and they usually do a 6 on the sides and in the back, and then blend it to the top. Just trim the top a little. I inform him it’s been about 6 weeks since my last haircut. He said OK, grabbed the clippers and went to work

It’s after 5 PM and both Ron and I aren’t very talkative. It’s been a long day for both of us, but I’ve got a great distraction while I sit in the chair: posters! I can’t take my eyes off the Pink Floyd poster to my left. It’s 6 nude women sitting poolside, facing the other way, and each one has a different album cover painted on their back. Freakin’ sweet! And how can you NOT love a place that has a 3’ X 4’ Dead Kennedy’s poster? I’m focusing mostly on the posters directly in front of me because I don’t want Ron to cut me if my eyes try to wander down the wall. Finally I say, “Ron, you’ve got the best chair here. All of the cool posters are in front of your station.” He laughed a little.

Ron asked me how much I wanted off the top, and I said about an inch. My family members keep telling me to keep the top a little longer. So he did the typical snippy with my hair in his fingers. He paid a lot of attention to detail on the top of my head, and was very meticulous around my ears and with the back of my neck. In fact, he tapered my hair in the back because I have a bunch of cowlicks back there. No body has ever even thought of that! I was starting to realize, this could well be the best haircut I’ve had since I stopped paying $30 each time in!

Ron kept petting my head, which I found odd. His big hand would just lay flat on top of my head and then he’d slowly run it down the back. That’s when things started to get a little, uh, weird.

The next thing I know, Ron had his hands on the sides of my head, he’s about 3” from my face and staring right at me. He started to message/fluff the hair on the sides of my head. I’m not sure exactly why, but it took me by surprise. I was a little scared actually. But he went back to work to make sure the length on the sides was perfect and he really amazed me by keeping the hair off my face with a towel, etc.

“Let me trim those eyebrows for you,” he said. “You’ve got a couple strays there.” OK, nobody has ever offered or even thought of doing that before. I’m way impressed. Ron used a comb to pull up my eyebrows, and he snipped them down to look a little less like a jungle. Ron placed his large hand on my cheek and slowly wiped the stray hairs from my eyebrow with his thumb. Holy crap did that feel gay!

Ron then took the paper tape off of my neck and wiped away the hair with a towel. He then stuck the towel around my collar and put warm shaving cream on my neck and also on my sideburns. Again I was impressed! He used a straight razor (ironic, I know!) to shave the back of my neck. He then used that huge hand of his again by placing it on top of my head, putting his thumb above my sideburns and pulling my face up for a better shave. I swear this was like the old barbershops! I can honestly say I’ve never had anyone work so hard for a $19 haircut.

The chair spun backward as Ron handed me a mirror. He explained why he tapered the hair in the back and asked me to look for approval. It looked great. He spun me back around and asked how it looked overall. “Honestly, Ron, this is the best haircut I’ve had in at least 5 years.” He started laughing, but I was thinking it was probably the best haircut I’ve EVER had. He said thanks and gave me a few cards. He apologized about not being too talkative as it had been a long day, and I agreed.

Ron walked me to the front and shook my hand. I told him that I just moved in across the street and I’ll certainly be back. I tipped him $5.00 and walked out looking great and feeling secure in my heterosexuality.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that!


Anonymous said...

You know you liked it! Besides, men give the best haircuts!
I was dying laughing because I could totally picture this! Greg & the boys have actually been getting thier hair cuts at Floyds for a few years now. They love it there. Greg usually goes to the one on Leetsdale & Monaco I think. But has been to the one on Colfax & the one that used to be on Broadway. Austin loves it because you can play games there & get on the net while waiting. I think Greg secretly likes it for the odd yet hot in their own way, chicks.


Collin said...

Straight razors are made of ironic.

Perhaps he's metrosexual and if you don't look good, he doesn't look good?

Bill Purdy said...

Dude... my haircutters (the last one, Roy, had a wife and talked an awful lot about how straight he is, but sure SEEMED awful gay. Actually, now that I think about it, he was a "youth group workin'" born-again Christian -- actually travelled out of state to jamborees & stuff with kids from the local church. Maybe I was just getting that mixed up with gay.) have been trimming my eyebrows for YEARS now, ever since they became completely blonde and wirey and started growing like freaking kudzu. Nothing gay about that.

And... you're crazy if you find any reason to stop going to Ron unless he's fired or heads to another salon. The good ones don't come around that often.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Pat Angello - sorry!