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Thur 11th Nov : Short Back And Sides

You know, what do you really do when you walk onto the set of Barber Shop 2?

It's Thursday and I feel like the world is about to end. I pop in here and I mean, what was I supposed to do? I had walked in looking for a haircut - even tho' it's shaggy, I'm pretty particular with my hair. But I got a little bored with trying to work out who in New York would be as understanding as Lee - not that I trust Lee is truly understanding, but we always have a good hour of theraputic chin-wag in his salon in Paddington, London.

So I had posted this article on my NYC Guide site that a whisky drink (Crown Boil I think it's called) was offering free haircuts for anyone who walked into the 199 Lafayette 'pop up barber'. Bargain. Should be OK, I think.

When I walked through the door I couldn't show I was phased. I'm a man about town, I am cosmopolitan, I can hang with anyone. I sit down and have to say 'Do you cut hair like mine?' I think it's a fair enough question. The guy grins with his gold teeth and striped eyebrow and asks me where I'm from. "Don' worry," he says (Don - who has a place up on 125th Street), "I'm goinna give you a John Lennon. Magazine style."

In Don we hope and do I care? It's free and it's fun. We both take a gulp of the sample whiskey and Don starts chopping.

A slinky excuse of a girl slides over beside me as Don sprays my hair and shows me a magazine. Nose stud in her nose. Hair tied back. "Are you a subscriber of Smooth Girl?"  she asks me with that candy sweet smile waving a magazine before me and for a moment I want to be but then I don't want another mag like I need another RSS listing on my aggregator. I apologize and she smiles - I think she's conceded to failure this day. She leaves me a magazine to peruse whilst Don starts on my hair.

"I thought I said a 'trim'?" I ask him.

"Yeah. Yeah, yeah," he replies, fluffing off the hair. He takes another whiskey.

I open the Smooth Girl mag. It's pretty timid soft porn but still, it's athletic, nubile young ladies in various outfits spread across the magazine. Don purrs. It might be soft and but I feel more than odd looking at the greased bodies of various women like these whilst being tendered to guy like Don. 

I laugh and fold it up. It helps Don concentrate anyway - well aftr another shot of the whiskey. Don does a good job - 'magazine style,' he says. He tells me to come up and get a cut at his salon. Maybe I will. I feel sad that he has sell me with the line, "It's OK, it's becoming gentrified." but business is business and people is people.

Later I go back and tell work I got a free haircut when they notice. A few are a little bemused that I admit I got it for free. But I did. With a tip of course. All about Karma I am learning these days. It all comes around.

They ask what's in my hand and I naturally show them: I whip out the Smooth Girl magazine and expect laugh.

Instead: horror, disgust, revoltion. And that's just from the guys. And my boss.

So that's how I got my first warning at my new job and learned about the sexual discrimination/harrassment clause in my contract.

November 11, 2004 in Diary | Permalink


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