Today marked a milestone in our nephew William’s as-yet short but exciting life. Today, at the grand age of two years, two months, and twenty days, William had his first haircut. While his mommy and daddy were at their respective Places of Employment, She Who Must Be Obeyed and I spirited him away to Fort Worth, to the Place Where Superfluous Hair Is Removed From Small Children. Yes, in this age of specialization, kids have their own hair salons.
When I was of First Haircut Age back sometime in the mid-Triassic Era, barber shops were simple, Spartan affairs. You had the barber chair, with the special Booster Seat attachment for use with us little guys. You had a set of Wahl clippers. You had a razor-sharp pair of scissors. You had the bottle of Green Hair Goop that Hardens Into Concrete on Contact with the Atmosphere. And you had an elderly guy (hell, anyone over twelve was elderly) with a white, high-collared smock. It was a simple procedure, really. They slapped you on the chair, ran those Wahl clippers over your head, maybe a little touch-up with the scissors, blopped a handful of the Green Goop on your head and maybe a splash of Bay Rum on your downy cheek, handed you a lollipop, and booted you out of there. Done. Finito la musica.
The salon is dressed up in primary colors, the better to amuse the youthful eye. There are television sets equipped with the latest video games. (Nothing like a few rubbers of “Grand Theft Auto IV - The Disembowelment” to put you in the mood to get your locks shorn!) There is a Play Table with a Wooden Railway, in order to allow preschool tykes an opportunity to develop their sharing and socialization skills. (“Mine!”) There are videocassettes replete with child-friendly entertainment. Thomas the Tank Engine! The Purple Evolutionary Throwback That Must Not Be Named On This Blog! My Little Pony! There are special barber chairs in the guise of Racing Cars and Fire Engines.
And the walls are heavily soundproofed, because kids getting their hair cut for the first time in Anno Dominem 2004 are exactly like the kids who got their hair cut in 1954 under much more primitive circumstances. They all scream blue murder from beginning to end.
And our little nephew was no exception.
From the moment he realized that he was expected to Sit in the Little Race-Car Shaped Chair until the process was complete, a transcript of his remarks reads as follows:
“WaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAA AGGGGGHHHHHHHHhhhhhhh… AAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaagggghhhhhhhh...
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!” (Repeat as necessary)
But when the ordeal was over - all three minutes of it - we had a Polaroid photo, a pouch full of hair, a bunch of pictures on my Cheap-Ass Digital Camera (to be posted here next week) - and the most handsome little guy in all of Foat Wuth, Texas.
Brad Pitt, eat yer heart out!