Ya know, like many geek-types, I am not one who is too concerned with how I look, at times I look a little messy, but clean, not dirty or icky – to me that is sufficient. Fortunately (for it is overall fortunate), hair grows and there are times when I need to cut it. I kept long hair for a couple of years – looked very hacker-ish, but alas, it was a maintenance nightmare. So anyway – I do not have a regular salon that I go to, and am not one to spend any more than 30 dollars per haircut, even that is excessive! Unfortunately, it seems that in Melbourne, there’s no such thing as a “decent” haircut unless (I assume here, for I have not done it) you shell out some absurd amount. So today, despite my inner voice telling me to do it tomorrow (no kidding!), I decided I needed to get a haircut. I went into the city, looked at a few places on Elizabeth St., went to Melbourne Central basement – there was a place I had intended to try out but they were closing already. Went into China town, entered a place… and for a simple male cut in this standard-ish looking place in an arcade, they were charging 63 dollars! Can you believe that?! Like, what magical I-Ching hexagram was consulted to get that number?! So I stood there, raised an eyebrow, then declined and left. I ventured back to Elizabeth Street to this decent looking salon (by no means a 2-seater barber shop, though I reckon I’ll try that next time… couldn’t be worse). I was asked to wait 15-20 minutes, and then it was my turn…
The lady (in her early 20s) asks what kind of cut I’d like, I said I wanted it short, and “square at the back” – the latter phrase is something I picked up way back when I moved here, to say I want a clean angular lining at the back, as opposed to curvy one I suppose. Firstly, I asked for a haircut and I came to a salon, so what’s with these people asking me what number I am!? Like how the heck am I supposed to know what clipper I want to use, isn’t that why I’m there!? Okay, so maybe there are people who know their hair and the tooling for it well, I am not one of those lucky folk. So anyway, I tell the lady I have no clue, she says she’ll try a number 4 (she was Chinese, I am told the character for “4” in Chinese is similar/the same to the character for death!). I’m like yeah whatever. And BANG, she runs the thing like a bloody lawnmower on grass. I mean I asked for “short“… not “let the outline of my head be visible to all who will see“! She moved it so fast that by the time I told her that I didn’t want it that short, she replies in her accent, “this is no. 4 – must be same len’ everywhere, if start, cannot stop”… what the bleep!? I realised then there was nothing I could do about it, it was way too late.
Now if it was just that, perhaps I could let go and move on (actually I have done that already, I’ll just feel better once I have this all in writing!), she also had no sense of symmetry… when she was placing the mirror at the back of my hair, I had to point out a couple of things – it wasn’t “square at the back” damn it!, and in one case, she just could not see what was wrong… so I literally just went “nevermind”, because I was afraid she’d ruin it further :(. Folks, if you have no sense of symmetry – please, don’t consider hairdressing, or software engineering, become an abstract artist or something, you know. So yeah, I have had a bad hairday – this must be the worst to date, once it grows I shall be able to get it cut again (I don’t where, but I do know where NOT!). Oh and worst of all… she did not use scissors… the biggest no-no in my book. I asked for a haircut, not a clipper cut (a concept I have only heard of here…)!
Now some upsides – yes there are upsides, hard to believe: despite the cost advertised – 30 dollars – I was charged 15 – I so would have left some diplomatically caustic (is that even possible, or is it an oxymoron?) words for her to ponder otherwise. It appears she thought I wanted a clipper cut (but I said I wanted a HAIRCUT, H-A-I-R-C-U-T!!) – boy I must look like a starving student (that’s another upside, I must look young and fresh)… I suppose I hadn’t had any food yet at the time. The final upside I guess the lack of hair will keep my head cool during the summer. Meh.
 Kamal’s Book of Life Skills, by yours truly, Chapter 33, p22, verse 11: “Profess’d as a hairdresser, ask’d for a haircut, clippers come and clippers go, but thou shalt use scissors without fail, else, a pox o’ thee, curses, boils, and sores spattereth across thy body, Heretic O’ A Hairdresser, Liar, Cheat, Heathen and Most Unholy Scum.”