Saying goodbye to the bowl

The first bowl I ever knew was a ceramic bowl that fitted on my head. The reason why I knew this? It sat on my head while my mother cut my hair. Yes, I had the dreaded bowl hair cut. It didn’t look too bad, and being an incredibly cute child helped me carry it off easily but even so, can you imagine David Beckham getting a bowl hair cut? Beckham famously paid over 100 pounds for a hair cut that normal people pay less than 20 dollars for, so obviously his bowl would have been made out of diamond or something.

Then one day, quite suddenly to my young mind, everything changed. The bowl disappeared and instead, I walked, or was marched depending on your point of view, around the corner and down the road to a small, almost miniscule barber shop named Ron’s. In the window were various images of male hair models, with each image sun bleached to various levels and in different places depending on their location.

Walking into the shop, you walked down two or three very steep steps. Inside was dark, dingy almost, with a very male atmosphere that even a young boy such as myself could feel. There were two uncomfortable chairs to wait in although I never saw another soul in either the seats or the solitary barber chair. In fact the only other person I ever saw there, other than my mother who had dragged me there, was the barber himself. Unsurprisingly, the barber’s name was Ron.

Ron was an old man, how old I couldn’t guess as it was difficult enough to see in the darkened room. He never asked what hair style my mother wanted me to sport, he just got right at it with clippers that were older than me. Being a young boy, the barber seat, that red leather and burnished chrome seat, was too low and big for me so I got to sit on a plank of work that sat across the huge chrome arms of the seat.

It would difficult to describe Ron’s hair trimming style as anything other than dangerous. I am pretty certain that whenever I walked shakily out of the shop, I was bleeding from an ear, or back of the head. My mother would have believed that it was my fault as I hadn’t sat still while the clippers were reshaping my right ear. I am not suggesting that I am delicate like a flower but I seem to remember having red marks on the back of my neck where the clippers were used not so gently.

I do not recall what particular hair style I ended up sporting after the ritual blood letting, I doubt if it would have actually been described as a style but my hair was cut and I didn’t have to suffer again for a month or so.

Today, if you wish to get your hair cut, and you are a man, your choices are basic. You either go to a unisex hairdressers such as First Choice, search out a barber, we do have an new excellent one in St. Thomas called Dudes and Dads Barbershop (www.dudesanddadsbarbershop.ca), or you can take matters into your own hands by becoming a bearded hippy or by purchasing a set of clippers from your local hairdressing supply store and attacking your scalp yourself. A word of warning, a ball of toilet paper only stench cuts up to a certain size, after that seek medical attention.

I miss Ron’s.

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