08:08:54 am on
Monday 15 Jul 2024

Pandemic Hairdos
David Simmonds

Source: ultimateclassicrock.com

“Almost cut my hair…” That was the first line in the dirge performed by David Crosby (above) on the 1970 album Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. It spoke of the existential crisis, for a hippie, that he would even contemplate cutting his shoulder length hair was a sign that events had gone wrong.

David Cosby and barbers.

Crosby, who now sports long white hair flowing backward from a bald forehead and crown, would probably have coped just fine with the pandemic. He would never have gone near a barber in the first place. Thus, he wouldn’t have been missing one.

I, on the other hand, have missed my barber, acutely. Banned from his premises for most of seventeen months, except for a brief loosening of the strictures on personal services between waves, I hair grow to a point where it stopped responding to my interventions. My haircut resembled a cross between the Boris Johnson look and the Albert Einstein look, much hair, flowing this way and that, a tangled garden of mess.
My predicament was serious, Should I leave it to grow, cut it myself or ask a third party, that is my long-suffering spouse, Michelle, to cut it for me. I did briefly consider the option of wearing a baseball cap but concluded the hat would not fit stably on the mass of bracken beneath it. The plumage would, in any event, find it’s way outside the margins of the hat.

I should insert here the standard disclaimer that I know I am lucky to have a full head of hair and that all my troubles are nothing compared to the heartbreak of balding. I have never considered the option of voluntary baldness. It just seemed that I would be throwing away the natural advantage of the youthful countenance hair gives me.

Shaving my head would expose my residual bumps from brain surgery. This is a flaw I am sufficiently vain to want to avoid. Something in the story of Samson and Delilah, the Biblical version, not the Tom Jones song, made me hesitate to cut off my hair, completely.
I considered the option of just letting it grow. After all, I said to myself, how long can this stupid pandemic last and my barber is Fast Hands Mark. He does your average haircut in five minutes, tops, so that even if he had a lineup of hirsute males around the block when he reopened, I would still get myself shorn on a same day basis.

I wanted to scratch my Amazon jungle of hair, constantly.

On the other hand, it felt like I had to penetrate the Amazon jungle to scratch my head and the profusion of hair made my scalp itch so badly I constantly wanted to scratch it. Even the most luxuriant soaps and lathers could not penetrate my thatch enough to keep it clean. It felt like I was carrying the weight of the world upon the top of my head.

I considered cutting it myself. This was met with derisive laughter by those I hold near and dear. I was invited to consider the likely scenario of rushing to the emergency room bleeding profusely from a self-inflicted wound. There was also the possibility have an uneven cut, with patches of baldness interspersed among the jungle growth.
It was down to Michelle. After several weeks of dropping hints that it would be nice if somebody cut my hair, she finally weakened and said it could be my Father’s Day present from her. Thus, we set up a pop-up barber shop on my back porch and let ‘er rip. She trimmed my locks a couple of times in the early stages of the pandemic, so she had some familiarity with the terrain.
This time, however, I wanted the Full Monte. Damn the torpedoes. We were going short as short possible, just a couple of steps short of it being a buzzcut.

I didn’t care if it revealed my ears to be as juggy as those of Prince Charles I could suffer through ritual humiliations until it grew back. Afterall, he does.

It was more than decent of her to volunteer to crop my hair, as I have been known to drop the odd cutting and meant-to-be-witty but thoughtless remark such as “You get what you pay for” and “this is what Elvis went through when he joined the Army.” It’s the definitive test of the stability of a marriage.
The hair job took about thirty minutes and at the end my head resembled a cornfield that’s just been decimated by a plague of locusts. Oh, the relief of having that mass of hair taken off my head. My hair, some of it exposed to the light for the first time, has been freed to grow in several different directions.

It will be interesting to see which it decides to take. In the meanwhile, Michelle has politely, but firmly, declined my offer of a reciprocal arrangement. She made it clear her services are not available to the public, at large.
It makes you wonder where hair growth stands in the evolutionary process. What so critical to our survival as a species? Those without hair have a competitive advantage over those of us who must spend time on hair management. They can send their free time learning computer coding to make their descendants smarter.

Spousal hair services suffice until Fast Hands Mark opens, again.

I never did like that David Crosby song, “Almost Cut My Hair.” Almost cutting my hair is a non-starter for me. I’ll settle for spousal barbering services, at least until Fast Hands Mark gets going again.

Some readers seem intent on nullifying the authority of David Simmonds. The critics are so intense; Simmonds is cast as more scoundrel than scamp. He is, in fact, a Canadian writer of much wit and wisdom. Simmonds writes strong prose, not infrequently laced with savage humour. He dissects, in a cheeky way, what some think sacrosanct. His wit refuses to allow the absurdities of life to move along, nicely, without comment. What Simmonds writes frightens some readers. He doesn't court the ineffectual. Those he scares off are the same ones that will not understand his writing. Satire is not for sissies. The wit of David Simmonds skewers societal vanities, the self-important and their follies as well as the madness of tyrants. He never targets the outcasts or the marginalised; when he goes for a jugular, its blood is blue. David Simmonds, by nurture, is a lawyer. By nature, he is a perceptive writer, with a gimlet eye, a superb folk singer, lyricist and composer. He believes quirkiness is universal; this is his focus and the base of his creativity. "If my humour hurts," says Simmonds,"it's after the stiletto comes out." He's an urban satirist on par with Pete Hamill and Mike Barnacle; the late Jimmy Breslin and Mike Rokyo and, increasingly, Dorothy Parker. He writes from and often about the village of Wellington, Ontario. Simmonds also writes for the Wellington "Times," in Wellington, Ontario.

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