A Fictional Tale of Home Haircutting During Coronavirus
Once Upon a Pandemic
A story told to me by a friend of a friend of a friend.
“Vacuum my face.”
“No, I’m not gonna vacuum your face.”
Which is the end of a story about a bachelor guy, let’s call him “Phil,” and his older brother during the Most Challenging Quarantine of 2020 which invites us all to find our dormant Creativity, Patience and Kindness to All People.
Phil’s older brother – for simplicity’s sake – let’s call him “John” – has disabilities which prevent him from cutting or even trimming his own hair. He also has autism, which means he likes sameness, routine, and the comfort of consistency.
This sameness of routine includes the never-changing style of his hair and the regular day of the month on which he goes to the barber to maintain his John-ness.
The Most Challenging Quarantine of 2020 also invites us to find our dormant Hair Stylist Chops. This threw down a gauntlet too big for John. He just can’t do this and having no open barber shops during the shutdown bugged the bejeebers outta him.
John’s very short hair style was abandoning him and he couldn’t get help.
We Are Family
In stepped little brother Phil. (Little is a relative term; Phil is 65 years old.) On Week Number 3 of the Most Challenging Quarantine, he found scissors somewhere in their shared House of Bachelordom and trimmed a half inch off the back of John’s ‘do.
Apparently, this was without incident because nothing more is known.
But, weeks march on, tempus fugits, and hair grows.
Out with the Old?
The old way was that Phil, John’s legal guardian, didn’t need to do too much for his brother. He provides a separate apartment space, chauffeurs him to doctors, pays bills, does the taxes, cooks some meals and that is about that. They both like it that way.
It worked . . .
But less so during the Most Excellently, Increasingly Challenging Quarantine.
At Week Number Seven, John felt like he was hairier than the offspring of a shag rug which had mated with Cookie Monster. It was a majorly yucky feeling to him.
More nobly than a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer, Phil rode to the rescue. It was his time to man up. Or, barber up, more precisely.
A Full Haircut- Amateur Style
Phil collected brother John and took him to the kitchen.
Good thinking: no carpeting and a comfortable high stool for John to sit on.
For this momentous job, the story goes, Phil had brought an electric razor complete with handy-dandy sideburn cutting thingamabob and a pair of scissors from the kitchen. (No mention of a comb, so one can only wonder . . .)
Phil went for the High Technology of using the power tool for the irksome back of the neck peach fuzz and straggly growth. Eureka! Success! and That was easy! All these spiked his confidence in his new-found talent as a stylist, so he decided to continue using the Instrument of Buzzingness around John’s ears.
I guess it was a little too close. No blood was spilled, no skin was nicked, but there is a very bald track circumnavigating John’s right ear where the sideburn trimmer ran amuck.
The razor got retired.
Ratty Kitchen Scissors
Slow and careful scissor work was the way to go for the rest of the job.
Remember, Phil wasn’t using hair cutting scissors. He wasn’t using sewing scissors. He was using old, warped kitchen scissors which are only one step above your Uncle Moe’s manual hedge clippers from 1968. But maybe not as rusty as Uncle Moe’s implement.
So, Phil trimmed away, a bit at a time.
It was about then that it dawned on him why salons and barbers put a cape on the client before starting. Yep. John’s flannel shirt was Velcro for all the shards of cut hair. And the trimmings were also kinda stuck all over John’s head since Phil didn’t have a comb.
But, necessity IS the mother of ingenuity and invention.
A whisk broom and dustpan are what many people might have used to clean things up a little. However, Phil doesn’t own a whisk broom and dustpan. So, he used what he always uses around the house for small sweeping or dusting jobs: a paintbrush.
All Re-Purposed Paintbrush
A Method to the Madness
Not just any paintbrush. You see, Phil is a professional painter with exacting standards for his equipment. When a three-inch wide brush gets too worn, he doesn’t pitch it. No, he re-purposes it. As a recycling and re-using Eco-Dude, Phil cleans and dries these brushes and keeps them around, here and there, for small sweeping or dusting jobs.
So, Phil removed a lot of the debris by using a scruffy old paintbrush to noogie-massage John’s head and clothing.
It is reported that this worked.
The Top of the Head
John’s head was still not completely done. The crown remained. Phil hydrated himself and tackled the last part of the job.
Phil snipped and snipped. A little wary of having another mishap such as the Ear Caper, he chose not to cut away with abandon. But somehow John – without benefit of a mirror – felt things weren’t proceeding as they should. Without getting up to look in a bathroom mirror, he told his brother “Cut more.”
So Phil cut a tiny bit more on the top and then just tugged at John’s hair with one hand while opening and closing the scissor in the air above for sound effects. It was then that Phil realized . . .
There were still lots of bits of hair on John’s pate, his neck, his shirt, pants, and, of course, the kitchen floor.
“Stay put,” Phil instructed, as he went for another piece of equipment: a vacuum cleaner.
Now in salons and barber shops, the staff generally use brooms to push hair away because they are so delightfully quiet. The ambience is not destroyed by the jarring roar of a motor. I don’t think that these two bachelor brothers require ambience. So, Phil, the Boy Wonder of Man Cave Land, zipped to get the most conveniently located vacuum.
It was in the basement just a stairway run away from them.
A shop vac.
The Finishing Touch
Yep. John’s scalp, back of neck, and clothing were treated to the deluxe shop vac clean-up and detailing finish. It must have felt great to be rid of all those itchy daggers of hair trimming because that’s when John said,
“Vacuum my face.”
To which even Phil had the good sense – despite its potential benefits - to say "No."
New Style, New Career?
This tall tale does not include whether hoards of acquaintances and strangers then sought out Phil and his magic scissors.
Yet, as so many people rei-magine life beyond the Most Challenging Quarantine of 2020 which invites us to Stretch our Skills, perhaps a new redneck kinda styling school will be born.
Fiction, Fiction, Fiction
This couldn't possibly have happened as depicted. Nonetheless, a factual event did inspire it.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.