Friday, February 26, 2010

My Barber and Me...

A Barber is someone whose occupation is to cut any type of hair, give shaves, and trim beards. In previous times, barbers also performed surgery and dentistry. In more recent times, with the development of safety razors and the decreasing prevalence of beards, most barbers primarily cut hair. Barber is from the Latin barba, beard.


The above statement, as far as I can tell, is probably accurate. The only thing I take issue with, is the bit about the decreasing prevalence of beards. This sounds kind of vague to me and I'm not sure if that's the reason for barbers steering clear of shaving beards. I would guess that it has something more to do with the rising cost of insurance and perhaps the general public consensus in regards to trusting complete strangers with straight razors, in close proximity to their necks. And maybe the whole A.I.D.S. thing slowed things down a bit. Who knows? That's not what this is about.

This is about one of the single most consistent things in my life.

This is about loyalty.

This is about value.

This is about service.

This is about my Barber Shop.

I've been getting my haircut at the same Barber Shop since I was a teenager. Uncle Ernie's. There is no Uncle Ernie there. The owner's name isn't even Ernie. It's actually owned by a man named Arikhay. I believe he's a Russian Jew. There are about 6 or 7 other barbers that cut hair in the shop. Most of the time, they are just standing around reading Penthouse or watching TV. They have all the things that Barbers have. Hairbrushes, combs, towels, hairdryers, that jar with the blue liquid. You name it, they have it.

I pick my own hairstyle out at this barber shop. Nothing is left up to chance.

There I am. Middle row all the way on the left.

I feel comfortable in my barber shop. It reminds me of home. It has all of the creature comforts.

I can relax and take a load off. Even a man deserves a spa day once in a while.

The prices never change. Why should they? It's always the same haircut. Always the same shave. $25 for the whole kit & kaboodle. I think this is a very reasonable price.

There is also a plethora of accessories for sale. I never buy them. But there are people who do. I've seen them at the counter. It's not for me. It's not my style.

My barber's name is Mike. He's a good guy. I don't know that much about him but I trust him. He always asks about my family and work. He has a very thick Russian accent. It's hard for me to understand him but somehow, we manage to communicate.

Out-Numbered - Hey Mike. What's new?

Mike - Naaseng. Waas wit u?

Out-Numbered - The usual.

Mike - House verk?

Out-Numbered - Busy, busy, busy. Thank God.

Mike - House da gerlz?

Out-Numbered - Keeping me busy.

Mike - Goot. U vant shafe?

Out-Numbered - I'd love one. Thank you.

Mike - Goot.

I trust Mike to hold a straight razor to my neck.

He's a good guy.

He's my barber... and together we Out-Number most.