Hair Cut and Land Lust and a Need for a Tractor

My hair is considerably shorter this afternoon than it was this morning, thanks to the sharp scissors and well-maintained trimmer of a very nice barber in Fountain Lake, just up the road from Hot Springs Village. I took the selfie without my glasses because my lenses tend to magnify my eyes to a great extent. My eyes and the flesh around them appear to be widen my face even more than gluttony has done. I really should ask my favorite wife to take photos front, back, and sides so I can produce a flyer I can give to the barber (either the nice one from today or another one in another place at another time) so I can get my hair cut the way I like it. Maybe I’ll do that.

I learned that my barber’s house has a view, after the leaves fall, of a high spot in the Village that may include my house. He lives on seven acres in the valley below my house, where he spends time working his land with a Kubota tractor. When I learned that he had both acreage and a Kubota tractor, I think I drooled on the barber’s cape protecting me from falling grey hair. It was embarrassing, but the barber didn’t mention it. He did notice my interest, though. He said he has a few three to seven acre parcels for sale near his. I had to close my ears, lest I attempt to purchase land without my wife’s knowledge or consent. And if I committed to purchase land, I could not help but commit to buy a tractor. These would have been dangerous moves, because we do not have the money to do such things. And my wife would have borrowed the barber’s straight-razor, which I will get to later, to solve the problem. But I digress.

Based on the sentence in the paragraph above referring to a barber’s cape, you might have presumed that I knew what to call the sheet barbers use to protect their clients’ clothing from hair. I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t. All I could think of was “sheet.” I doubted that slick piece of fabric would be called a sheet, but I couldn’t for the life of me think of what else it might be called. So, I resorted to having a conversation with Mother and Father Google. Mother Google told me it’s called a barber’s cape. Father Google added that the white strip placed around the neck during a hair cut is called a Sanek Strip, but he quickly added that Sanek is a registered trademark, so it should be written as Sanek®. If one opts not to use the trademarked term, one is free to call them neck strips. The purpose is to catch loose hair and absorb perspiration and drips.

For the first time in my memory, the barber took care to explore my ears, both canals and exteriors, for unruly hair. Apparently, he found some, as I felt him gently insert a pair of scissors in my ears and snip the offensive stalks. He then used an electric trimmer to remove additional fuzz from around my ears.

He asked if I wanted my eyebrows trimmed, which I did (he hadn’t bothered to ask whether I wanted a sharp pair of scissors stuck in my ear; I guess it’s assumed customers whose ears appear as thick forests to the barber want that done). So, he trimmed my eyebrows nicely, taking off a good half inch (okay, a fraction of an inch). Then, he asked if I wanted him to trim my neck with a straight-razor or the trimmers. “Your choice,” I said. He used the straight-razor. There’s nothing like hot lather smeared on one’s neck, followed by the closeness of a straight-razor shave.

I do not know precisely why, at this advanced age, I still possess this lust for land and a tractor to work it. I’ve never lived on a farm or ranch, so it’s not nostalgia. I’ve mentioned fernweh before, a German word meaning  longing for a place one has never been. I wonder if there is a term in any language meaning longing for a lifestyle one has never lived. Or something like that.

Enough for today. It’s time to grill a steak. It’s cold outside, so standing over a hot grill will feel good. Tonight’s dinner, very low carb thanks to my pre-PET scan dietary requirements, will consist of ribeye steak (thawed after many months in the freezer), steamed broccoli, and something else that’s related in some form or fashion to broccoli but that escapes me for the moment. Until the next time I write.


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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