I Was Raised on the Flowbee

The other day I carried on a tradition with myself that goes back many years (not what you're thinking!). I stood before a mirror with a pair of regular scissors and trimmed my own hair. I do this because nothing about going to the barbers is all that exciting to me and never has (except perhaps pondering the mystery of what the blue liquid "comb soup" is). Hairdressers just don't appeal to the average male population. We're just uncomfortable sitting in those waiting rooms surrounded by 12 different types of conditioner, glossy wall pictures of bouncy-haired fems, and old copies of InStyle on the end tables.

Now I'm not saying we need football on a 50 inch plasma TV sitting in front of us to be comfortable (not all of us at least), but could we at least get a copy of Newsweek in there? Come on, throw the dogs a bone! And it's not even the magazines, it's the fact that, despite having to go in to get one done every two months or so, whenever you walk into a barber shop as a guy, you suddenly get the confirmed suspicion that you're the last man on earth, or at least, that you've stepped into No Man's Land itself. There's always four or five fems in front of you, all doing the advanced shampoos, curling irons, dyes, styling, and the whole nine yards, and they're always quite close knit, and chatty. The stylists see you and you know they're thinking, "ah, break time"...they could do you in their sleep. You feel embarrassed just to ask for a trim.

Anyways, because of all this and more, I've resorted to cutting my own hair most of the time, and I'm not that bad at it (just don't ask me to cut yours). But there have been times in my life where I've gone just too darn long between haircuts, and these dry spouts have been more or less continuing since I was a kid. It's not my fault. See, I was raised on the Flowbee, so more often then not, my hair was cut at home anyway by my penny-pinching dad who had a knack for doing me and my brother like Moe Howard for a good part of my early existence. (For those of you who don't know what the Flowbee was, what you don't know can't hurt you.)

Introducing the Flowbee! Its hypnotic rhythmic pulse and endless pounding on your cranium is sure to make you barf all over your bathroom and cause a concussion! (True story, it actually did make me barf all over the bathroom once).

My first trip to the barber was when I was three (this was the late eighties), and it was such a momentous event that they preserved a few husks and gave me some kind of certificate for it. But by the time I was nine, after I'd thrown up a hundred times to the lull of that hypnotic Flowbee buzz, I'd gotten to the point where if the barber asked me how I wanted my hair. I'd reply, "shorter," to which they'd rejoin, "that's good, because it'd be hard for me to make it longer." That's about when the problem started. In that span of time, getting it cut had lost its momentousness for sure. 

Being a kid who was raised on a hair-sucking vacuum, I kind of got used to the idea of doing it in the comfort of my own home though, in the bathroom, propped on a footstool. If my bangs were getting all up in my face, I'd grab a pair of scissors and hack off a lock or two, or three. If it meant walking around with a chunk missing off the front of my head, well, so be it. My Flowbee dad certainly wasn't very thrilled, and had to spend a good half hour trying to even it out. He gave me a good tongue lashing for that. 

Now, I seem to just let it grow real shaggy and then slice it off in one heave. I've also taught myself a thing or two about shaping and trimming hair (as opposed to just chopping it off). It's not perfect, but walking around with this rug is better than having to sit there at the salon playing with those Duplo blocks on the floor because I, as a male, lack the sensibility to fall into the pages of Women's Health magazine and the patience to just, I don't know, sit there and act my age. And besides, those four year olds won't share anyways.   

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