Archive for March, 2010

the deliberate incident

March 27, 2010

It was like I had sold my soul to the Devil…

“The devil went down to the beauty salon, he was lookin’ for a soul to steal.   He was in a bind cos’ he’s way behind, he was willin’ to cut a deal… ” (sung to the tune: The Devil Went Down to Georgia by Charlie Daniels)

I’d turned my back on a whole generation…

“Went out ‘n’ cut my hair, happened earlier today… it was gettin’ kinda long, could have said it wasn’t my way.  So I did it, now I wonder why.  I feel like bein’ this meak ‘n’ fag lookin’  guy…” (sung to the tune: Almost Cut My Hair by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young)

and become this responsible adult…

“Get a haircut, you’ve got a real job.  Clean your act up, you look like a slob.  Get it together you’re older than God.  Get haircut, you’ve got a real job.”  ( sung to the tune: Get A Haircut by George Thorogood)

while losing my identity…

“Gimme a head without hair.  Short, buzz-cut hair!  Butchin’, clean ‘n’ crew-cut ‘n’ waxen.  See me without hair, where?  Over my ears with white walls, glare!  Gone, baby!  Smooth, mama!  See your reflection, daddy! Where?  Comb it, foam it!  Long as I’m chrome dome ‘n’ my hair!”  ( sung to the tune: Hair! from the American Tribal Love-Rock Musical)

Okay, okay.  You get the idea?  I got a hair-cut today.  And as I sat there looking at my reflection with the protrusion of my cranium becoming more apparent; these parodies of songs began taunting me, like I was giving in, selling out and becoming (ugh!) respectable.  I tried to recall how many times I have sat in a barber/stylist’s chair and second guessed my decision to lose my Samson like appearance and become a weak-kneed mortal…

“Snip, snip, snip, Delilah!  Clip, clip, clip, Delilah!  So before my curly blond locks hit the floor.  Forgive me Delilah, could you just remove a bit more?”  (sung to the tune: Delilah by Tom Jones)

Did you ever notice that when you have made the decision to let a part of your life be shaved off and you climb up into that chair suddenly everything looks in place and you begin second guessing yourself as to whether you really need a haircut?  I mean, I remember my very first hair-cut.  At least, I think it was my first.  I wondered where the ribbon of the barber’s pole went as it spiraled around.  I recall the kindly barber had to place a slat across the arms of his chair so I could sit up “big and tall” while he pumped the car jack to raise the seat as high as it would go.  Still I remember feeling really small as I looked into the mirror across the room with a parson’s collar tight  around my neck and a reversed Superman cape blanketing my knees down around my shoes.  I watched the terrified little guy that looked like me bawling his eyes out while his identity fell in fragmented clumps and mingled with the discards of countless other heads, all braver than me.   

“Make me feel at home, upon that barber’s chair.  Slap my back and run your burly fingers through my hair.  You know I’ll sure behave, if you ask me to.  But if I must be brave  I’ll walk right out on you.  Be gentle as a dove and take my advice.  Treat me nice.”  (sung to the tune: Treat Me Nice by Elvis Presley)

I also remember one time (back in the days of my flaming youth) I was walking past a barber shop as the gentle breeze filtered through my radiant adornment while the sun was shining warm and bright.  The proprietor beckoned to me with a kindly gesture, patting the seat of his chair like a used car salesman opening the door to a classy convertible.  I grinned broadly and respectfully declined, seeing my image reflected in the glass as I passed.  Freedom is allowing yourself to sprout… 

“Morning has broken, like the first morning.  My hair is growing, freely it’s spread.  Praise for the growing, praise for the morning.  Praise for it springing, fresh from my head.”  (sung to the tune: Morning Has Broken by Cat Stevens)

I’ve always preferred myself in longer hair ever since I saw the Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show.  Like millions of other youngsters I stood in front of the mirror and pulled my hair down my forehead and said, “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!”  Longer hair meant being cool.  Longer hair meant freedom of expression.  Longer hair meant rebellion,  individualism and non-conformity.  Longer hair meant you no longer cared what other people thought and marched to the beat of your own drum.

“Whoa, whoa I should have realized alot of things before, if this hair ya gotta give me more.  Give me more. Hey, hey, hey!  Give me more!”  (sung to the tune, I Should Have Known Better by the Beatles)

So today I sat in the chair and a pretty girl named Dawn E. asked me how I wanted my hair to look.

“Like George Clooney.” I respond.  Not like George Harrison from the album, All Things Must Pass…?

“My sweet Lord, ooh my Lord.  I really want to know you, I really want to grow with you.  I really want to show you, Lord, that it won’t take long to grow my hair long.  Hallelujah.” (sung to the tune: My Sweet Lord by George Harrison)

“Really?”  she asks, “That short?”  I was relieved she didn’t laugh at the impossibility of making me look like George Clooney.

“How does it feel? Hey, how does it feel?  To be on your own? With no direction home.  A complete unknown.  Like a roamin’ comb?”  (sung to the tune: Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan)

“Yes.” I say with resignation as I look into the mirror, the drums are silent now…

“…and freedom, oh freedom.  Well that’s just some people talkin’.  Your hair-cut is stalkin’ you through this beauty shop throne.”  (sung to the tune: Desperado by the Eagles) 

 “We all have to grow up sometime.”  




A funny thing happened to me while on vacation…

March 21, 2010

 “When you wish upon a star

makes no difference who you are.

Anything your heart desires

will come to you.”

                                              Jiminy Cricket, from the film, Pinocchio


It seems ironic to me that during a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando Fess Parker should die.  fess-parker-obituary.html 



I’ll always remember him as the father in Old Yeller but he also appeared as Daniel Boone on the Wonderful World of Disney. 

Our whirlwind trip to the Sunshine State managed to go smoothly enough, aside from the obscene baggage charge United Airlines levied.  We enjoyed the beach and restaurants, the palm trees and the wildlife.  Seeing things through the eyes of my recent bride and her kids made each discovery  fresh and new.  Even though I have lived in Florida for over 30 years and had visited the Magic Kingdom several times before, their excitement was contagious.  But a funny thing happened to me while on vacation… I had to grow up.  And isn’t that contrary to what Walt had in mind?

I learned that the more money you spend, the more privileges you will receive.  That is a hard thing to explain to kids their first time out.  Flying from Canada, (beginning with Air Canada, no baggage charge!) renting a car, staying in hotels and constantly eating out is no small expense.  But even in Disney World there are class distinctions, and that is kinda sad.  For example, staying at a Disney resort garnishes an elite status that others do not share coming from the outside.  Things like earlier admission while the general public must stand and wait and watch them pass leave you feeling like a second class citizen.  Photographs with Disney characters are limited to being taken by Disney photographers and must be purchased online.  Fast passes leave thousands waiting in long lines while others scoot past unconcerned.  These are hard things to witness and try to explain to an 11-year-old.  Because even when you have succeeded to bring them to the Land of Enchantment, you have failed to measure up.

I realize that it is money that makes the world go round, that is a fact most of us learn as we grow older.  I just wish it wasn’t such a cold reality in a child’s environment like Disney World.  We arrived, we paid for the tickets, we believed in miracles.  Couldn’t just for once, one size fit all?  I hated heaping such disappointment on the kids, especially since not only had they not been to Disney before,  it was their first trip to America.

We did enjoy ourselves and the trip piqued an interest that may continue for many years to come.  There is so much to see, one visit couldn’t begin to cover it all.  The kids are all ready talking about the next time we go to Florida and see Disney World and we have been back less than 24 hours, so maybe all is not lost.

But this grown-up yearns for the days when being a child meant being shielded from the harsh realities of adulthood.  I guess I avoided them for as long as I could.

Rest in peace, Fess Parker.




You Say Potato, I Say ‘tater

March 6, 2010

To read first or not to read first, that is the question…

My beautiful girl is the most magnificent creature!  We agree on most everything.  She stimulates my thinking, astounds me with her logic and thrills me with her reasoning.  Her mind is as infinite as the cosmos.  Even our conversations on mundane, everyday routines are an exploration into the vast majesty that is her graceful intelligence.  To ask, “How was your day?” and hear her expound is a re-awakening of sorts,  helping to further advance the feeling that I have found my own true companion. 

She reads.  And to say she reads is the utmost form of flattery because she reads just about anything.  BB should start her own book club.  She would have her own book store.  My love could be a literary critic or an editor.  She will absorb a good book in a matter of hours but stay with a so-so book with a dedicated commitment and/or loyalty to the bitter end. 

My fair one is also a movie buff.  Big on movies.  Huge.  And not just movies but films.  Artsy fartsy stuff that I have a hard time getting my head around because I am too shallow and view movies more as escapism than an art form.  I just more or less want to be entertained.  I was raised on movies.  I want a happy ending.  I live in a fairy tale. 

When I was a kid my older sister and I would go to movies all the time.  In those days it was not uncommon for us to sit through them two or three times.  My poor sister would end up carrying me home because I was too tired to walk.  As I grew up, a movies value was based on how many times I had seen it.  Once meant it was good enough to pique my interest, like Clint Eastwood singing ala Honkytonk Man*   twice meant that there were some points I had missed and wanted to clarify ala The Sixth Sense  three or more meant that it was great ala Casablanca  So imagine now how the following conversation developed.

We had gone to see the movie Shutter Island  (which I would like to see again) a few weeks ago and my lovely wife came home from Chapters last week with a copy of the book, which I began reading right away.  She had gone to the library earlier and checked out a copy of The English Patient and was on the verge of finishing it.  All was well.  As I began reading I would occasionally remark on the similarities of the book in comparison to the movie.  All was well.  BB finished The English Patient and decided to check out the movie, a winner of 9 Academy Awards, which we watched together.  All was, well…  

Imagine my surprise when in retrospect my BB did not enjoy the movie as well as the book.  I injected that I preferred to see the movie first and then read the book, she inferred she would rather read the book then see the movie.

I said, “Why would you want to see a movie when you already know how it ends?”  She replied, “Why would you want to read a book when you already know how it ends?”  I said, “I like to envision the characters as I have seen them on the screen.”  She replies, “I like to imagine them as they are described by the writer.”  I said, “If I read the book first, I usually do not like the actors who play the parts because they are not as I imagined them.”  She responds, “If I see the movie first, I usually don’t like it because it doesn’t follow the book.”  I said, ” I like to see the movie first because the book fills in what the movie leaves out.”

In the movie, The English Patient, the emphasis of characters shifted to Ralph Fiennes and Kristen Scott Thomas.  My BB was disappointed in all the information left out from the book’s main characters and explained as we watched that, “you don’t know what happened here or why that happened there because you hadn’t read the book.”  I said, “THAT is why you see the movie first!  So by reading the book all that information is filled in!”  She thought for a moment.  “You are right.”  I hugged her and smiled.  

“It’s not about my being right, it’s about you’re being wrong!”   

Droll, yes, but to understand that comment you’d have to see our movie… over and over again. 

From   to   and  then  until finally,   

Here’s to you, my brilliant and beautiful counterpart.


*All images appear courtesy of the Internet Movie Database.