One time I went to Supercuts, because I live my life on the edge.
Trusting your hair to a complete stranger is always a bit frightening, especially one that’s paid by a place that couldn’t come up with a better name than “Supercuts.” That’s literally just the product they offer preceded by a third-grade vocab level adjective. Supercuts. Imagine if other places of business employed this cutting-edge strategy.
“Hey, I’m hungry. Want to go to Awesomeburger?”
Awesomeburger sounds like a restaurant I’d go to if I wanted to catch e coli, then be verbally harassed by women who drive pickup trucks.
“I need a night on the town; how about Coolbar?”
Coolbar is the place where drunk dads make aggressive passes at college girls half their age. Coolbar is where people get raped.
“I need my oil changed. I think I’m going to take my vehicle to Fantasticar.”
That one actually doesn’t sound that bad.
Anyway, I went to Supercuts.
I’d like to start off by saying that I’m not a salon snob. I even cut my own hair once, though I’m not too proud of the result. I looked like Sloth from the Goonies, just way less ripped. But I hated that I was going to Supercuts. It felt like the strip club of barbershops, somewhere little kids played with garbage while their parents got swastika’s shaved into the side of their Macklemore haircuts. I thought I’d read somewhere that nine out of ten race riots started or finished at a Supercuts. Nine out of ten? I wasn’t even a veteran of a single race riot; not one. This was clearly not my scene. Okay maybe I was overreacting a little bit, but you get my point; it isn’t exactly a chain of stores that inspires confidence.
I didn’t catch the name of my hairdresser, because her thick Slavic accent made everything she said sound like a death threat. She looked like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, if the Hunchback of Notre Dame was a Bond villain capable of extremely evil acts. She was the Cold War personified. I think her name was Frida; I’m pretty sure I only think that because she looked like Frida Kahlo with hairier arms. Her forearms gave me the impression she’d won some sort of professional arm-wrestling competition. She’d probably honed her skills in her home country, where I’m sure arm wrestling contests determine who gets to eat and who gets to die.
I sat in the chair. She roughly placed the apron around my neck. As she did so, I realized that she could strangle me with absurd ease. I was about to be killed by a semi-professional female arm wrestler. At Supercuts.
I couldn’t understand a word she said, so I smiled nervously while she began talking and gesticulating wildly with her hairy Sasquatch arms; I assumed she was laughing about children crying, or describing a cock fighting ring she was running out of her basement. I imagined her with a whip, striking the backs of Russian kids named Olga and Boris as they tilled the Siberian fields for whatever the fuck they grow over there. Probably depression.
I realized that she was staring at me in the mirror, pointing to my head. My immediate thought was, “Oh wait, this is where she cuts my head off.” Then I realized that she was asking me what I wanted done to my hair. I tried to explain that I just wanted a trim. I made the mistake of saying I wanted it “above the ears,” after which I repeated the word “ABOVE,” loudly over and over. I also indicated with my hands; above the ear. I like my ears, and I didn’t want them sliced off in some linguistic miscommunication.
As she began to work, my imagination started to get the best of me. How did this woman get a hairdresser’s license? Who did she bribe? More importantly, who did she kill? Was I next? Her hands were pulling and tugging my hair. They were rough, dry, and fucking huge; she could’ve palmed a basketball. This woman could have absolutely starred in the WNBA, and she was going to murder me in the face.
After about twenty minutes, I decided she wasn’t going to kill me. She’d had plenty of time to do so, and I was still alive. I was relieved for about 20 seconds; then I realized that while she might not be murdering my face, she was probably murdering the shit out of my hair. Oh well. Better a shitty haircut than a stab wound. But then I started thinking of all the shitty haircuts out there. I imagined Richard Simmons’ afro. I imagined Jerry Seinfeld’s mullet. I imagined a monster.
Twenty minutes later, she stopped. I was nervous, but I checked myself out in the mirror. Worst case scenario I could just shave it all off, right? I would look like a staunch anti-Semite, but it would grow back soon. I don’t even have that many Jewish friends, so I really didn’t have much to be concerned about. Maybe I should work on that. Take out an ad in the paper: “Looking for fun Jewish people who like hot chocolate, contact sports, and watching the Travel Channel. Don’t worry about the haircut; barbershop accident. Again: don’t be turned off by the haircut.” I’ll have to work on that ad.
Turns out, Frida wasn’t half bad. I looked okay, and as far as I could tell my ears remained in their rightful position. I didn’t even catch a disease from the barber chair.
Supercuts. Who knew?