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The Haircut

August 17, 2016

I thought I was so smart.

One of the surprising joys of these road trips has been the need for haircuts along the way, and the sometimes odd or interesting places we’ve gotten them. To this day, the best haircut either of us has ever gotten is the random barbershop we stopped at in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on our first road trip. The haircuts we got in the Outer Banks on road trip #2 were pretty good, too.

Today we figured we’d find a place to get haircuts at some point after our visit to the Rock Island Lighthouse, either in Clayton, NY, where the tour company is based, or in Ottawa once we got there.

As we were getting off the boat at the end of the tour, I had a stroke of genius. I took a look at the captain of our boat, and saw that he kept his hair short and neat. So I walked up to him and asked him where I could find a barbershop nearby. He didn’t hesitate for a second, just gave me the kind of clear directions that you’d expect from a boat captain.

A few minutes later we pulled up to an old school barbershop. And when I say old school, I’m not kidding. A sign on the building said it was built in 1852. And the barber, well, my guess is that he built it himself.

Sam was the first to sit in the chair. He told the barber what he wanted. First the barber misunderstood, then refused to believe what we were telling him. He insisted that Sam didn’t need a haircut at all, or at the very most just needed a little trim. It was then that I started wondering how awkward it would be if we would just bail. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. So we insisted on a thorough haircut, and the ancient barber dropped an F bomb, turned on his haircutting music (oldies, naturally), and got to work, announcing, “I’m just going to do it the way I always do.” So Sam sat there in disbelief while the guy started cutting, and I just hoped that the resulting damage would be fixable by a normal barber.



After a little while the barber looked over at me and asked if the top was short enough. I said yes. He barked at me. “Well of course it is! Look how much hair I cut off!”

In the end the haircut wasn’t bad. But I sure as hell wasn’t going to sit in that chair. So I’m hoping to get my haircut tomorrow in Ottawa.

And true to form, we had another memorable road trip haircut.

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