You may recall that I headed to Terrible Cuts on Thursday to get my Lovely Lady Mullet hacked into shape for a new six-year driver's license photo on Friday. The result was... um... not great. Granted, it was a step above the usual terribleness of Terrible Cuts. But not the best terrible haircut I ever got.
I decided on a haircut at the spur of the moment, while in line at the bank drive-thru. I'd been planning to do it Friday, and go to the license office Monday, but figured while I was out and about, I might as well add another stop to my agenda. I picked up my phone and used the Terrible Cuts app (installed for me by The Pony) to check in. That means my name pops up on their computer, and I'll be the next person terribly cut once I arrive. UNLESS there's another person who did the check-in app ahead of me. Terrible Cuts said my wait was 13 minutes. That's about how long it would take me to drive across town.
When I arrived, I glanced at my phone and saw that my wait was now 12 minutes! That didn't seem right! Once inside, I saw my name was in second place on the list. I was the meat in a no-check-in sandwich! The two breads had not used the check-in app. The lady at the top of the list was sitting over by the windows, on the short leg of the L-shaped waiting chairs. The man under me was sitting in the chair closest to the door. I saw two terrible cutters cutting.
Once I sat down, another man came in. He was told there were three people ahead of him and it would be a 26-minute wait. Those terrible cutters must be some savvy mathematicians!
The terrible cutter I prefer was working over in the perm area. She was there last time when she terribly cut me, and the result wasn't half bad. In fact, it was more than half good. She had her hands full, though, with a screaming toddler. The only other terrible cutter was sweeping up around his chair. Yes. HIS chair! There aren't many male terrible cutters. I'd say... counting this one and the others I've seen there... the number of male terrible cutters is ONE.
Manny finished sweeping and called me back. I looked neither left nor right. I didn't want to see that waiting lady glare at me for jumping ahead of her. Too bad, so sad. She needs a college-age son to get her the app! Manny made small talk as I was settling into the chair. I mentioned how the temp had dropped five degrees in the last half hour. How I'd seen snow flurries when I came out of The Devil's Playground. Do you know what Manny did? HE TOOK THE BLOW DRYER AND BLEW IT ON MY HANDS! Somebody was earning his tip!
Manny was not the most manly of men. Not that you would expect such at a hair establishment. This isn't 1975, and Manny wasn't the Warren Beatty character in Shampoo. He made easy small talk while terribly cutting me, which was interrupted at several points by the screeching of Toddler Boy having a meltdown. He must have been about 2, and not at all happy to be terribly cut. I could see him in the mirror, writhing like a possessed serpent, while his mother tried to subdue him on her lap. Or at least keep his head, if not on top, at least parallel to the floor.
"Somebody's not happy!"
"Yes. She took my boy for me."
Manny seemed quite relieved. I knew immediately that by MY BOY, he meant his customer, not his actual biological son. I guess I had shown up right after the transfer, when Manny was cleaning up the sparse evidence of the few terrible cuts he'd managed to make. I held perfectly still for him, and didn't screech, and told Manny, "I want nothing done to the bangs, except even them out from my trimming yesterday." Yet somehow, he got them crooked. That was about the terriblest part of my cut. And he left one side just a little longer. Otherwise, I asked for a little more off the back, and he happily complied.
I repaid Manny's hand-warming kindness with a 21% tip, and got out of there before Top Bread could organize a mob to tar and feather me. With both my shoes, too. Which is more than I can say for Toddler Boy, who'd left one laying on the waiting chairs. Top Bread was picking it up as I left. Hopefully not to wing at me as I passed.