Now it's time for a trip to the sink. He turns on the water and ushers you out of the chair, dragging a small barstool over in front of the basin. You take a seat and he shoves your head forward, under the drenching stream, massaging the warm water over your head and neck. At last he turns off the water, and lightly works the towel over your head, then leans you back up.
"I'm using a new soap today," he announces, holding up a bottle. The label has a masculine symbol on it with the slogan, "Fitch, the Man's Shampoo." "Good stuff," he says as he motions back to the chair. Sinking into the leather, you lean back and lay your sleeves on the padded arms as he rapidly towels your head. This time he picks up a bottle of white cream, pouring out a small handful. He rubs his hands together, dragging the palms over your head and wiping the fingers in your hair. He returns for another dollop, working the second application in more vigorously. He slides his fingers into a chrome vibrator, and for five minutes drags the rumbling engine across your head.
takes the comb from
the breast pocket of his barber jacket and finds
your part, carving the hair to each side, smoothing it with the other
hand, raking the shining locks around your ears and combing back a damp
wave in front. You catch one more play, and then the chair spins around
and he hands you a mirror. You break into a big smile and reach
for your wallet. "Looks great, as usual." "One business man's cut," he
replies, and busies himself with the comb and clipper before dusting
your neck with a generous dose of talc, the finishing touch. The chair
spins back and the cape falls off in one motion. "See you next week,"
he calls as you make your way out past the row of chairs. "You bet."
Nowadays that would be the guy version of a day spa, but in the 'fifties it was standard operating procedure. Some might find the graphic description a little long- winded, but the preceding play by play was right out of the Barber School Textbook, and older gentlemen not having a Senior Moment will testify that it was true. Not only true, but typical. The carbon copy crop going on in every town in America, and in the big city, 24/ 7. Standard, everyday, everywhere --your basic guy haircut, as ubiquitous as jeans are now. The calling card of the regular guy. The shining glory of the Crown of Creation.
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