Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Shear Pain

Have you ever seen someone shear a sheep? They tip them over and sit them up on their rump so their legs aren’t on the ground. That way the sheep is less annoying while you’re removing its wool. I’m not that smart. I shear all my livestock while they’re standing up, and they’re incredibly annoying about it.

Of course, even if I put them back on their rumps, they’d be just as annoying, because mine can talk. Ever since we first started shearing them, our three boys have taken haircuts to be a personal attack on everything in their lives that is good. They whine and complain as if their whole sense of happiness and contentment is connected to their hair.

We had always buzzed them short, but about a year ago we gave in. In this life you must pick your battles, and my wife and I use up a vast majority of our will to live every day just with homework and dinner time.

So now they all have long hair. By “long,” I of course mean one inch. That’s as long as it’s going to get. There will be no man buns around these parts, Fabio. I’m even seeing dudes at the gym wearing head bands in their hair. Not sweat bands, but skinny elastic hair bands to make the front of their hair stand up. Sorry, boys, but if you ever decide you need to use one of your mom’s stretchy hair bands to manage your flowing locks, it’s all coming off with a razor.

One inch-long hair allows sculpting of the fauxhawk, which was the impetus behind all the whining about wanting longer hair. “What’s a fauxhawk?” you might ask, as I did, if you are as tragically unhip as me. A fauxhawk is basically a short Mohawk but without the shaved sides. You just stick the middle of your hair up in the air with gel, as if you’re a surprised cartoon character.

I was against this hairstyle from the beginning, and I remain against it a year later. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really care what my son’s hair looks like on any given day, as long as it’s not long. I’m against the fauxhawk because it requires gel.

But we gave in, and now we own Gorilla Snot. That’s the name of the hair gel. We have fauxhawks held up with Gorilla Snot. I wish I was making that up.

Gorilla Snot has a holding power somewhere in between asphalt sealant and Krazy Glue. Between the hair gel and the toothpaste residue left over after they get ready for school, you could trap and hold an adult male grizzly bear just by luring him onto our boys’ bathroom counter.

Besides the fact that I’ve actually glued my shorts to the sink, I’m also against the new long hair because of the haircuts. The whining and complaining remains the same from the boys, but the actual cutting of the hair is more difficult. I’m fighting my way through more hair now, which is no small task with Son Number One. His hair is so thick it’s actually like shearing a sheep. We go through clippers at an alarming rate. I would buy some real sheep shearing clippers, but those things are deadly serious. I don’t want to actually be able to cut an ear off.

A while back, I nicked an ear with our standard clippers on the third haircut. There was so much hair already in the sink, when we combined some blood it looked like we’d murdered a family of chinchillas.

Plus, it’s a lot tougher to see what I’m doing with the long hair. All three boys have a knob on the back of their heads that really doesn’t like to be pushed on by clippers. I can’t see where it is, so I get a lot of complaints about my style, mostly focusing on how much better mom is at cutting hair, and how I push too hard. I tried to buy louder clippers, but they don’t sell them.

It takes weeks of mental preparation and often a few stiff drinks to get through haircut day. And that’s just for the boys. Plus, after it’s over, there is no immediate sense of relief for any of us, because we still have to get through round two after the mom critique phase. “You missed some long hairs on top here,” or, “You forgot the whole left side of his head.”

Sorry honey, but do you have any idea how much they complain during the haircut? Sometimes I just need to be done.

I guess I could spend the money and take them to the barber shop, but that just seems cruel. I mean, what did that barber ever do to me?

I think I might just get some sheep. They’d probably be less of a hassle to shear, and I could sell the wool. Plus sheep probably don’t hold a grudge for so long when you nick their ears.

See you soon,


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