1. Tuesday, April 23, 2002

    look around, around, the second drummer drowned 

    the mailbag is full of haircut questions, so i’ll tell you the little story.

    probably just like the place where you work, the xbi has its share of security gaurds. especially after september. just like the rest of us, the guards are undercover. if you walked past our heaquarters you’d just think that a row of old men were waiting for their doctor, but no, they are retired g men with itchy and arthritic trigger fingers dying to bust a cap in your ass.

    ive always said that im an old man in a young man’s body, so whenever i can i ask the fellas things like where i should get my hair cut. there was a minor disagreement, but eventually there was consensus on a barbershop near la brea.

    i went in on friday after work. even though the neighborhood is mixed, there was only black faces in the barbershop. all the chairs were filled and soon after i sat down on the comfy couch, the couch was filled with awaiting men of all ages flipping through industry magazines.

    within a few minutes it was my turn, i put down my Black Entertainer and shook hands with my barber. from a snapshot he’d taped to his mirror, i saw that he had once had a much bigger afro than I was sporting, and now he was clean shaven. i became nervous.

    i sat down and asked for a trim.

    the joke is if you ask for a trim the barber will cut off most of your hair.

    its a bad joke.

    and it’s true.

    my man pulled out a pair of shears that were at least 18 inches long. i know this because when i used to lay wire through the walls to bug an office or a bedroom, i used an 18 inch drill bit. after a few minutes most of my ‘fro was on the ground.

    the whole time there was great music blasting from the boombox propped in a rocking chair. it was that nu-soul: jazz mixed with hip hop with lyrics that mattered not. my man brought out the buzz cutters to add shape.

    when it was all done i paid my $20, tipped $5 and went on my way.

    in the morning i woke and showered and resigned myself to the results and was mildly disappointed.

    now i see there are rough edges here and there, small mounds of hair that wont push down on this side, and valleys on that side. theres too much hair on top, etc.

    what i really need now, ironically, is a trim.