Barber Shop

  When I lived in San Jose I visited a barber shop on El Camino Real.  After I sat down to get my hair cut, I immediately took note of the barbers who worked there.  Two of them were men, and one was a woman.  One of the men was about 6 feet tall, and upon first inspection, you'd probably call him 'big-boned'.  Big-boned doesn't quite capture it though, because it implies that he was fat, and he wasn't fat.  He probably went to the gym about 5 days a week to maintain the muscle mass he had.  He also had lots of tattoos.  Old tattoos.  They were very hard to make out and I can't describe them, and I haven't seen any like it since.

  The other guy was also in good shape, but wasn't quite as formidable as the first.  The three of them all seemed like they were very good friends, and they had a certain calm suave about them.  In fact, they seemed a little bit too calm.

  I thought to myself: "What are these guys doing working a barber shop?"

  After the shorter guy finished cutting my hair, he took note of my bicycle helmet.  He was extremely talkative and so friendly that it made me uncomfortable.

  I started to get my stuff and leave, when he said "Wow!, that's a really nice helmet that you've got there!".  As he said this he leaned toward me with a beaming warm smile.  It wasn't a nice helmet.  When I purchased it, I had specifically asked the bicycle shop to give me whatever their second-cheapest helmet was.  It cost $30.

  He further inspected the helmet, and remarked about its vivid red colour.  He repeated the brand name (I forget what it was) and said "Oh, <brand-name>", that's a really good name!.  I said "It's actually just a cheap helmet I got at the bicycle shop.".  He repeated his assertion that it was a nice helmet, and continued small talk even though I just wanted to be on my way.

  As our discussion dragged on, it reminded me of the show "The Sopranos".  Whenever there was a scene where people seemed like they were being a bit too over-the-top friendly, you'd always expect that something bad might be about to happen.

  Eventually, his fascination with my helmet ended and I put it on and biked back to where I was staying.

  That day I got the best damn haircut I've ever had.