My Covid-19 Haircut
My sister lives in Las Vegas so I decided to visit her for spring break between the two courses I was teaching this year at the Ohio State Moritz College of Law. My husband David could not go with me, as he did two years previously, because he was in a play about to open at CATCO [“Moonlight and Magnolias”—the plot has to do with the creation of the screenplay for the movie “Gone With the Wind”] and it would have its first performance just as I was returning from Vegas.
Covid-19 was a problem, but a small problem on March 5th when I left for Las Vegas, but once there all of a sudden it exploded into the pandemic that all of us are still dealing with (sometimes known as the “collapse of civilization”). I was staying at The Mirage Hotel and Casino, and sitting at the gambling tables, routinely handling chips hundreds of others had touched seemed like a bad idea, so I abandoned casino gambling (which I’ve loved since the 1970s). The visit with my sister and her husband went very well. But I was glad to get on a plane to return to Columbus and go into isolation with David, who picked me up at the airport; this was the evening of Tuesday, March 10th. David had his first performance of the play the next day (full house, standing ovation), and that was it. The play was postponed indefinitely as the theater closed. The set is still waiting there in the dark for the cast and audience to return.
I was scheduled to get a haircut
from Craig Price, my barber for the last 14 years, at noon on Thursday at the
Dublin Barber Shop, but Craig called me that morning and told me that the State of Ohio was
shutting down all the barber shops until further notice.
Yikes! My hair was already too long. What was going to happen?
I was born with very curly black/brown hair (both of my parents had curly hair), and it doesn’t allow for much in the way of styling. I use an Afro pick every day to comb out the tangles (Professor Vincene Verdun of the law school faculty took me to black hair establishment in the early 1980s to pick out the appropriate tool, which had a black power fist as the handle---I still use it). In those 70s I grew a big 'fro and the law students routinely called me “Disco Doug” (see embarrassing photo below).
These days my hair, now mostly white, is still curly (though nowhere near the tight curls of my youth), and I try to keep it short, as in this picture with David of two years ago:
But when Craig cancelled my haircut appointment my hair was long and getting harder to run that pic through on rising each morning, a problem about to get a lot worst. As weeks of isolation passed it grew into a scary look: like Albert Einstein with his finger in a light socket.
Finally I more or less insisted David would have to cut it, and, because he loves me, he agreed (with much in the way of disclaimers about liability for the resulting coiffure). He even permitted the haircut to be filmed on my iPhone, so it is saved in the link below.
It starts with him making the first of a number of references to the barbers' duet number from the musical “Sweeney Todd.” If you don’t know it, perhaps you’d find it amusing to watch that epic battle between Sweeney Todd and Adolfo Pirelli. Here it is from a concert performance of the show:
You can compare that performance with the video of my Covid-19 Haircut, staring David Vargo as the musical barber and myself as his demanding customer.
I will forever love David for doing
this. The haircut was . . . fine. Not pretty, not one to make David apply for a
spot cutting hair at Craig Price’s barber shop, but ending with hair that is no longer
a pain to comb, wash, or care for. And,
since Craig's shop is now open, not to be repeated. Craig is a perfectionist at work; so is David (
but we’re talking about on the stage and not our kitchen with clippers in
his hand). Though I'm not sure what the techniques for cutting hair will be in Craig's shop in this new world. It's a little scary to think about.
If you liked the video of the barber scene from “Sweeney Todd” perhaps you’ll also enjoy the famous “Barber’s Song” from “Man of La Mancha” so here that is:
“A Guide to the Best of My Blog”; http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-guide-to-best-of-my-blog.html
"Far Too High in Las Vegas," September 1, 2010; http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2010/09/far-too-high-in-las-vegas.html
“Playing Blackjack With an Old Chinese Woman,” April 3, 2011; http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2011/04/playing-blackjack-with-old-chinese.html
“How To Play Craps Vegas Style,” April 15, 2011; http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2011/04/how-to-play-craps-vegas-style.html