Burt Blumert Is in the Market For a Home Haircut Kit
Many American males were brought up listening intently to their barber's opinions on any and every subject. Later in life the barber holds more sway than a barkeep. When encountering the former, there is sobriety, no solid wood bar counter providing a buffer zone, and the constant reminder that the sharp steel instrument in his hand could terminate life.
Conversation overheard at Antonino's Coiffiere, formerly Tony's Barbershop.
Customer (Burt): "Hello, Tony, 'the usual,' but not too short on the sides."
Tony: "The name is Antonino, and we don't do 'the usual' anymore. You're scheduled for a protein wash and a fashion cut followed by a blow-dry. Then a pedicure, and if Madame Arlene is available, she will reveal your future with the Tarot cards."
Burt: "Has Madame Arlene predicted that I may be out of here? All I wanted was a haircut, not a weekend at Elizabeth Arden's spa. Tony, sorry, Antonino, remember the old days — for auld lang syne — just a haircut one last time."
Antonino (brushing away a tear): "I must admit your plea is very touching. Ok, this one time only, just a haircut, but you mustn't tell anybody, and I trust you have shampooed within recent memory."
Burt: "I bathe once a week whether I need it or not, and it would be nice if we could skip the 'Antonino.'"
Tony: "Alright, but you still must pass the Politically Correct screening quiz we instituted when we became a Coiffiere. Please answer the three questions on the white card my son handed you when he took your jacket."
Burt: "I can't believe I'm a willing participant to this, and you might suggest to your son that he shouldn't be eating a pizza slice and handling the customer's garment at the same time, but here are my answers to your dumb questions:
"1. The death penalty for wearing Confederate Flag under shorts must be reversed unless what's at issue is the defendant's poor taste or lack of color coordination.
"2. Although I have affection and sympathy for those vigilantes who overpowered the defense force and occupied California's power utilities, they must abide by the Geneva Convention when dealing with the PG&E employees they took prisoner.
"3. Yes, I am still of the 'Jewish persuasion' as you put it. It was just a week ago Thursday that we were at my nephew's Bar Mitzvah and you made a fool of yourself over-indulging and telling the young women that you were a retired Israeli fighter pilot. And, there was nothing funny about using your yarmulke to wrap the piece of honey-cake you were taking home. Do you suppose I can get my haircut now?"
Tony (scissors flashing): "You guys haven't been laughing very much since George W. Bush selected his cabinet without appointing one Jew. Your commitment to losing causes is so well known, Blumert, it occurred to me this 'insult' might have put you in search of some other religious 'preference'."
Burt (ever mindful of flashing scissors): "Although I should know better, I am puzzled by Jewish folks who express outrage, some directly, others in an oblique manner suggesting that Jews shouldn't need such recognition given their success in many areas. In either instance, they don't like George Dubya. In fact, they hate him.
"There are no Armenian-Americans in the Cabinet. No Italian-Americans and so on. If every American ethnic sub-division were represented, the Cabinet would number 834 people.
"Do you want a foolproof way of measuring George Dubya's presidency? When Left/ Liberal media stars, often Jewish, begin to recognize his merit (see George Dubya's education proposals and the Left's enthusiastic response), it's time to give up any hope that Dubya would give more than lip-service to true conservatism. Sounds to me like another lost cause. Remember, I am the expert in that area."
Tony: "Blumert, you're a downer."
Burt: "Haircut is great, Tony, and I'll see you in the usual 7 weeks."
Antonino:" Sorry, we won't be doing the 'usual' anymore."
Burt: "Well, Antonino, if I ever decide on lipo-suction, I'll call for an appointment."
January 30, 2000