Thursday, April 12, 2012

Supercuts must be destroyed

In my youth, I did not pay much mind to my appearance. I believed that a man should and would be judged by, as the great Martin Luther King once said, the content of his character. However, with age has come wisdom, and one bit of wisdom I have incorporated into my thinking is that people are foolish and judge based on the look of a man rather than by what he says or does.

Since I cannot change human nature (another unfortunate bit of wisdom I have obtained), if I wish to make a good impression on others, I know that I must keep a neat and professional appearance. Therefore, it is important to me to have a good haircut. I regularly visit the barber shop down the street from where I live. Rahul, the barber, knows precisely how to cut my hair so that it will bring me the proper respect from and admiration of others.

That is, he did. Last week, Rahul met a premature end, it seems, in what his heartbroken wife could only describe to me as a "snowblower accident". What he might have been doing with a snowblower on a warm April day baffles even my mind, but I like to think he was perfecting some kind of innovative hair-snipping technique, for he took pride in his societal role as a barber.

Rahul's death caused me great anxiety, as my hair had gotten a bit longer than I prefer it to be. I had planned on visiting his shop soon for a trimming. Alas, it was not to be. Lost and confused, I instead found myself wandering the streets of Manhattan, not sure which barber to use. It was then that I made one of the biggest mistakes of the past several fortnights: I ventured into a seemingly benign establishment known as Supercuts.

I was aware of Supercuts as a hair salon franchise, but I had never used their services due to my disdain for any retail store with "super" in its name (I find it distasteful). I do not know what came over me, but I put aside that disdain and walked through the door.

I was greeted by a youth with hair far too many colors in his hair to be presentable. This should have tipped me off, but I suppose I was too nervous to pay it much mind at the time. The apparent ignoramus motioned wordlessly for me to have a seat, at which point a young girl approached me, her face as blank as the mind behind it, and asked me for my preferences. I had to repeat myself several times, despite the relative simplicity of my request.

She immediately pulled out the hair clippers, which caused me to shout out.

"That is not right!" I chastised her. "You cannot begin a haircut with clippers! You must first use scissors!"

I should have stormed away then, in retrospect. It was a wrong decision to sit back down and compose myself as I did. However, I am a man who is attuned to the feelings of others, and as such, I did not want to hurt the feelings of the girl. I informed her that scissors were to be used first in a proper haircut, and that clippers were merely for shaping the edges of the hair.

My instructions were met with some mumbles barely above the volume of silence, after which she obediently produced scissors from a drawer and began to snip away at my hair. I noticed that she did her work differently from how Rahul did his, but for some reason I believed that this variation was not dangerous. I am a man whose mind is open, and I recognize that there can be multiple paths to a good end. My normally flawless instincts failed me as I let her continue her ruination of my head.

She worked quickly - too quickly. After a few short minutes, she pronounced herself done and held a mirror so that I could see the back of my head. It was atrocious, to be mild. Her incompetence now apparent to me, I leapt from my chair and sneered at her. She backed away, recognizing perhaps that I was not one to stand for such inferior skills. I informed her that she needed to find another line of work, at which point the ignoramus boy with the ridiculous hair came to her defense, saying something unimportant to which I did not listen because I was so angry with both of them.

I turned to leave, but the ignoramus then said to me (imagine a foolish cracked voice here), "Hey mister, that's twenty-one dollars."

I turned back slowly. The incredulity must have been apparent in my facial expression, as they both flinched. Imagine that: not only charging for a substandard, clearly amateur haircut, but charging twenty-one dollars! Rahul had never charged me more than twelve!

I refused payment on the grounds that they had not provided the service (a quality haircut) for which they wanted me to pay. The ignoramus threatened to call the police, but I astutely pointed out that an officer would take one look at my head and lock them both away. In the end, in my mercy, I reached an agreement with them that I would leave and never return.

This was three days ago, and my rage only deepens. Supercuts is now my enemy. The world must stop its support of substandard, overpriced haircuts immediately. Find a barber - a good quality barber, like the late Rahul - instead. Do not give money to the charlatans and fools. I wish nothing but destruction and decay for Supercuts.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Thank you come again

I have been remiss in keeping up with this weblog of late, but I shall endeavor not to let such a gulf of time go again without posting here. I recently acquired a malady of unknown origin, but I have vanquished it and can now resume my life as it was.

Today I find that I must post about a most aggravating event that occurred while I was attempting to order what passes for food at my local McDonald's establishment. I would not normally debase my body with such nefarious chemicals as those used in such a place, but I was late for an appointment and had not eaten due to an earlier digestive issue.

As I waited in the line, patiently allowing the fools in front of me to take their time ordering whatever it was they were ordering (for I paid them little mind), I began to feel some annoyance at the little Indian lady behind the counter. It was not because she was Indian, for I find no fault in that at all - nay, Indians are a noble people whose history and culture impress even me. No, it was because she said exactly the same thing in exactly the same way to every poor slob who placed an order with her: "Thank you, come again." The utter lack of sincerity in her words caused a fire to light deep within me, and as each patron walked off with his or her agglomeration of poisons on a platter, that fire grew.

By the time it came to be my turn to request service, I hated her. The extent of my ill will towards her was, by my estimation, comparable to what a father would feel toward the killer of his first born son. I wanted to annihilate her, to wipe any trace that she had ever existed from the Earth. It was going to be difficult to contain myself as I placed my order, but my generosity and forgiving nature helped me to rein in my murderous thoughts long enough to order some Chicken McNuggets and sparkling water.

And then it came. Not only did she speak those infernal words once more, but she cut me off with them as I attempted to confirm that she had indeed given me sparkling water and not Sprite or some other excessively sweet beverage. I am a very patient man, and I am quite willing to forgive the flaws and foibles of the many simpler folk with whom I must share my time. However, her evil was not one I could abide.

"Silence!" said I. "Your words offend me and every other patron here!" I could tell I spoke for the other patrons by the looks of agreement I observed on their faces when I spoke aloud.

The woman, small in both physical stature and apparent mental capacity, simply looked at me. I had stunned her, it seemed, with my spoken truth.

Hearing no rebuttal, I continued: "There is no acceptable excuse for this. Were we in ancient times, you would be slain for your offense. But we live in civilized times, and you should be thankful that I am a civilized man. You must cease at once with your false pleasantries. That, or you must truly seem to mean what you say when you say it. This disgusting falseness to which you subject each paying customer here is a travesty, and neither I nor the others will stand it any longer. I wish to speak to your manager."

As I spoke, she backed away. Clearly my words had caused her to feel some sense of shame. A good first step, thought I.

The manager, a decent-looking fellow with an ill-advised mustache, arrived promptly. However, his attitude was not what I expected. Rather than listening to me and invoking disciplinary measures, he seemed to direct his annoyance toward me!

I cannot recall his exact words, as they were not important. He was an ignorant enabler of horrible things, and he defended the lowly woman who had brought such misery into the world, even as I explained in earnest to him what had happened on his watch.

Eventually, I left the establishment. I did not even wait until my order was given to me. I simply walked out. I vow that I shall never again set foot in that terrible place. I intend to write a letter to the Better Business Bureau about my experience; however, I have found that the BBB is not well-run and responds very rarely to my reports. Still, I consider it my duty to my fellow citizens to make reports and ensure that those doing business with others are treated with deserved levels of respect.

In retrospect, I should not have attempted to sate my need for nourishment with the atrocious rubbish served by McDonalds. I should simply have dealt nobly with my gurgling stomach, or I should have sought out a more decent source of food. I am a man who learns from his mistakes, and as such, I take this as a lesson.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dick Clark is not eternal

Let me say first that I have no qualms with those whose abilities have been hampered by unexpected physical or mental impairments. I am not a callous monster.


I understand that Dick Clark was once a beloved entertainer who seemed not to age as he hosted shows year in and year out. Certainly, as a child, I saw him on American Bandstand and in other places and his lack of apparent aging has been a running gag in the entertainment industry for numerous years. But the man is no longer fit to appear on television, and his New Year's Eve special is nothing short of depressing to watch.

I have heard people call it inspiring. I have heard accolades for Dick Clark's perseverance in the face of the stroke that ruined his speech and finally made his age show. However, what I see on the television is a man desperate to be something he no longer is, a man who refuses to let go of his old persona and settle into the limitations of his new reality.

Dick Clark is no longer able to speak well enough to be a TV host. He has enough clout that no one will yank him off the air or even say it out loud, but the man who did not age still seems to think he is the man who does not age. Now, every New Year's, he is but a disquieting reminder that we are all aging, and that another year has come and gone and even the seemingly eternal things we encounter in life do eventually wither and die.

He needs to bow out gracefully. Actually, it is too late for that. He could have done that earlier. Other stars - Johnny Carson, even Ronald Reagan - knew when it was time to step back from the public eye. Clark needs to salvage what is left of his dignity and step down now. It's time for him to accept that he is an old man whose condition is not that of a man who should be hosting anything on television. There is nothing wrong with that. He needs to move on to what is next and embrace it, not keep up this sideshow.

Here's to Dick Clark spending next New Year's Eve rockin' his own living room with some close friends and family, not on our televisions.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

May You Be Blown Away

Earlier today, as I walked briskly through in the streets of the city in which I live (I do not meander at a sloth's pace like the many fools who inhabit this metropolis), I was plagued by constant reminders of the insufferability of most humans. These reminders came in the form of oversized umbrellas.

I do not understand the need to carry upon one's person an umbrella of sufficient size to cover half the width of the sidewalk. I am especially agitated by those who do so without care for others who may actually have somewhere to go. The imbeciles take no care to leave a clear path for those whose walking speeds exceed those of gastropod molluscs.

The benefit of carrying around such behemothic bumbershoots is unclear to me. Yes, it may perhaps minimize the degree to which one's lower legs are saturated by falling rain, but in my experience such saturation arises mostly from splashing in puddles, whose existence the use of an umbrella does not hinder.

This morning I was faced with a particularly doltish lot of umbrella-wielding fools slogging around aimlessly like mobile mushrooms. At every turn, one or more would move to block my path. A walk that would have taken me a mere five or six minutes had they simply stood aside and let me pass was working out to be nearly three times that. I had to act, and I did.

As a crossing signal changed and the cars stopped dutifully, the addle-pates gathered in front of me declined to step forward, choosing instead to carry on an insipid conversation amongst themselves about celebrities or some such nonsense. Had they been empty-armed, I could simply have squeezed by and let them wallow in their idiocy while I went about my day. However, the umbrellas they mindlessly held aloft created for me a sort of roadblock.

Incensed, I shoved the umbrellas aside, shouting "Make way!" One person's pink umbrella fell to the ground. undignified moans of disapproval escaped the foul lot as I thrust them aside and crossed the street. I valiantly chose not to respond to their inane objections - imagine, they saw me as the rude one, when they had stood like stolid fools in my path, not even acknowledging my existence and trajectory. What rudeness is that?

Some part of me, I must admit, feels tempted to purchase a huge umbrella later today and to stand unmoving on a corner - revenge for the horrors through which the fools of this city have put me. However, I am a much more noble and dignified man than one who would only add to the misery of others without reason other than the appeasement of my own animalistic drives. This is what sets me apart from those others who would block the paths of decent men with pressing concerns and places to go.

If you have nowhere to go, nowhere to be, the least you can do is get out of other people's way.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Unicorn meat

I have always hated unicorns. I hate them with a passion alike in strength to that of a newborn child for his mother's nipple. Unicorns are the symbol to me of all that is wrong with this world, and I wish to expose them as the fraudulent schemers that they are.

In truth, my enmity goes beyond unicorns. I tend to hate all creatures, mythical or not, that are equine derivations (except pegasi, which I find inspiring). I believe this acrimony to be a result of my pubescent longing for girls who tended to choose horses over me. I have never understood - nor do I want to understand, for it is truly evil - the appeal of horses to preteen girls. Had I my way, these monstrosities would be corralled into a starcraft and cast into outer space, where they would surely die from lack of fresh drinking water.

My friend, whom I shall here refer to as Owen Wilson (though he bears no resemblance or relation to the actor of the same name or any of the roles in which I have seen him - I am simply fond of the name and wish to type it more often), claims that girls are attracted to horses because they are, by definition, "hung like horses". I say that this is likely not the case. For one, if it were the case, the affinity would continue on through adulthood. For another, there are animals (such as elephants) whose privates would make those of horses appear small. And for yet another, the affinity is not limited to male horses. Also, these are preteen girls. Owen Wilson is a sick, sick man.

But I digress. It is the idea of unicorns about which I intend to communicate my loathing. Yes, unicorns occupy a special place at the pinnacle (or, more appropriately, the nadir) of my personal hierarchy of loathed creatures, which I have well-mapped in my mind. Unicorns represent falsehood. They represent the misguided wish of youth. They are wrong on many levels.

My introduction to them as a concept came when I was a child and saw one at a circus show. No, no, I know that unicorns are mythical, but someone had made one. Those swindlers at the circus had surgically implanted a horn in some horse's forehead. Were I able to feel any empathy toward horses (I am not, for they are foul beings), I would have pitied the beast. Instead I felt only revulsion, both toward it and toward those who had made it. I lifted my arm to strike at it as it moved past me near the tent, but I thought betterof it - horses are vile and dangerous beasts when improperly stirred.

What bothered me most was how people believed in it. Children were amazed that a real unicorn was being paraded before them. I nearly engaged in fisticuffs with a fellow circus patron who told his daughter that the thing was indeed real and true. Only through great restraint on my part did I not destroy all who were before me as they gazed lovingly at such filth.

The unicorn is a scam and a sham. It is a thing put before us as real that is not, that fools accept as real and whose realness they proclaim to others. Unicorns are presented as magical and wonderful creatures, and those convinced of their realness imbue them with traits they only wish they could find in real beings. I have lived my life in opposition to the unicorn. I do not tolerate those who construct fantasies to fulfill their longing for traits not found in the real world.

Here, in this blog, I shall battle unicorns.