I'm a realist. I believe, that
we men need to have ourselves groomed from time to time so we come across as being
respectable and presentable. However, I believe some assurances should be
melted out to Barber the moment we step into the salon.
Back in the day when I worked
with WBS and when it was still located in Spear House on Jinja Road, there was
a salon on the top floor of the building. Seeing it was owned by Wava Daughter,
there was an agreement between the salon and WBS in that, WBS on-air presenters
could have their haircuts done there on account. Obviously, I was taking
liberties by going there seeing I was not an on-air presenter.
When I breezed into it on my
first visit, I expected nothing but a quick cut and shave with enough time left
over to pop into The Pub on DeWinton Road for TMLs and wile away the evening
with Peter Ntimba from the news department. Except, it didn’t happen that way.
Barber didn’t get straight to
work as I expected. Rather, he started off with giving my scalp a massage.
While it felt good, I found it embarrassing because real men like me and UPDF’s
finest don’t have head massages. I let it slide. Twenty minutes later, the
cutting started and jeez, being cut by Barber was done with the almost the same
clinical precision a doctor about to perform a lobotomy. With each snip, he
would stop and bring out three different sized hair brushes and do some brushing.
If not, it would be a tiny comb which baffled me because the teeth of the comb
couldn’t grasp my hair. Satisfied that he had gotten the first snip right, he
walked over to the television and gazed at it for a while and then surfed channels,
increased the volume followed by having a snoop at what sort of haircut
Colleague Barber was giving the customer he was working on.
And then he ambled back to me.
Another small snip and out came the brush again, followed by a stroll to the
window to keep abreast of what was happening down at the taxi rank and to see
if Mandazi Woman had passed or just gawp out of the window for no reason -
except, err, gawp.
His curiosity satisfied, he
returned, adjusted the shaver and started hacking off wads of unwanted hair
while contorting my neck backwards, then left, then right and finally forward
like he was trying to get me into a wrestling headlock. After almost an hour of
being swirled about in the chair, just as I thought he was calling time, there
was hooting on the street below which, necessitated him making another trip to
the window to be nosey.
Satisfied the person hooting
could get on without his help, he swaged himself back to my scalp via a
television pit stop to change the channel to Channel O. After a wash, I was all
good to head to The Pub – except, he wasn’t done. “Mzee, I am almost” he said
and with that, I braced myself for another hour in the seat.
What happened next defied all
acceptable rules of male grooming etiquette. It was rape and with hindsight, I
should have swung him two hot slaps and thrown him out of the window along with
his assortment of hair brushes. Do you know what he did!? Dude reached for the
trolley, picked up a toothbrush and began brushing my eyebrows and eyelashes!
Do you see why I would have been justified in ejecting him through the 5th
The final straw by way of a
volley of foul language came when he picked the trimmer and tried to trim my
brows into shape. Jeez!