It’d been at least six months since my last haircut. For me, this means a Gene Wilder-esque mess of tangled madness floating around my head, barely attached, with the number of gray and white hairs increasing each second, constantly closer to overtaking the brown ones I’m really going to miss. It was time for a cut.
My new-ish apartment is in-between two barber shops in the same chain, about two miles away from each. Normally I’d drive, but my roommate insisted it was a fine walk. While I’d been conditioning myself to spend days at a time indoors, hunched over a computer, internetting my life away, movement is something my body probably needs way more of than I’m willing to give it on a regular basis. Taking this into account, I slathered sun block on all exposed parts of my body and headed out into the world, going the healthy route, despite my fear of sunlight and sweating.
A walk through my neighborhood is a celebration of smells and sounds one normally would not celebrate. So far, my experience is that it’s not a particularly bad neighborhood, but the frequent sirens singing and low flying helicopters dancing, paint a different story. It’s got, uh, character.
That character was even more apparent on the hot summer day walk to get the crazy madness atop my head shorn. Aside from fear of sweating in all the places I really dislike sweating (meaning all the places), it was fine. I’d decided I’d made the correct decision to walk instead of drive when I was upon a street lamp at the corner.
And I felt the air rush past my face, something hitting my messy nest of hair right before sounds of thunder plops exploding about me.
I cursed everything that is curseable and debated running my hands through my mop top. But I didn’t… because I was fairly certain there was bird shit in it. I tried to enjoy the great outdoors, and that quest for joy had been shat upon by nature.
My leisurely stroll became a speed walk. The only fortunate thing was that my destination was a barbershop/salon kinda place. They charged extra for shampooing… I wondered if there was a bird poo charge on top of that.
Now the sweat was really pouring off of me… my unkempt hair all a-crazy, likely now housing the white poop of our fine-feathered fiends from above. Clean, flip-flop and fanny pack wearing tourist gave me the same look I gave that very serene-looking guy I saw walking and peeing down the sidewalk near my neighborhood one time. I was one of those characters who give my neighborhood character.
When I reached the barbershop, there was a wait. Covered in sweat and my version of self-actualization, I went to the men’s room to inspect my hair. While it was a mess, I found no bird poop. Perhaps… I’d just felt the air of it whizzing by? Well, that was a relief.
I was called to a chair, and the hair cutter was a very relaxed, nice lady who loved dancing, talking about how she loved dancing, and who also seemed to have no problem with bird shit. She said it was lucky, but also confirmed there was none on my hair.
As I was sitting, the apron over me, I rested my hand on my leg… and found where the bird shit had hit me. For the first time in my lifetime of getting my hair cut, I asked for a moment to go to the bathroom to wash bird poop off my jeans. She, again, was fine with it, saying she thought it was cool stitching on my jeans when she saw me sitting down. Nope. Poop. From a bird. Bird poop.
When I returned, large wet spot on my pants leg where the dropping had been, hands washed and re-washed at least three times, she kept on chit chatting like it was no big deal. It even turned out she was from the same county of Ohio as I was, which is a wacky coincidence to cap off my wacky non-adventure.
As I left, she reassured me that being pooped upon by a bird is good luck. For me personally, the jury is still out on that one.