Friday, July 24, 2009

Getting a Haircut vs Going to the Dentist

One of the most memorable scenes from the movie Always is the scene in which "Hap" is giving Richard Dreyfuss a haircut in the middle of the woods after he dies in a terrible plane crash (see video below).
Why such a random juxtaposition of events? What's a haircut have to do with the peace and rest and complete gift of the afterlife? If you're asking that question, clearly you've never had a good haircut. Clearly, you've never been to Troncelliti's, the last bastion for a good manly haircut in America.
Getting a manly haircut is a wonderful thing. I was reflecting on it yesterday as I sat in pensive apprehension in a similar sort of "chair" waiting for my dental exam (first one in over 3 years. Shame on me.) Yes, both involve sitting and being receptive, and letting something "be done unto you." Great opportunities for grace and reflection. But a haircut is something done for you. A dental exam is something done on you; heck IN you. The first is a gift, the second is an assault.
You see friends, a good manly haircut is like getting a massage for the soul; the gentle hum of the clippers, the metallic twittering of the scissors... Ah! in the right hands it's a symphonic experience! A dental exam, conversely, is akin to being abducted by aliens, then poked and prodded with yes, equally sharp metallic instruments, but this time they're.... in your mouth.
While getting a manly haircut, you might hear things like:
1. oldies playing in the background (lots of Sinatra and Glen Miller if you're at Troncelliti's), 2. debates over who had more RBI's in the 1957 World Series, or 3. silence.... which is my favorite.
A good manly barber knows you're not there for chit chat. You just want to float away to Happy Land on the scent of that talcum powder and the smell of that amber liquid they splash on your neck. You just want to BE.
While in the dentist's chair, you might hear things like:
1. drills, 2. drilling sounds, and 3. drills. Plus there are strings of words that make absolutely NO SENSE. In my visits to the dentist I have tried my darndest (?) to figure out their alien tongue, but have failed miserably.
Can someone translate this gibberish?
"1..2 2...3... cloobickle. 4...1 1...2 2.... clubickle... 5....1 2...cloobickle"
Now you're asking, where is this going? What deep spiritual insight can be gleaned from my reading this post today? The answer is: I don't know. But I do know this! On Thursday I go under the "knife" for a root canal. YIPPEE!! I'm really excited about it. I'm going to offer if up in union with Christ's sufferings and release hundreds of souls from Purgatory. And maybe I'll bring my iPhone and record what the "dentist" says as I slip into Numby Land. Can it be rendered in human speech? Is there an app for that? We shall see. In the meantime, I'm going to have some CHOCOLATE!
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