Haircuts


“Did you get a haircut?
“No, I got them all cut!”

Photo by Mati Mango on Pexels.com

I have been getting haircuts my entire life. For as long as I can remember. I’m sure I even got haircuts before I could remember them. My mom was my first barber. I am reminded of my haircuts now, because I just got a haircut.

Most of my barbers have been Italian, except for my mom, of course. I had two Italian barbers who were both named Aldo of Italy. I patronized both for about ten years each. My next Italian barber was at UIC, but I cannot recall his name right now. My present barber is Vincenzo who has an enthusiastic sense of humor. My mother’s name is Carmen, and although she’s not an Italian barber, she does have an Italian name–except in Italian, it’s a man’s name.

I found my barber Vincenzo because of my present wife Beata, who also is not an Italian barber, nor does she have an Italian name. I was complaining to Beata about the long wait at the UIC barber shop because the two older barbers had retired and the youngest barber, but not so young anymore, told me after he hired a couple of twenty-something barbers, “I remember when I was the kid of the barbershop!” Tempus fugit!

Anyway, my wife has a half-Yorkie, half-Shi-Tzu dog named Pluto that needs regular haircuts at the dog groomer. So, one day, she comes home after dropping Pluto at the groomer and tells me, “I found a new barber for you!” The barbershop was right next door to the dog groomer. Since I didn’t like the wait at the barbershop at UIC, I went longer intervals without haircuts, which annoyed my wife because she liked me better when my hair was short.

The next time Pluto needed to be groomed, Beata took Pluto and me for a ride. We dropped Pluto off at the groomer and then she walked me next door to the barbershop. This was a real barbershop, a man’s barbershop for the macho he-man. Vincenzo didn’t introduce himself to me, nor did I. He swept his open palm invitingly to the barber chair where I sat down. My wife sat right across from me, as if I would try to bolt out before getting my unwanted haircut. Vincenzo asked me, “How do you want your haircut?” I pointed to my wife and said, “You have to please my wife.” Without missing a beat, Vincenzo said, “No! You have to please your wife!”

My wife laughed, I laughed. Vincenzo laughed. Vincenzo has been my barber ever since.

Petunia


Petunia

Long ago, my brother Jerry had a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig named Petunia for a pet. “Why did you name her Petunia?” I asked him. Well, what is Porky the Pig’s girlfriend’s name? Petunia! And so, in a moment of sheer brilliance my brother had a pet Vietnamese pot-bellied pig named Petunia. He was always proud of his naming abilities thereafter.

Petunia had quite a personality.  She attracted people from all over the neighborhood since no one else had a pig for a pet. They would drive by just to see Petunia in the yard. One day, Petunia escaped from my brother’s yard and within hours someone had returned her home to my brother. Everyone knew where she lived. Petunia was very friendly, especially if you were eating. She would butt her head against your leg until you gave her something to eat.

I used to visit my brother quite often, so I used to see a lot of Petunia. I liked her, but not in the same way I would have liked a dog. When I moved next door to my brother, I got to see way too much of Petunia, but I was sorry to see my brother move away. But not just because I would miss Petunia!

Once, when he moved to his new house, Jerry left a case of beer on the rear deck to cool off for a party, and Petunia managed to puncture through the cans with her teeth. She drank the whole case of beer! She staggered around the backyard until she fell over and passed out. There were empty beer cans all over the deck.

My brother loved that pig more than any pet he ever had, including our dog, Duke. Some days, he paid more attention to Petunia than to anyone else in his family. Once when I was at Jerry’s house, I noticed that Petunia’s toenails were painted red. Jerry had painted her toenails and his wife Rita wasn’t too happy about it. She said, “He never painted my toenails!”

P.S. Yo-Yo Ma named his cello Petunia.

DDR