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Posted by on Feb 27, 2023 in Gary Chalk, Humor, humour, Retirement humor, Retirement Humour, Retirement Living |

Living Retired — ‘Splitting Hairs’

Living Retired — ‘Splitting Hairs’

Living Retired — ‘Splitting Hairs’

By Gary Chalk.

During Covid Couple Confinement, Jan and I began playing Crib most nights before dinner. Jan poured some wine, made up hors d’oeuvres, and complained about my inability to accurately count my Crib! We still do this today. Some things never change.

Another activity we have continued is that Jan cuts my hair. However, both of us are ambivalent about this. Here is what I mean…

Pre-Covid I would call ‘Al’s Place’ to make an appointment. Al has cut my hair back when I had more hair.

These days, Jan quickly tells me when I need my hair cut. She howls in laughter, “Gary, your head looks like England’s former Prime Minister Boris Johnson but with less hair!”

At Al’s, I relax in the chair and he drapes me with a cape and places a strip of white tissue around my neck, just so. With that, Al picks up his barber scissors — the ones with a thing-a-ma-jig that rests against your finger that allows barbers to frantically click away non-stop while they cut and chat with everyone in the shop.

It is different when Jan cuts my hair. She has a pop-up barbershop. First, I have to set it up! I pick up the small mats off the guest bathroom floor. Then, I drag a stool over from the kitchen island to sit on. While I do this, Jan prepares to cut my hair: she pours herself a glass of wine.

Jan’s barbershop is topless — ME! I take my shirt off and before you can say ‘split ends’, Jan immediately tosses a bath towel around my shoulders. Once she muttered, “Gary, the wine makes up for having to see you without your shirt on.”

At Al’s, we talk about guy things: cars, sports. Not so much with Jan. So I kick off the conversation…

“So, Jan how is business these days?” (This is always met by Jan rolling her eyes.)

As Jan sips and snips, I chatter away. “Jan, how is Gary doing these days? His Living Retired column makes me laugh out loud. He is a very funny writer! It must be so much fun living with him. He would be the best!”

Jan sighs, sips her wine and cuts to the chase. “Gary don’t be silly. Today was garbage day. Did you remember to bring the garbage cans back from the curb?”

Al has a gentle touch, Jan not so much. She takes great delight attacking me: spraying ice-cold water from our laundry spritzer on my hair.

“YIKES! That is sooo cold!”

“Gary, I have sharp scissors in my hand. Be careful what you say.”

While Jan sips and snips, I sit on the stool. In my hands I hold our kitchen scissors — I click away to my hearts content. It is like I am back at Al’s.

“Gary, please stop clicking those scissors!”

“Jan I am doing it for the shear fun of it.”

“Knock it off, Gary! I have sharp scissors in my hands and a glass of wine. Not a good combination.”

Occasionally, I see Jan in the bathroom mirror biting her tongue and grimacing. When I ask if she made a wrong cut, she becomes agitated, “Gary, I am doing the very best I can.”

When Al finishes, he pulls away the sheet covering me with a flourish, and we chat some more and solve important world issues. Jan is chatty as well — about my household chores.

“Gary, have you replaced the furnace filters?” She picks up her wine glass and leaves.

I do the rest. I shake the hair from the towel. I get the broom and dustpan and sweep everything up. I return the stool to the kitchen island. Jan’s pop-up barbershop is out of sight until next time.

I don’t know whose hair-brained idea this was, but it is the price I pay for a home haircut.


Living Retired is written by humour columnist Gary Chalk.

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