So, as it was either get a haircut or a dog license, I chose to make the six mile drive to town.
Buell’s barbershop in El Reno, Oklahoma (small town America, the last vast great stronghold of good community living) is an interesting place on most days.
A place where the patrons will request of the barber that he does not give them “a summer-time haircut, because it is still purty-nippy outside” and you can catch up on all the latest.
Where else could you hear about the guy in Texas who mistakenly used a loaded gun to scratch his back last Thursday and ended up shooting himself? He wasn’t unhappy though, according to the story teller. His reason being; that day he had lots of gold-bond powder in his underpants.
Stepping outside, the cool air of the morning, feels a little bit different on the back of my recently shaved neck and head. The sign in the window reads, “You can have sexy hair, now only $10.95.” Sucker born every minute, I know for a fact, that at age 63 sexy hair, most hair, is a thing of the past. I grow hair in my ears now, not on my head. Even the barber inquired, “You want me to trim those eyebrows?”
Evidently “One continuous eyebrow is no longer accepted as cool in America anymore.”
Snatching a big breath of country air, I venture out to the interstate for a quick snack of an Angus Burger at McDonalds. No visible sores on the kid, and his acme isn’t all that bad, I figure it is going to be a good day. In the corner and old man is busy cleaning tables, the new work from the cradle to the grave policy in American fast food joints is in effect. I get in line next to an old woman and fish out my money clip.
The elderly woman, small and frail, looks about 75 or 80 steps up to the counter and in a small voice says, “I would like a hamburger, small order of fries, and a small coke, please.” The kid behind the counter says, “You want cheese with that?”
She says, “I want a hamburger, small order of fries, and a small coke sonny.”
The kid looks at her and says, “You want a large order of fries?” The old woman turns and looks at me and in a crisp voice inquires of me, “Am I speaking English?”
I reply, “Yes mama, yes you certainly are.”
She then tells the kid ONE MORE TIME … “I want a hamburger, small order of fries, and a small coke sonny. If’n I wanted cheese, I would’ve asked for a cheeseburger, if I wanted large fries I would have asked for large fries.”
Mr. future CEO then asks, “You want a large coke?”
The old lady turns to me one more time and says, “I must be invisible or something.” She then turns and walks out, in no apparent hurry, Mama shuffles off to the nearest exit, with I suppose, her ravenous appetite in check.
The sad part about all this is … I know just how she feels on some days bless her heart, and often I secretly wish that I could be just that … Invisible.
Taking it one step further, I bet you do too.