Thursday, December 20, 2007

Brutal, Barbaric Brutes

There are 3 types of people in the world. That despite all our grandiose delusions about mankind's million different shades and colors of personality, skin, thought, mindset and blah. Truth it be, there are 3 types of people.

There are some people whom you can mess around with. There are some people who you mess with and pay the price later, but that doesn't stop you (or you can't resist because the temptation is too great) from going for it again later.

Then there are some people who you just do not mess with.

Keeping aside perambulations through an amusement park's worth of my personal experiences about messing and being messed with, we shall instead glide headlong straight into the third variety of people. The type of people you do not mess with.

(I use italics to emphasize the degree of superlativity of the name, person, animal or thing in question. Its nice. And now you know. I also waste post space on inane and pointless points of personal patheticity (awarding them their separate paragraph I tell you!) and hunt fervently for an opportunity to use lots of brackets. (I even like to invent words. Note above: 'patheticity' and 'superlativity'. I've said them aloud in conversations a few times. Its wonderful and insightful how I've gotten away without anyone noticing. (I wonder if my using those personalized words actually impresses the people who don't point out their non-existence. Hmm...)))

So. You do not mess with big, bulky people with menacing expressions on their faces. You do not mess with the guitar shop person, despite the fact that you're going to now go to his place for the 4th time in 3 days to have the same problem fixed. You do not mess with teachers who will commit your name to memory and then sit to correct examination papers. You do not mess with your waiter in a restaurant, because there is a period of about 15-20 seconds when he is alone, and out of external sight, with your food. All this you know. Its general knowledge, assimilated in our formative years, in rich experiences and bitter blahbluhblahblah. I don't feel like expostulating. Expounding even.

(I have a fondness for words that start with 'ex'. Express. Expound. Expostulate. Examine. Exhaust. Exile. Exhume. Excel. Surf excel. Exorbitant. Exalt. Extra extra read all about it. Experience. Exacerbate. Exterminate with extreme prejudice!)

But there is another breed, a sub-species almost, of people you do not want to ever cross. I'm not sure, but they live in shallows and in miseries, in deep, dank corners of humanity, emerging periodically with cutting tools and piercing weapons that can with a single snip or shave cut off our ties with society.

They are beasts they are. And we cannot avoid them. We must visit, we must sit under their knives and their malicious sorceries. And we must pay tribute.

Barber beasts.

The word barber is directly descended from savagery itself. It comes from the Greek word barbaros which directly means "foreign". A reference to "the savage monster who plays with blades and scissors and our social status for anything from 2 to 10 weeks depending on type of haircut given". The word was used to refer, in slang, to the invading hordes of Huns and Mongols, who aside from raping countless women and pillaging cities, were also known to give extremely embarrassing haircuts to the local authority-figures and celebrities straying into their path of fire, destruction and loose, flailing hair-follicles. With time, barberous became barbarian and barbarous. The Mongols, the Huns and their ilk were supposedly wiped out. And we lived on in that belief, feeling the world was safe once again. So, thats done. Now only eeny-weenies like Hitler to deal with. Lets lie back and relax for a while, guys.

It shall go down in history as one of the greatest follies of mankind. We crushed them, but we did not wipe them out. Like that last dinosaur de-egging itself right at the end of Godzilla, the monsters survived. They bred silently, and now the tentacles have spread all over the world.

Barber-beasts.

Scissors flying in hand, and countless more hidden in the folds of their dark tunics. Razors sharpened malevolently, and applied to skin in just that way to extract just that innocent amount of pain before they casually proceed with unhairing the scalp portion in question. The innocent questions, loaded with barber-jargon in different languages, asked over and over in unnecessary repetition to bamboozle us into saying a 'yes' where we meant a 'no' and thus declare our own doom. Barbers are beasts.

And you can not mess with them. Those scissors hold an infinite power. They can head this way and then that, wielding the potential to reduce us to tears with one abrupt change in direction. Those razors, those electric clippers, weapons of potential torture. One wrong move, and they can destroy your life. They can forbid you from stepping out and waving your head in front of the general populace. They can bring shame and ridicule to the life of a beautiful celebrity. Britney Spears, I give you. With one evil sweep of that clipper, the barber can end your plans of adventure and partying, grounding you to your house (or even your room) in perfectly solitary confinement for any period of time. One squeak of protest out of you, and your holidays are over.

I got a haircut yesterday. Its supposed to be one of the most reputed, which means less shady, establishments of hair-snipping art in the city. It is on Park Street.

It was an ordeal. It lasted an hour. An hour! I mean, its not like I have flowing long hair to my waist. My hair is quite short. And I asked him to clip a bit. An easy task, worthy of 20 minutes' dedicated work and no more. Clipping and snipping only upto 4-5 specimen of hair at a time, he stretched time to 1 hour.

I was under the blade for an hour. While he went about examining every damn inch of my scalp, for the third time, I prayed silently. I smiled, squirmed only a bit, and restrained myself from yelling at him to just bloody get on with it.

How could I say anything? This man held my life in his hands. He couldn't kill me, but he could make me wish for it.

So I just sat there. And did not glare at him. I watched him though. I had my knife held in my hands. If I had to go down, I would take him down with me. But he chose to not violate my grace and honour. At the end of it, I smiled and handed over money for his gracious torture to my pure soul. He handed me a receipt for his services so happily doled upon me, and we parted ways. He to his dark lair, and me to glorious freedom outside where the sun shone, and the wind blew.

Something must be done. This threat must be vanquished. One day, we will all meet our individual dooms. (Interestingly, have you already? If so, tell me about it. We can start a support group.)

3 comments:

tusharika said...

dude, u missed out exams....it starts with an "ex" too , ya know ;)

??! said...

Existentialism. Existence. Ex-es. The Existence of Ex-es. XXXX.

Confused & Baffled said...

@tusharika & kim: i bow to your superior knowledge and immensely impressive vocab. i also like words starting with 'im', but more on that later.

and thanks so much for mentioning exams. i needed that, yes. you're a bright little ray of sunshine, aren't you?