Straight razor at Scallywags – how is that for a blog entry title?
Sounds like something from the pulp era. I can see Robert Mitchum duking it out with a pair of straight razor wielding gorilla-thugs.
Let me tell you about Scallywags.
For starters, I spotted a tiny wee paragraph or two talking about this new beard-oriented barbershop over on Chebucto right across from the European Pantry – which is walking distance from my home.
I have been searching for a good barber shop for sometime now. I do know a few – but they are all out of my walking range. This location was absolutely perfect for me.
Besides, I needed a haircut and a beard trim in the worst way possible. I had let my beard grow in since Movember and by this time last week I looked like I was running for town Santa Claus. Worse yet, I had a big gig coming up in Tatamogouche – WRITING ON FIRE.
So I decided to walk on up and try out Scallywags.
There were two young fellows there – one gent with a lavish beard and one who was beardless. Truth to tell, I probably would have opted for the dude with the beard – just because I have a strong beard-bias when it comes to barbers – but bearded Brad was busy with a client so I wound up with Dylan.
Turns out my fears where absolutely groundless. Dylan knew exactly what he was doing. He asked me what I wanted and I showed him an author’s photo from MARITIME MURDER.
“Make me look like that fellow again,” I told Dylan.
“I can do that,” Dylan said confidently. “Do you think that you might like to try a straight razor shave?”
Now, let me tell you, I have ALWAYS wanted to try a straight razor but I never had the opportunity before now. I had always watched dudes in western movies and noir movies getting that whole towel and cold steel treatment but until last week I had NEVER found a barber who did that sort of thing.
“You bet,” I said. “Hone that sucker keen and let’s get to it.”
All right, so I might have trembled just a little – but it was manful trembling.
So Dylan started out by cranking the barber chair up until I was almost at a total recline.
“This is great,” I said. “I need to get one of these chairs for my man-cave – just as soon as I could build me a man-cave – not to mention hanging my television on the ceiling so that I can watch it while leaning right back.”
That hot towel did something amazing to the pores of my face. It felt a little like my cheeks were made out of bubbling oatmeal. I could feel the pores popping and puckering and I think if I had had a camera whirling beneath that towel my face would have been twitching and dancing like a jitterbugging earthquake.
It felt weird.
Weird, but good.
Then he slapped some goop on my face and threw another even hotter towel onto me and then he tipped my face to the side and began the razoring.
Oh man, that felt so good.
I might need a cigarette after that shave – and I don’t even smoke.
After he was done he dropped a cold towel that felt it might have had some alcohol in it to help cleanse and cool my skin. After that he flap-dried me with the towel and I just lay there waiting for the Pope to come along and bless me and place a golden crown upon my head.
The Pope must have been busy though because he never bothered to put in an appearance.
So was it a close shave?
Let me tell you, it was two days before I needed to scrape the peach fuzz off of my features – and I can assure you that I possess some of the fiercest facial follicles in the entire known galaxy. I just have to sneeze and I have got a beard growing.
I got into Tatamagouche later that day and the first thing my host said to me was that I looked different.
“You look almost polished,” was how she put it.
The funny thing was, it turned out that the very barber chair I had sat in ACTUALLY came originally from a Tatamagouche barber shop that had closed when the barber passed away.
A haunted barber chair – now THAT’S a ghost story in the making!
SO – if any of you Haligonians out there are hankering for an amazing shaving experience you REALLY ought to get yourselves over to Scallywags Barber Shop – the shaving emporium for the discerning beard-bearer.
yours in storytelling,