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The Wisdom of a $12 Haircut
Townhall.com ^ | October 8, 2011 | Bill Tatro

Posted on 10/08/2011 6:32:47 AM PDT by Kaslin

Periodically, when I want to really understand the mood of America, I return to my home town of Clifton Springs, NY, and get a haircut from my old barber, Frankie D.

His is a barbershop from the old days with two antique barber chairs, a cramped waiting area filled with old magazines, and always a ballgame on the television.

The smell of Old Spice and Noxzema shaving cream combined with the heavy aroma of talcum powder takes me back to another era, and is definitely worth the price of a $12 haircut.

No fancy hairstyle, no salon treatment, no bells or whistles, just a good old-fashioned haircut.

Along with a cut, you get the unique views and opinions of Frankie D., along with his 80 years of visionary wisdom. I asked him about the unfortunate recent death of Steve Jobs, and how Jobs impacted Frankie D’s life.

Frankie doesn’t own a cell phone, nor an iPod or an iPad, but he does own an old-time Mac that he purchased many years ago.

“Pretty good,” he said, “but it’s currently unplugged.”

Frankie added, “Jobs was like another Thomas Edison, but a better marketer. Jobs learned his craft from P.T. Barnum.”

“Huh,” I exclaimed.

“Sure,” he said, “He’s just like that guy from Starbucks. He gets people hooked, and then they believe they can’t live without their Starbucks fix.”

Not waiting for me to comment, Frankie launched into a soliloquy on how the American public, and in fact the world, is hooked on caffeine and sugar, which are the two main ingredients that are so important for Starbuck’s special formula of success.

He took a breather long enough for me to interject a quick question.

“But how about the free Wi-Fi, the music, all the other goodies, along with the cultural experience,” I asked.

“It’s simple,” Frankie replied, “P. T Barnum, it’s all marketing, it’s just caffeine and sugar.”

He added, “That Jobs guy, he produced some really great products.”

Once again I snuck in a quick query, “But why do people always need his next upgrade if it’s all just marketing, iPhone5, iPad2, iPod6, or whatever?”

“Are you kidding me,” Frankie D. ranted, “He had them hooked, just like that Starbuck’s guy – caffeine and sugar.”

“Well,” I said, “You’ve got to give both guys credit; don’t you think they were both very successful as people kept returning to their products?”

“Absolutely,” Frankie D. replied. “If you get em hooked, they always come back, P. T Barnum at its finest.”

He went on, “After all, you came back for a haircut, didn’t ya? That’ll be 12 bucks.”

The memories were great, the perspective interesting, and the haircut, oh well, it’ll grow back.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: default; economy; haircut

1 posted on 10/08/2011 6:32:48 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Nostalgia? I’ll give you nostalgia - shave and a haircut, two bits!


2 posted on 10/08/2011 6:35:24 AM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: Kaslin

—thought I’d get a “nostalgic” haircut a few years ago—big disappointment—nobody else in the shop and the guy didn’t even realize that the California border was a couple of miles to the southwest—sure didn’t have much to gossip about-—


3 posted on 10/08/2011 6:40:48 AM PDT by rellimpank (--don't believe anything the media or government says about firearms or explosives--)
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To: Kaslin

Jack in Baden cuts my hair. He is a really Unique guy.

He has been cutting my hair for 40 years.

Hs hands are a bit shaky with the razor now , but you get the full treatmeny. Hair, Nose hair, eyebrows,shaves the edges.

jack gives a good cut, but the only difference between a good hair cut and a bad one is two weeks.

A bit like the news cycle. What happens today is old news two weeks from now.


4 posted on 10/08/2011 6:43:39 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: Kaslin

TWELVE DOLLARS FOR A HAIRCUT? I always cut my own, and I used to bleach it, color it, perm it, when I was young, many many many years ago. But I still cut my own hair, I don’t let people come near my neck with sharp sissors! LOL I remember when boys got $1.25 haircuts in Oklahoma in the 1960s. But I still wouldn’t spend even THAT much to have someone do for me, what I can do for myself, for free. It is so easy.


5 posted on 10/08/2011 6:45:39 AM PDT by buffyt (Abortion is the ultimate CHILD ABUSE!)
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To: Kaslin
Apple's products aren't just marketing. If they where crap people wouldn't stay hooked.

It also doesn't hurt that Apple's stuff is manufactured overseas so their profit margins are huge, and, no unions!

On a more philosophical note, death has brought Steve Jobs level with the lowest coolie in one of his Chinese sweatshops. Death is the great equalizer. Think on that, ye mighty, and despair.

6 posted on 10/08/2011 6:51:27 AM PDT by Batrachian (Not every human problem deserves a law.)
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To: Kaslin
I remember when hair cuts were .75 cents then went to one dollar. Though the world was ending.
7 posted on 10/08/2011 7:01:49 AM PDT by G-Man 1 (-- get)
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To: buffyt

This is in the state of New York. Everything in the Northeast is more expensive due to the libtards mucking things up.

Me, I go to a barber shop run by Vietnamese immigrants. They do one heck of a traditional barbershop job. Some weekends, I go and get a straight-razor shave to go along with the haircut.


8 posted on 10/08/2011 7:03:11 AM PDT by gogogodzilla (Live free or die!)
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To: Jack Hammer

The Navel Legend I heard tell was that “Pieces of Eight” were coins pre-scored to break into eight “bits”. “Two bits” is a fourth of a dollar...twenty five cents.


9 posted on 10/08/2011 7:05:14 AM PDT by 50sDad (A Liberal prevents me from telling you anything here.)
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To: Kaslin

When I was a kid in the 50s we had a neighbor who would cut hair for 10 cents. Nothing fancy, he didn’t do the shaving thing or extra trim but his haircuts were as good as any.

That was cheap even back then. I always suspected he just liked the company as he lived way back in the woods. Also he only cut hair on Saturdays.


10 posted on 10/08/2011 7:39:12 AM PDT by yarddog
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To: Kaslin

The Barber is absolutely right.


11 posted on 10/08/2011 7:48:25 AM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: Kaslin

I get my nostalgia haircut every two weeks. Ride my bike down the street wait in line tell a few jokes (unless there is a mother with kids there ).

The difference is I pay $15 (3 dollar tip). I have to say I really enjoy it.


12 posted on 10/08/2011 7:49:53 AM PDT by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
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To: Kaslin

I wouldn’t call it “wisdom” so much as an “opinion.” And you know what they say about opinions. (Sometimes they are right, sometimes they are wrong. What did you think I meant?)


13 posted on 10/08/2011 8:05:44 AM PDT by Larry Lucido ("#Occupy America" is a great success! I got mail today addressed to "Occupant"!)
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To: buffyt

12 bucks is really really cheap for a hair cut. My guy (basic barber) charges 18 and he’s under charging (at least for his quality) so I pay him 23. Cutting it myself would take way too long, and wouldn’t look half as good, and I wouldn’t get to visit with Dale and the gang.


14 posted on 10/08/2011 8:11:12 AM PDT by discostu (How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today)
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To: gogogodzilla

It must be something with those Asians. I went to a Chinese barber once in western Canada. I spent what seemed like 2 minutes on his chair, and walked away with the best haircut I’ve ever had. LOL.


15 posted on 10/08/2011 8:11:19 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: discostu

I get a cut and beard trim for $13. Just a a cut is $8.


16 posted on 10/08/2011 8:20:22 AM PDT by Dedbone
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To: buffyt

My dad bought some clippers and cut our hair. .
There were four of us boys, so the family saved a dollar or two. The results? We looked like some prison mug shots . . or plucked chickens, depending on the kid.

Fortunately, when we were old enough to become aware of our looks, Mom put her foot down. We got to go to the barber shop with Dad. Then those girls started to notice us . . .


17 posted on 10/08/2011 8:20:31 AM PDT by labette ( Humble student of Thinkology)
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To: Kaslin
“He’s just like that guy from Starbucks. He gets people hooked, and then they believe they can’t live without their Starbucks fix.”

Jobs taught people to need things they couldn't even imagine, much less know they needed. Sugar and caffeine operate at a more basic physiologic level.

18 posted on 10/08/2011 8:32:37 AM PDT by cynwoody
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To: Larry Lucido

‘I wouldn’t call it “wisdom” so much as an “opinion.’

And not all that insightful an opinion at that. The world wasn’t “hooked on caffeine and sugar” before Starbucks? Lame.


19 posted on 10/08/2011 8:37:25 AM PDT by Magic Fingers
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To: Kaslin
I'm a fan of old-fashioned barber shops. Mine is in the tiny town of Waxhaw, NC, downtown, overlooking the railroad tracks. As it happens, the standard rate is $12 there, too ($15 with tip).

Three chairs (one bears its date of manufacture -- 1959), two full-time barbers (Mark and Cathy [or maybe Kathy]), and one part-time barber, who may be C/Kathy's son, or who may not be. I'm not sure; I presume she is.

A screen door permits the breeze to come in when the weather is suitable, so the smell of hair tonic, aftershave, and talcum powder is usually faint. The linoleum floor is worn, as are the waiting chairs lined up along the wall facing the barbers' chairs. The Charlotte Observer is there, for folks who want to check up on doings in the city 25 miles to the north, sometimes a Monroe paper (Monroe being the county seat, 10 miles or so east of Waxhaw), plus a Waxhaw paper that seems to be published intermittently, plus, of course, Field and Stream and Popular Science, and various catalogs selling hunting supplies and guns. Two deer heads look down from the wall over the waiting seats; a boar's head had gotten so ratty that it was recently removed. A small, ancient TV is usually on Fox News, unless there's a game on (there usually isn't, since I most often go on a weekday).

I wander in whenever I'm feeling shaggy, take the first seat that comes empty, and ask for something like a lime green Mohawk or blue spikes, and everyone pretends to find my old gag amusing, and then I get my usual "long crewcut," #2 guard on the sides, tapered in back. About 12-15 minutes or so, including a shave around the ears. I get up, look in the mirror, and say "oh, well -- thanks for trying," and they laugh again. They're used to me, I guess.

One thing I especially like about the place is that they let me bring my dog. So if you go there, and are greeted by a friendly Weimaraner, I'm probably there. If you want a quick trip back to the Eisenhower Administration, drop by for a trim if you're in the area.

20 posted on 10/08/2011 8:40:54 AM PDT by southernnorthcarolina ("Better be wise by the misfortunes of others than by your own." -- Aesop)
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To: Kaslin
This barber is probably as a PAW (Prodigious Accumulator of Wealth), according to the Millionaire Next Door.
21 posted on 10/08/2011 8:51:10 AM PDT by MadelineZapeezda (Milan Puskar: Forever a Mountaineer!)
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To: Magic Fingers
And not all that insightful an opinion at that. The world wasn’t “hooked on caffeine and sugar” before Starbucks? Lame.

Back during the internet bubble, I was in a meeting with venture capitalists discussing the funding of a new hi-tech company. One of the prospective investors was perhaps a little slow and indicated unfamiliarity with the term "business model". A one-sentence definition was offered. Oh, said he. Our business model is really simple: We turn fat, sugar, and caffeine into money. He owned most of the Dunkin' Donuts shops in the area.

22 posted on 10/08/2011 8:57:39 AM PDT by cynwoody
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To: cynwoody

‘”Our business model is really simple: We turn fat, sugar, and caffeine into money.” He owned most of the Dunkin’ Donuts shops in the area.’

LOL - perfect. What’s old is new again...


23 posted on 10/08/2011 10:07:23 AM PDT by Magic Fingers
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To: Kaslin

He who cuts his own hair is wiser.


24 posted on 10/08/2011 2:59:40 PM PDT by familyop ("Don't worry, they'll row for a month before they figure out I'm fakin' it." --Deacon, "Waterworld")
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To: Magic Fingers
"...We turn fat, sugar, and caffeine into money..."

Knew a guy in the espresso stand biz (small place, more than a stand, but just a small one room shop) who told me he realized after a while, that he wasn't in the coffee business as much as he was in the milk business.

Those latte's (the most popular specialty coffee drink, by far) are mainly steamed milk.

25 posted on 10/08/2011 4:27:37 PM PDT by 7MMmag (oh man, pull over man, you're going too fast, man...)
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To: rellimpank
Yeah, if you want an experience, you have to select your barber carefully. I have had the same barber for twenty-something years now, because he has high-profile people in his shop and his clientele. I get a lot of inside dope on the pro sports teams and local politics. And he does a great job cutting hair.
26 posted on 10/08/2011 5:17:05 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: 50sDad
The coin was the Spanish real, which circulated as money in the American colonies well past independence. And you are right, it was cut into eighths for small change.
27 posted on 10/08/2011 5:21:11 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: cynwoody
Jobs taught people to need things they couldn't even ima gine, much less know they needed.

That is the essence of marketing isn't it--get people to buy things they don't need for more money than they should have spent.

Starbucks is the same way--you can get sugar and caffeine for 70 cents at McDonalds, and it's better tasting coffee, but some a-holes insist on paying five bucks to the liberals at Starbucks for the same thing.

28 posted on 10/08/2011 5:27:05 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: buffyt
I always cut my own,

Since it was YOU that brought it up, we all noticed........We've all chipped in and are sending you $12 to get it done by someone who marginally knows what they're doing. LOL!

It should do wonders for your love life........

29 posted on 10/08/2011 5:34:50 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco (ui)
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To: gogogodzilla

Little shop down the road is run by an old Vietnamese woman. Joked with her one time that she cut hair like they did at Fayetteville when I was with the 82nd.

She laughed and said that was where she started back in the 60’s.

$12 haircut, includes the razor, talcum, and a shoulder massage. Takes me back every time I’m there.


30 posted on 10/08/2011 5:44:12 PM PDT by 11Bush
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To: Kaslin

bread and circuses... same difference...


31 posted on 10/08/2011 5:49:35 PM PDT by sit-rep
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To: Kaslin

My Barber is the daughter of my former Barber. She learned from her Dad how to cut hair and worked for him part time to supplement the household income. When her Dad died from brain cancer, she took over the shop, and she still gives 25% of the gross to her Mother as a pension.

She is the ONLY person I will let near my hair.


32 posted on 10/08/2011 6:05:14 PM PDT by Petruchio (I Think . . . Therefor I FReep.)
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