By Harvey Tobkes

This all happened about 6 months ago:

I needed a haircut so badly, I couldn’t stand to look at myself in the mirror. COVID-19 was raging but I could not delay any longer. What the hell! Columbus took a chance, so why not me.

Today, being a busy Saturday my Italian barber could not give me a same-day appointment, but luckily, I remembered a neighbor recommending a Unisex hair salon in the walkway behind Publix Market, so I decided to check it out. The shop appeared small on the outside but when I walked in I saw they had 20 chairs, all occupied by ladies getting beautiful, and all women operators. I decided I would try pot-luck and go for it.

Somehow, I got lucky and the receptionist told me she had an opening in a couple of minutes. Sure enough a few minutes later a very heavy set Russian girl named Sonya introduced herself. I saw a person who was possibly an ex-women’s Olympic Wrestling Team gold medalist, who said in a thick KGB accent, “I ready give you nice haircut now.” We began with some preliminary conversation and she told me she was from Moscow and has been in the United States for 2 years. I told her my grandpa was born in Kiev and came to the United States in 1875. This chit-chat was all prior to her getting to work cutting my hair and then before anything else she started applying lipstick. I jokingly told her she didn’t have to get all dolled up for me; she giggled and said, “I feel naked no lipstick.” I said, it’s O.K. with me if you give me a haircut while you’re naked.

The Russian thought that was so funny, I think she’s still laughing. And as for me…after thinking it over, Sonya probably looked much better dressed, wearing lipstick, than undressed.

Sonya offered me my choice, she asked…what style you want? Look like Putin…very short hair, Stalin…leave a lot of hair, or Nikita Kruschev…no hair and she laughed. I chose to look like George Clooney but that would take a Russian miracle.

She used an electric clippers and in no time she said, “O.K. You finished now.” I looked in the mirror, and I saw…my grandpa.

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