Published December 11, 2022

The Electric Chair 

Written by
Kim Fundingsland
| The Dakotan
In the opinion of Kim Fundingsland
In the opinion of Kim Fundingsland

Slice of Life 

A goal of all writers is, or should be, to attract attention. Some of us have devised clever ways to do that. Hence the headline, the “Electric Chair.”  

But wait, I am not all deception here. This is not one of those “gotcha” gimmicks where you have to read a bunch of mundane paragraphs and scroll by countless advertisements to find anything remotely related to what you had hoped to read. Nothing but the truth here, or perhaps my interpretation of it. 

The electric chair to me is where I sit when I get a haircut. Clever, huh? But with sound reasoning too. Every time I sit in a barber chair the clipper comes out, attached to a nearby outlet.  

Electric chair. Get it? 

Anyway, there’s a real message in here somewhere amongst the sweepings off the floor, the hum of the hair clipper, and the snipping of scissors. 

Haircuts have certainly changed over the years, and I’m not talking about fancy cuts or hairdos. Nope. I don’t remember my first haircut, but I do remember sitting on a kitchen stool with a dishtowel tied around my neck while my mom or dad gave me what they called a haircut. 

It’s a good thing I didn’t squirm around much too, or I certainly wouldn’t have any ears today – at least that is what I was told, and believed, those many years ago. 

I can’t recall my first trip to a barber chair either but, based on the fact I still have ears, I must have sat still. 

What I can recall is hundreds of haircuts over the years with a pile of hair underneath the barber’s chair. Of course, those piles of hair have changed considerably over the span of several years, and several barbers. 

The dark colored hair gave way to hair with a glimpse of gray in it. A few years later that turned to mostly gray. Silver, I’d say. Sounds better anyway. 

There's always those moments at the end of a haircut, before the barber pulls out the vacuum to suck away all the clippings on your shoulders and neck, when they hand you a mirror so you can see the new you. 

Truth is, I can see the new me on the floor long before that mirror shows up, a collection of silver hairs that won’t fill a dustpan. Haircuts that used to take 30 minutes or so are now done in seven. Where did the years go? I am sure I’m not the only one to wonder about such things. 

Then out comes that mirror to remind you. I don’t even check on the haircut anymore, just look at the face in the mirror and see memories of days past. The view from the electric chair sure has changed. Rather quickly too. Less hair and a different color, but at least I still have both ears. 

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