As in, “From the sublime to…”
SpaceX and NASA and Dragon and Falcon didn’t launch today because the weather pretty much sucked in Florida today. They’ll try again on Saturday. Or maybe Sunday. Or maybe some time next week since the weather forecast for Saturday or Sunday isn’t much better than it was today.
This isn’t a problem, just a frustration, especially in our society that expects instant gratification. But they’ll fly when they’re ready and when it’s safe and meets the established launch criteria. As has been pointed out, it’s much better to be on the ground wishing you were flying than flying and wishing you were on the ground.
So that’s not what I’m here to entertain you with tonight.
Last night, you see, there was some genuine hysteria. As in laughing so hard I could barely stand. Self-inflicted. Stupid.
Because when you’re in your 58th day of self-isolation, despite the fact that you have sufficient food, shelter, entertainment, and so on, SOMETIMES you just need to do something really stupid to see what happens.
First of all, it had been five weeks since this little slice of insanity. And while I wasn’t all that shaggy, especially compared to April, the places where it was bothering me were a result of me doing a half-assed job back then, so those spots that tickle and annoy me WERE shaggy.
It was time to try again.
So out to the backyard I went, doing my best to basically just go evenly all over everything, concentrating this time on the odd spots behind the ears and at the nape of the neck and places where I can’t reach well and can’t see at all. I was trying to do better than last time, to learn from my previous experience.
It didn’t totally suck. (But jeez louise, those eyebrows! Anyone have any suggestions? Aside from, you know, nuclear fire?)
But this, like last time, was with the “#1 guard” on the clippers. If you’re not aware, when you’re getting a buzz cut of some sort, with the number indicating how close you want it cut. Smaller numbers are shorter. The clippers I bought came with attachments for #1 through #8. When I would go to the SuperCuts or Fantastic Sams or Great Clips or whatever, my normal was a #2. A #1 is shorter, but I figured I would give it a try.
And I thought to myself, for reasons I can only chalk up to advancing age, diminished capacity, or being cooped up too long, “What happens if you take that guard clippy thingie off completely? Do you get cut? Does it hurt? Or does it just cut your hair really, Really, REALLY freaking short?”
It’s that last one. And while it doesn’t hurt, the buzzy feeling goes right into your skull and makes your head vibrate. It’s a weird feeling. (The first of many for last night.)
Essentially this is a “#0” cut and it leaves your hair at about 1 to 2 millimetres, tops.
Well… If you’re going to do that, and then be still finding those little spots you missed that are going to be tickling, why not just go all the way?
So I shaved it.
But that’s not what caused the hysterical laughter. Granted, every time I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror I’m surprised all over again, but not hysterically.
No, it turns out that there’s one thing that no one has EVER mentioned about shaving your head.
First, as I expected, it’s stubbly and rough. I guess somehow I was hoping for it to be much smoother, more Uncle Fenster-like, but it’s more like fine grit sandpaper.
Secondly, I expected it to be colder than it is. That may have something to do with the temps in the 90’s here in LA right now, but inside where the A/C’s going full blast it still should feel colder than it is. It doesn’t. However, going out into the sun definitely feels hotter. I can see where I’ll have to be careful to not get sunburned, or make sure I’m wearing a hat.
Third, even being really careful, little knicks from shaving a place that’s never been shaven before hurt like a son of a gun. Doing some research online I see that sites that talk about head shaving recommend shaving it two or three times a week to maintain it – that might not be happening here. I’m sure the skin would toughen up and get used to it sooner or later, but that’s too damn much work. The reason I don’t grow my hair long is because I want to spend an absolute minimal amount of time on maintenance and care – this is even worse than long hair. No thanks!
Fourth, since I don’t really see it unless I pass a mirror, it just feels weird to my hand every time I touch it without thinking. Remember, sandpaper.
But I knew those things in general and while the specific details and sensations are no, they’re not completely unexpected. And none of them cause hysteria.
No, what caught me completely off guard and caused hysteria was the fact that it’s like freakin’ Super Velcro.
When I was getting out of the shower after cleaning up and I start to rub the towel across my head, it stuck. A full 20-G emergency stop. And I was howling.
Normally, even with short hair, there’s a decent coefficient of friction. (There’s a reason that shampoo uses “silky” as a selling point.) Rubbing your hand or worse, a cloth across your hair will generally be easy because the towel or cloth will glide across the hair smoothly.
With sandpaper-grade stubble and a big fluffy towel, it’s completely different and completely unexpected.
When I finally calmed down enough to finish drying off and I went to put on a T-shirt – same thing! Pulling it over my head was like dragging the shirt backwards through a paper shredder. And the hysteria resumed.
And then I tried to put on a sweatshirt, and it was even worse. That fluffy, warm interior lining of the sweatshirt practically glued itself to my head. Plus, it’s hard to pull it loose and pull it over my head when I’m laughing again.
There was a concern that when I lay down on my pillow and then sat up, the pillow might stick. It turns out not to be the case because the force there is normal to the surface of the pillow case, but when I try to simply turn my head while my stubbly scalp was in contact with the pillow – scrrraaaaaaaappppeeeeee!
So there you have it. You’ve heard it from me. If you ever shave your head, not only will it feel funny, look funny, get sunburned, take a lot of maintenance, leave you with little painful knicks all over, but you will have the equivalent of high-grade hooks all over your scalp and every piece of cloth out there will look like a sea of hooks.
I can’t judge if you’ll look good or bad like that, but you’ll be prepared. You can still laugh when you see yourself in the mirror. And that may make you hysterical as well.