Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Modern Fables: The Barber and the Cowboy

One day, a grizzled old cowboy walked into the local barbershop. Plopping himself down into the barber’s chair, he tossed his hat onto the hat rack by the door and aimed his wad of tobacco at the spittoon sitting on the floor beside his seat.

“What can I do for you today?” asked the barber, as he reached for his mop to clean the floor near the spittoon.

“Well, tarnation!” exclaimed the old timer. “Cain’t you see fer yerse’f? Been needin’ me a haircut these past cuppla weeks. An’ I ain’t had a decent shave in well nigh onto forever.”

“Is that so?” the barber replied. His cleanup finished, he flapped a (towel???) crisply, and laid it across the cowboys chest.

“I reckon my ol’ cheeks is too plumb wrinkled to get more’n half my whiskers off. So I’m consid’rin’ just gittin’ my hair cut from now on. And as fer the whiskers, why I’m all but decided to lettin’em fill out an’ be done with it.”

“Well,” said the barber, mulling over the problem as he trimmed the old man’s hair, “I think I have a solution. If you really want the shave, that is.”

“Well, that’s what I come fer.”

When he’d finished the haircut, the barber went to his shelf and returned with a handful of small marbles, which he gave the the old cowboy.

“What’s these fer?”

“Just put them inside your cheek and hold them there. They’ll spread out your skin, and it should eliminate those pesky wrinkles.”

The cowboy did as he was told and the barber went to work. Soon, the old cowboy was rubbing his cheek and marveling at the result. He spit out the marbles into a pot the barber gave him, and flashed a beaming smile at the handsome fellow staring back at him in the mirror.

“Dangnation, but if that isn’t the closest shave I’ve had in years!”
“I told you,” smiled the barber, whisking away his [barber bib] and leading his customer to the cash register. “It works every time.”

“Just one thing,” said the cowboy sheepishly, as reached for his wallet. “What happens if it turns out I done swallered a few of them little marbles?”

“Nothing to worry about,” the barber said blandly, as he rang up the sale. “Just eat plenty of fiber…then, in a few days, go on and rinse’em off and bring’em back. That’s what everyone else does.”

The moral of the story is:

It often pays to consider the matter from all angles before blindly swallowing whatever an expert hands you.

JEFFREY CAMINSKY, a retired public prosecutor from Michigan, writes on a wide range of topics. His books include the Guardians of Peace-tm science fiction adventure series, The Sonnets of William Shakespeare, and the acclaimed Referee’s Survival Guide, a book on soccer officiating. All are published by New Alexandria Press, and are available on Amazon, as well as directly from the publisher.