Wednesday, July 25, 2007

(Almost) Cut My Hair

Wednesday, July 25, 2007
With apologies to David Crosby and his fine song, Almost Cut My Hair, yesterday I let Joe the ex-Marine barber cut about three pounds of great nesting material off my head.

Years ago, when Phoebe was just a little red-headed thing, we spread the cuttings from her first haircut on the front lawn. Within minutes a pair of chipping sparrows were gathering bill-fulls of hair to line their nearly completed nest. That fall we collected the nest and it now decorates our Christmas tree each December, still lined with our daughter's red hair.

Chipping sparrow.

I loved having long hair again--it was the first time since about 1984 that my hair reached my collar. Back then it was all brown with a touch of red. This latest middle-aged version featured a touch of gray. And it was fairly mullet-like, too, since the entire front half of my head, above the eyebrows is innocent of any hair at all.

Having a personal neck warmer this winter and early spring was great. It's not so good for the dog days of summer. Neck warmer, by the way, is another name for a mullet. As are these: Business in Front/Party in Back. Kentucky waterfall. Beavertail. Missouri Compromise.

The haircut has gotten mixed reviews at home and at BWD. When asked why I cut off my luxuriant, flowing locks, I reply "The birds at our farm need the nesting material."

And that's where the hair is actually going. Joe, the ex-Marine barber, swept the hair up for me and bagged it so I could take it home with me. We'll scatter some over the lawn for use by late-nesting field sparrows and chippies and bluebirds, if they're so inclined. I'll save the rest of the nesting material for next spring.

If you'd like to share your opinion on this haircut, please do so via the Comments button below. I've posted Before and After images for your viewing displeasure.

Two things to bear in mind:
1. If I get a lot of votes for the Return of the Mullet, I can always grow it back.
2. My haircuts cost US$9.

In conclusion, I am compelled to report that, as David Crosby sang, I still feel like letting my freak flag fly.




On July 25, 2007 at 12:05 PM Mary said...

You look much younger with your hair shorter. You also look cooler. I like it. The birds thank you for it, too!

JZ mentioned saving hair cuttings for her chipping sparrows once and at my last visit to the salon, I took a zip-loc baggie. My stylist didn't think I was weird at all! (But she probably talked about me for the next week. :0/

On July 25, 2007 at 12:10 PM Anonymous said...

Well, as haircuts go that is a nice one. But have to vote for the long locks - being a child of the sixties and such. It is about more than looks.

On July 25, 2007 at 12:11 PM Patrick Belardo said...

Careful there BOTB... from one follicly-challenged compadre to another, you're bordering on "skullet" territory.

On July 25, 2007 at 1:33 PM RuthieJ said...

I vote for the short look (because I've always been jealous of guys who can grow such great looking long hair)
And you're getting a great deal if you have a "stylist" who provides a good haircut for <$10.

On July 25, 2007 at 2:14 PM Anonymous said...

The short hair looks great, but so did the longer. However, you have to admit that it wasn't always so well groomed as in the "before" picture.

Now if you would just do something about that hair below your lip...

On July 25, 2007 at 2:37 PM Bill of the Birds said...

Dude, I dig the Skullet!

You should have heard my barber when I told him I wanted to keep the clippings!

And to our Anonymous friends:
I agree about the 60's, #1.
For #2: Sorry, The soulpatch stays.

On July 25, 2007 at 2:39 PM Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Short hair. You do look younger- you got your $9 worth! Like the soul patch though, keep that.

On July 25, 2007 at 3:06 PM Jayne said...

I like the shorter version too. Can't imagine having long hair in these dog days of 90+ degree summer. I'll bet it is so much cooler. Can't wait to see what builds with your locks!

On July 25, 2007 at 3:18 PM Anonymous said...

Heck...never mind what WE say. The only important input comes in this order: 1) your opinion; 2) Julie's opinion; and 3) what the kids think. We'll read your blog either way.

On July 25, 2007 at 3:56 PM Anonymous said...

oh rats, now that you cut the hair, it's back to being really difficult to tell you and Mike McDowell apart!

On July 25, 2007 at 4:35 PM Bill of the Birds said...

Last Anon:

Nope. It's easy!
Mike takes the REALLY GOOD bird photos!

On July 25, 2007 at 4:36 PM Bill of the Birds said...

Previous Anon:

Phoebe: Likes it
Liam: Likes it.
JZ: Misses the mullett
BOTB: Just living the dream....

On July 25, 2007 at 4:51 PM Julie Zickefoose said...

Make that: JZ: Burst into tears. But also likes your neck.
It would have been nice to have had some warning.

On July 25, 2007 at 5:27 PM Trixie said...

I like the clean-cut version, and I am glad you kept the soul patch (aka womb broom). The skulet, not so much. Your barber did well.

On July 25, 2007 at 6:37 PM Stardustgirl said...

Well, it's your hair, but since you're open to comments, I'm with Julie... long hair rocks. I think the long hair picture looks younger (which I guess is technically correct, if only by a short time).

Did Chet offer an opinion?

On July 25, 2007 at 8:25 PM [phoebe] said...

Chet just snorfled and walked away.

Make it;
Phoebe: needs to get used to it before making an opinion.

On July 25, 2007 at 10:30 PM Heron said...

Handsome haircut and so much cooler for summer work at the farm. I like the new look.

On July 25, 2007 at 11:30 PM Anonymous said...

You aren't old enough yet to pull off the aging hippie look. Give it about 15 more years, let some real gray get in there, then a ponytail down to your shoulder blades.

Besides that isn't really short, at most that is medium. Short is when you tell the barber what guard number to snap onto the electric clippers.

On July 26, 2007 at 6:35 AM Julie Zickefoose said...

A ponytail? What'll be next? Cigarettes and chardonnay?

On July 26, 2007 at 9:09 AM Anonymous said...

Male ponytails come in diverse categories. Chardonnay goes with only one such. Another popular one is construction workers, which seems strange to me when I recall the days when that was the group beating up long-haired hippies. A third category generally lives in the woods, more or less; I was thinking of that group, but have to admit that this category almost universally goes with a serious beard.

On July 26, 2007 at 10:10 AM dguzman said...

But you still have your soul patch, my man. True dat.

Another name for the mullet, from the lesbian point of view: UDC (Universal Dyke Cut), though you've got to look Southward for those nowadays.

Keep flyin' that freak flag.

Hey, my word verif is zoets. Nice hybrid of zoos and poets.

On July 26, 2007 at 10:12 AM Rondeau Ric said...

I'm with Phoebe, I have to get use to it.
You do look younger.
JZ I shaved off my mustache with out telling Anne. She wasn't happy either.
Being an institutionalized bureaucratic type I'm not fond of long hair but as a middle aged rock/folk/jazz musician/ birder you carried it off.

On July 26, 2007 at 10:36 AM mon@rch said...

Such a wonderful story about the chipping sparrow and phoebe's hair! I just love reading everyone's comments and think you still look like BT3 with both doos! Change is good from time to time!

On July 26, 2007 at 10:41 AM Bill of the Birds said...

Thanks to all for the support of my de-mulletization.

And although, thanks to Patrick B, I am sorely tempted to go for a skullet, methinks I'll stay with this short 'doo for a spell.

As for a ponytail--there's no way. I've never seen one on a middle-aged guy that I thought looked anything other than desperate.

Anyone else want to weigh in on this? Any dudes with 'tails out there lurking?

On July 26, 2007 at 12:13 PM Jen said...

You look very handsome either way B - you must keep the soulpatch!

On July 26, 2007 at 2:24 PM KatDoc said...

I like the shorter look, personally. I think it makes you look younger. Of course, the order of the opinions should be: 1)JZ's, 2)Chet's 3)the kids' 4)blog fans' 5)yours

Your barber appreciates the $9 semi-annual donation.

Phoebe: "snorfled?" I don't know that one. Is it Universal Dog Language or is it Boston Terrier dialect or is it Chet-Bakerese?

~Kathi, who keeps getting horrible verification words like "xeveocoj"

On July 26, 2007 at 11:14 PM Steve said...

Fantastic blog! While I know little about birds, but have always liked them, I can tell you that we keep our cat inside. The birds in our neighborhood are safe!

My vote: Short hair, but you look more "woodsy" with more hair :)

On July 27, 2007 at 11:38 AM Susie at GW said...

I'm an old hippie and I always do a double take when I see the gents with their longish hair ...I wonder what they were doing back in the day ... so, you know this is comin ..I LIKE to see the longish hair. Now, I think you're in disguise, like me, with shorter hair, not what you appear to be, much cooler on the inside. Come fall, grow it back.

On July 27, 2007 at 1:02 PM Julie Zickefoose said...

All right, this is pathetic. I'm in Connecticut, going to your blog to see what people are saying about your hair.

On July 27, 2007 at 3:51 PM Bill of the Birds said...

Wow! 30 comments!

Guess I should write about personal hygiene more often! Heck with the birds! I'll change the name of this blog to "Hair of the Blog that Bit You"...

Zick, my hair says hello! By the time you get back home I might have a mullet again!

Po says hello, too.

On July 28, 2007 at 1:25 AM Susan Gets Native said...

I like the long look.
Oh, well. It's your skull to decorate as you wish.

On August 1, 2007 at 8:13 AM Anonymous said...

I don't think the two pictures are completely fair for judgement purposes. The before pix has better lighting, the after looks too bright. I love short hair for the convenience and would have voted that way till I saw the outdoor picture of you with the safari type hat. You look so rugged, I would almost have to say dead sexy, in that photo. Normally peeps look younger with shorter hair but on you I don't think so. You do need to come up with a new name for the mullet if you will be keeping it. I think a lifestyle choice goes along with "MULLET" and you are too cool for that.
As for the actual vote. Short for summer Missouri compromise for cooler months


On August 11, 2007 at 11:06 PM Anonymous said...

I think you looked younger with your long hair, and after all, you owed it to someone, didn't you? Just yesterday I explained the Crosby song to my daughter so that she could understand why her brother had a ponytail and when it was loose, "rocker hair". We 60's kids understand the freak flags our children choose to wear. Rock on! (after it grows back)