Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.
CP: Fie on the fancy salon. I’m back at a place with a barber pole out front, just like when I was knee-high to a grasshopper.
RN: Oh, sure, talk haircuts with a long-standing member of the Follically Challenged Community.
CP: Sure, but as a fan of Throwback Thursdays on Facebook, you must have vivid memories of bonding with your father when it came time to shear your then-blond locks.
RN: More like nightmares. Dad, who apprenticed in the haircutting arts while posted to a destroyer in the U.S. Navy, would tie an old sheet around my neck, flip on the electric clippers — which rattled and were prone to jamming — and commence with a buzz cut. I hated it. So did my brother.
CP: Then, as now, there’s nothing like the feel of a freshly clippered noggin.
RN: So true. I suppose you and Claude Sr. bonded, Norman Rockwell-style, during many a happy Saturday morning excursion to your friendly neighborhood barber shop.
CP: I recall a three-chair operation next door to White’s drugstore. Everything but ye olde pickle barrel. Later, my mom tried to scissor cut my hair using a cereal bowl as a guide. Results? Mixed.
RN: I’m visualizing more Claudette than Claude. Paging Dorothy Hamill!
CP: I can almost smell the Short & Sassy. Steaming ahead to your teen years, what was the hair “do” when clerking at County Seat?
RN: Center part, lots of blow dryer-induced feathering and the occasional run-in with Sun-In. Mortifying. No wonder I was a chrome dome by age 25.
CP: I remember developing an almost obsessive tic-and-flick. Thumb and finger, either side of the center part, comb it back, then flick it into place. A modification was tucking long bangs behind the ears. Roughly 5,000 times per day.
RN: I would kill to be able to do that today.
CP: Were you ever a salon-goer?
RN: Not really. Because once you’re a cue ball, getting a dash of talcum powder at Glenn’s Barber Shop becomes the equivalent of the full-meal deal at Spalon Montage.
CP: Bright-siding it, you have saved, by my conservative estimate, $9,000 in fees and tips to stylists. And that doesn’t count the bottom-line impact of shampoo and conditioner.
RN: Cold comfort. I’ve invested most of those so-called savings into scalp-specific sun block. You never struck me as the salon type, but you’ve managed to drop a healthy portion of your discretionary income into that sickeningly full head of hair.
CP: My head has been dunked in every other pricey shampoo bowl in this hair-centric metro, from the legendary Red Carpet on Nicollet Mall to Denny Kemp’s scissor circus in NEHE. It’s been fun, but now I’m all about Jim, a third-generation barber on E. Franklin. His clients, whose preferred topic is the price of the St. Ignatius Lenten fish dinner, have achieved ultra-senior status.
RN: Present company included. What goes around, comes around.
Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib