Nothing like saying good-bye, tears, hug-hug, kiss-kiss and out the door. And then you pop your head back in about twenty minutes later because you remembered one more thing you wanted to say. Inevitably your friends are either naked, laughing uproariously at some joke they've made up about you or have brought out the good grog now that you're not around to drink it all in one setting. No, we all know you can't have a big farewell and then just pop back in.
So, after my long hast la vista this morning, the only appropriate thing to do is stay off the air for a couple of days as promised. But of course, you're reading this so you know I am not going to do that.
Besides, they're burying Michael tonight, and I can't stop singing his hit, "Never Can Say Good-bye".
I am back posting because something happened to me today between signing off in the hotel room and boarding the plane to Europe and I am using the time in the lounge to tell you about it.
For about two weeks now LK has been STRONGLY suggesting that I get my hair cut and my moustache trimmed. I told her they may have grown a little long but there was no reason to call me shaggy. I even pointed out that some might call me trendy as there were several guys around whose hair and mo looked a lot like mine. LK argued that homeless people don't count as grooming trendsetters.
Anyhow, you can see my picture up above and judge for yourselves. The fact that this picture was taken 12 days ago should in no way make you assume that my sideburns had grown even bushier and my moustache even more straggly. Even if they did.
Today we had a lovely lunch in Norwood with our friend Marion who worked at my old company and was my favorite person there. After lunch, LK and I decided to drive around and see Norwood, where we lived when we worked in Boston. Once we remembered how to get to our old place, the trip lasted another five minutes and there wasn't much to do.
Until I drove past a barber shop in Norwood. We've got time before we have to go to the airport, I said to LK. Do you really think I look so bad I should get my haircut here?
I am lousy at calling her bluff, as you probably have guessed. She said yes.
So I wandered into a barber shop that had probably debated recently whether they really needed to get rid of that big jar of combs in alcohol. When I got in the chair Robert the barber asked what I wanted. I can now report that his definition of tidying up is not the same as mine.
At the salon where I usually go, Andrea generally starts out with a two finger scissor-clipping sort of action. A few strands eventually float down and then she moves to the other side. Robert started with a big electrical razor and just started mowing the weeds above my ears. It wasn't a No 1 cut, but I knew parts of my scalp were going to feel breezes they haven't known in years.
Robert actually ended up using four different electrical trimmers and seven-or-eight different blade settings, which are respectively three and six-or-seven more than Andrea usually uses. I had visions of some Edward Scissorhands-style sitting on my head. I was hoping for a peacock.
Robert eventually pulled three sets of scissors from a sterilizing box that had a picture of Rocky Marciano on it. That's Rocky Marciano as in the boxer who was champion in the early 1950's. And I am not making any of this up, by the way.
Robert got another trimmer and attacked my eyebrows, my nose hairs, the hair inside my ears. I checked quickly to make sure my pants were zipped.
Robert trimmed my moustache. He did such a thorough job that Linda - who didn't notice when I shave it off two years ago - noticed how much he had shaved it.
And for the first time in at least 20 years, I had shaving cream put on my sideburns and the back of my neck, a straight razor stropped and shaving me, and real after-shave lotion slapped on me.
When it came time to pay, I wondered how much all this extra barbering stuff was going to cost. Andrea charges $55, so I wasn't really shocked when he said $60. Although Robert seemed shocked when I gave him $60.
"I said 16," he said very slowly as you might to a slow-learning child. I took back two of the 20s and told him thanks for a great haircut.
I think it has completely changed my looks, and will affect how people see me. But I will leave it to you decide. And by the way, this time I really am getting on the plane.