Thursday, July 7, 2022 Jul 7, 2022
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LAST HURRAH: A Little Trim

Think Hooters. Then think boxing. Now you’ve got Knockouts, the next level in men’s hairdressing.
By Tim Rogers |

First, there was Mom. Naturally. Then there was a woman named Paula who
did things for me that Mom never could. Paula was an aficionada of
NASCAR and told me a new dirty joke every time I went to see her, for
13 years. After Paula came a young Bible college student named Adriana.
From Adriana, I went to my first man, whom I continue to see to this
day. Mario works the chair immediately adjacent to Adriana’s, which was
awkward at first because cheating on a woman right in front of her
eyes, with mirrors everywhere, is always awkward.

That’s my
tonsorial vita. I offer it by way of proving that I’m no Supercuts
slut, gallivanting from chair to chair, giving over my locks to any
coiffurist with a pair of clippers and one good eye.

But then
over my transom came news of this hair salon in Plano called Knockouts.
And by “over my transom,” I mean I found the place while surfing for
pictures of women wearing boxing gloves. Not only did their site
feature same, but one lass in tiny black shorts appeared to be making
out with a heavy bag. And a promise intrigued me: “We provide great
haircuts delivered by attractive FEMALE [their emphasis]
hairstylists wearing designer boxing uniforms.” I wondered how a
female, attractive or otherwise, could “deliver” a haircut while
wearing boxing gloves.

Mario, please forgive me. I couldn’t resist.

arrived for my Knockouts appointment on a Friday evening after work.
“Lady Marmalade” played softly in the background. Six chairs sat behind
ropes (to simulate a boxing ring). Each chair had its own TV, tuned to SportsCenter,
volume down. Three females were on duty. They wore tiny black shorts
but no boxing gloves. My female, whom I shall call “Martha,” turned out
to be Vietnamese. Before I climbed into her chair, Martha offered me a
free beer (one per customer) from a small refrigerator near the
check-in desk. Only Bud Light and Coors Light were available, but, hey,
free beer is free beer.
Now, normally, this sort of thing wouldn’t
matter, but because the Knockouts concept is expressly predicated on
pulchritude, it bears mentioning that, looks-wise, Martha was better
suited to be a cornerman than a ring card girl. She looked like an
Asian version of Burgess Meredith, circa the first Rocky.

other thing about Martha was that she’d been in the United States for
only five years, and her accent was as thick as peanut sauce. I
understood only about every fifth word she uttered. So our conversation
went mostly like this:

Her: “Aur you boslk mak?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Her, louder: “Aur you boslk mak?”

Me: “One more time?”

one point, when I asked her if she liked sports, she pointed to some
NBA highlights on the TV and said, “Paul Fingers?” At least that’s what
I thought she said. I finally just took to answering her every question
with either “Right on” or “Oh, you know it.”

But the oddest part
of my visit to Knockouts came at the final rinse stage, with my head in
the sink. First, Martha intentionally let the water run over my eyes,
which isn’t the way Mario does it. And, secondly—I don’t know how else
to say this—Martha was very rough. Lots of fingernails. Plus she did
this move where she dug her thumbs into the tops of my eye sockets and
massaged my skull from underneath. If she’d slipped, I’m pretty sure
Martha would have driven her thumbs straight into my brain. Not that
her ministrations weren’t enjoyable. But I felt like I needed a safety
word. Or a simple heads-up: “My fingernails are like the claws of a
Mayan sun bear. And I’m going to stick my thumb into your eye socket.
But don’t worry. I never slip.” The rinse session lasted about 10
minutes, but I think I blacked out at one point, so it’s hard to tell.

what about the haircut proper? For $25, and considering a beer came
with the deal, it’s not bad. More than one female co-worker has
commented on it. I just hope that Mario can find it in his heart to
take me back.

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