Bitch Week at Dunkin' Berliner continues with today's installment: "Waaaah! I'm in the Hitlerjugend!"
I believe you can only get two haircuts in Berlin: The Skinhead and The Hitlerjugend. I know this because no matter how many times I have gone in to any hair salon in Berlin and no matter how much German I’ve tried to learn or how much English the stylist spoke—these are the only options. I want the cut faded up the sides and back and neatly short—but not jarhead—on top. I couldn’t explain it to them no matter how hard I tried. Even when the stylist spoke perfect English, her clippers would slam to a halt at my occipital ridge at the back of my skull. The scissors were picked up and a hard line between neck and crown formed. The result was the infamous look of the 1930s Hitlerjugend. If I deigned to complain about this, they would abruptly slam the scissors on the table, pick up the previously-discarded shears and proceed to buzz cut me into skinhead land.
After a while I grew tired of this. Colored people and foreigners were suddenly crossing the street or diving into the suicidal Berlin bike lanes. I thought it was because I am large and scary, but my friends laugh at the thought of me scaring anyone. I started wearing caps and hats until the hair grew back. Eventually I bit the bullet and bought a buzz cut machine of my own at Rossmann.
The guide marks on the clippers I bought show 10 marks. But you already know there are only two (even if you didn’t read ahead). The ‘medium’ marks don’t cut anything and neither does any mark above the medium level. I tried to shear the back of my own head in the mirror and the only setting that worked was the skinhead setting. This means that if you continue over your entire skull, you will be branded a skinhead, be invited to shop at Thor Steinar and have Nazi cops buying you donuts (well, this could be a benefit for a Dunkin’ Berliner I suppose). My clippers slammed into the occipital ridge again. I didn’t want to go further out of fear of total skinheaditude. So I stopped. The familiar ridge formed on the back and sides of my skull. Jahwohl, you guessed it: I looked like something between a Hitlerjugend and the Pope. My friends commented on it. I gave excuses and blamed the Skinhead-o-Cut 2000 machine I used.
Today I went back to the same hair salon I had been before. I decided to give them another chance. There was a different woman there: 60 years old, piles of poodle hair, jowls and a look on her face like she was shitfaced drunk. Or DDR communist. Or both. I sat down in the chair. I had spent an hour on the internet locating and printing a picture of the cut I wanted. She laughed and told me to put it down. She had everything under control. The clippers slammed into my occipital ridge so hard I think chunks of dandruff and skin must have flown out. I let her continue. She buzzed the edges of my ears and hit my head several times with the scissors as I held my eyes shut.
I can’t show you a picture of me in this blog. I am not quite Hitlerjugend, not quite skinhead, but worse: some kind of mutated mole who was in a fight with a hedge clipper. I will be wearing my hat again so the nice colored people and foreigners won’t have to dive into the treacherous Berlin bike lanes as I walk down the street.