Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Little Hurdles

I've been cutting my own hair since I was 16. Not because I'm particularly good at it, or out of some DIY work ethic, but because I have trouble relinquishing control to a barber. When I went off to college, it became a matter of necessity, as a trip to the hairdresser was completely out of my meager price range. I remember one week I was so poor I had to steal dinner rolls from the school cafeteria. Yes, like Aladdin.

I became pretty good at it, and I found if I made sure to give myself a trim every couple weeks or so, I could keep my hair in check and maintain the false illusion of a halfway put-together human being. This is how it's been for the past seven years.

A couple months ago, I somehow managed to lose control of my hair completely. I waited a bit too long to cut it, and it crossed the line into unmanageable. I was afraid of cutting it myself in fear of looking like a mental patient who got his hands on a pair of scissors, so for a while I simply embraced it and let it grow–mostly out of curiosity, since my hair has never been long. But after a while, the joke that I was going for a Justin Bieber look grew stale, and my hair just started to look ratty and ridiculous. People on the street started to look at me funny.

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Seeing as the hair situation was out of my own control, I was faced with two options. I could man up and make an appointment at a salon, or I could go the easy route and simply buzz it all off. I did that once, years ago, on a whim. I was drunk, which is how all my bad decisions start.

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All I learned from that experience was that drinking scotch out of a crunk goblet was bad news, and that I had a really weird shaped head. I swore never to shave all my hair off again. Never.

I did it four more times after that.

BUT NOT THIS TIME. No, this time I was going to do the adult thing and pay a professional to take care of the situation. I made an appointment at a fancy place downtown, congratulated myself on a job well done, and took a well deserved nine hour nap as a reward to myself.

Unfortunately I didn't anticipate how stressful getting a haircut would be. It had been nearly a decade since my last real cut, and I was completely unprepared. The next day I found myself in a hydraulic barber chair, heart racing, staring down an ominous pair of silver shears, sharp and deadly as knives.

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I just couldn't handle it. For some reason putting my trust in a stranger's hands sent me into an outright conniption and I spent the next 20 minutes hyperventilating like asthmatic sea lion.

Of course, I had nothing to worry about. My hair turned out fine, despite my constant squirming and girly shrieks at watching clumps of hair fall around my shoulders. It was over before I knew it. Relieved, I paid the stylist and skipped home, positively elated at the massive life hurdle I had just overcome. I felt free. I thought, Why stop here? What else can I accomplish today?

Feeling like I was on a roll, I decided to organize my kitchen cabinets.

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Then I clipped my toenails.

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And I finally got around to finishing my Bea Arthur memorial photo collage.

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I was on top of the world. My sense of self worth soared like a comet across the night sky.

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My feeling of accomplishment carried on throughout the day. That afternoon, I strutted–nay, swaggered–down to the deli to get myself a much deserved turkey sandwich. I ordered, paid, and brought my sandwich home and unwrapped it. It flopped open on the table in front of me, and my heart sank. There it was. An olive. A fucking olive had somehow slipped into my sandwich.

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I flew into a sandwich rage.

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Everything I'd worked so hard for that day unraveled in a single moment, and all it took was a tiny black fruit to completely shatter my soul. I collapsed in a heap, surrounded by bits of turkey and spinach and onions, and bemoaned my worthless life.

For a while a laid there, drowned in silent despair, but then I got to thinking. Maybe I didn't need to let some inconsequential olive ruin my life. Maybe the world wasn't such a horrible place. I'd managed to overcome my fear of the hair salon, and that's no small feat in my book. After all, I'm the guy who breaks out in hives when it's my turn to order Chinese takeout for dinner. I realized that I get too hooked on little details, and I need to stop sweating the small stuff. And yeah, I'm sure I probably could have gathered that from a Hallmark card, but what's important is that I learned anything at all.

But I swear, if I ever find an olive in my sandwich again, I will burn this town to the ground.

130 comments:

  1. Don't think I didn't notice that binger on top of your cabinet.
    -CP

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  2. Olive...really? Mustard is what ruins sandwiches/subs! Even the tiniest bit of that ugly yellow to ruin a perfectly good meal.
    DAMN YOU MUSTARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. I have the EXACT same opinion. I had no idea there were others on my team

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  3. keep up the great work man, and i agree, olives are the devil

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  4. great blog, wish u had saved the cephalopod from a few posts ago but meh can't win them all i guess. Oh and next tim u can just cut off the sides that the olive wasn't touching and just dump the middle part that the olive was touching and BAM problem solved.

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  5. I get excited every time I see you posted a new blog. I LOVE your comic.

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  6. Yay, a new one! I stumbled upon your page yesterday and read every single post. I am hooked! Keep 'em coming!

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  7. Wonderful. The Bea Arthur Scrapbook stole the show for me though. I feel you should see a T-Shirt with little montage on it.

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  8. Your stylist didn't offer you a drink or a Popsicle or something to help you remain calm? That's horrible.

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  9. Ah, the last time I got my hair cut was 2006, I got it cut in a "faux hawk" style...essentially it was an inch long. Now, it's almost touching my butt, and I just can't bring myself to go to the freaking hairdresser's....so much small talk...so much hair spray....

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  10. I want to hang that Bea Arthur collage on my wall. I will pay you for it.

    Olives are disgusting. I would've done the same thing... especially if there was mayonnaise on my sandwich. Euwgh! (I had to combine 'ew' and 'ugh' to create the proper reaction.)

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  11. I love everything you're doing. And you. You're pretty great.

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  12. You're comics make my day!

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  13. woo! i'd been waiting for a new comic! this one is great, your comics always make me laugh (and distract me from the paper due in four hours.) please keep up the great work

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  14. HAHAHA! Burn it down! I really enjoy this!

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  15. Just started reading your blog after all of the crazy 20-something married women on a message board I frequent posted your Teen Mom trading cards. :)
    I appreciate that you understand how hard it can be to go to a salon. I just recently had my 3rd hair cut in 3 years. It was quite a feat. My husband had to talk me off the balcony for a good half hour before I finally got in the car.

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  16. I feel like cutting your own hair is a normal thing in college. I cut my own hair for the first time when I started college and have ever since.

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  17. Aww! You made a face out in your mac an' cheese display!

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  18. since you live where I live, I've gotta ask - where'd you get the sandwich from?

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  19. just a note to say:
    1.Congratulation on a successfulness Disney reference.
    2. I've been cutting my own bangs for the past two years.
    3. Olives suck.

    That is all.

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  20. OMG A NEW POST! I was so excited you had posted a new blog, that I had to go back and read it again. and again. and again. Okay gets creepy after the third time right? NO. AND AGAIN.

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  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  22. Since finding your blog, my studying has decreased dramatically. Incidentally, my time spent cackling at your posts has increased at an equally alarming rate. Well done!

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  23. Ahahahahahahahaha your blog is hilarious I love it, even for the fact that I identify myself with some episodes ahahah

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  24. "Just ignore the homeless rapist, sweetheart." After reading that phrase, that was the loudest I have ever laughed out loud in a library. You're a comedic mastermind.

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  25. Please please please do more!!!

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  26. Hey, man. Stumbled across your blog today and fell in love. Spent well over an hour cracking up at my desk much to my roommate's confusion. Keep 'em coming!

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  27. I nearly peed myself after seeing the sandwich rage. Olives are disgusting. As for a haircut...I'm surprised you didn't get offered a beer, this is Portland you can get beer at the movies.

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  28. This is better than a non-existent community that likes jobless dads. Seriously. It's like a virtual world that doesn't exist.

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  29. I don't know if this went through on your flickr account, but I seriously touched my head when I saw the homeless slide. lol

    Great job man! I checked this site out on a whim again and you had updated. :]

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  30. Please tell me you weren't joking about the Bea Arthur memorial collage.

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  31. Good stuff. I like. But I also like olives, so my second strip read was...well. But I understand.

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  32. This, this is funny. I like this. :)

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  33. The only thing worse than olives is cilantro... but fortunately that evil herb rarely makes sandwich appearances...

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  34. This is so good. RSS feed time.

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  35. I also get random bursts of productivity, where I'll suddenly think: "Ohmygod I can do anything!" and then my apartment will be clean, my underwear drawer will be sorted by color, and even my toothpaste tube is properly flattened.

    And then of course I'm exhausted, and must rest. For the next 6 weeks.

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  36. Hey man! Just wanted to say this is an awesome work you're doing, don't stop! Love your stories and love your drawings! Very talented!

    keep up the good work ;)

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  37. I've been sitting here reading all your entries lmao. Great stuff.

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  38. Yeah, olives are disgusting. Anyway, I've found your page a few days ago and just loved. Your drawings are really funny :]

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  39. I, too, see the bong atop the cablinet. Sneaky.

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  40. Hahaha, great read! I just read this really scary story and thought "there is no way in hell I'll be able to sleep now!" Then I saw you'd posted a new entry and after reading this I can sleep safe again xD

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  41. HOLY FUCK, I love you so much! 'tobacco water pipe' AND BEA ARTHUR ALL IN ONE POST!!!!!

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  42. The red-eyed angry-at-my-sandwich face is a stroke of genius. Hate olives. You've got another follower.

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  43. But... but... black olives are so yummy!

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  44. Let's burn this motherfucker down Pookie.

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  45. you.are amazing. :) i only recently discovered your blog and read all of it in one sitting. Your posts are great, but I love olives. A lot. Pretty much any type of olive. But I only like them raw...if they're on anything, they totally ruin that food.

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  46. Haha, hilarious stuff. I can totally relate about the barber thing. But I'm afraid I completely suck at cutting my own hair (attempted it a few times and it was an epic fail) so I don't really have a choice but go.

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  47. I used to be like you. A tomato could ruin my day. I have a small family and meeting my fiance's 30+ cousins and 12 aunts and uncles left me agoraphobic for about 9 days... Then one of my friends and I watched some stand-up by Kat Williams, The pimp chronicles, and he professed this magic of "fuck it" that was delivered by marijuana, tried it, flushed my prescribed anti-anxiety meds, and well fuck it.

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  48. Your comics are amazing! One of my favorites! Please please please keep them coming!

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  49. you make me laugh so hard I cry... and occasionally snort... which I hate doing... but you make it ok :) lol

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  50. i LOVE your blog so much. it's wonderful.

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  51. A lot of us have been down the poor college student road, not-so-covertly stealing food from the folks and trading text books for haircuts...but when I saw the image of your banana toenails, I truly learned there are new levels one can take it to.

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  52. I resent haircuts as well. Your blog is a very good blog and pleases me.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I feel as though you belong in Austin, Texas. I don't know why, but I do. You should consider it!

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  54. I'm not sure if you posted this on Texts From Last Night, but I saw it and immediately knew I had seen it somewhere:

    http://textsfromlastnight.com/Text-Replies-22747.html

    If you did, awesome. If you didn't, TFLN has some 'splaining to do!

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  55. lmao your blog cracks me up. I also hate olives and keep bongs on my kitchen cupboard.

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  56. This story made me hungry...

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  57. wholy shit you're wicked funny!!! I actually fell out of my computer desk chair I laughed so hard! How are you not doing this for a career!?!?!!

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  58. You make your everyday shiet so funny and that olive was epic.

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  59. Absolutely awesome...this kind of humor is so wickedly cool....and loved ur cartoons

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  60. BONG <3 I love you.

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  61. I think I'm actually in love with this blog.
    I believe my favorite from this one is definitely the "Hack it off" picture. I laughed out loud at that one.

    Keep it up! Can't wait to see more!

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  62. So I'm pretty sure the Fuck Yeah Comet just made my week.

    That is all.

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  63. god olives throw me into a sandwich rage too. what a horrible invention.

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  64. Dude.. you're hilarious. Just discovered this blog and I've read a handful of them already. I'm completely alone but I'm laughing out loud like a lunatic. Thanks for sharing

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  65. HAHAHA, just noticed the bong above all the easy mac. Nice touch.

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  66. I can totally understand the urge to burn down a whole town because of an olive!

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  67. "I was drunk, which is how all my bad decisions start." Haha...story of my life

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  68. Hahaha I about died reading the olive part, happens to me sometimes at Subway.

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  69. I agree with the first anonymous...the toking instrument on top of the cabinet ;) no wonder why you have so much easy mac :P LOVE YOUR COMIC BTW ^_^

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  70. I shaved my head for years, and grew it out a bit once and told my friend to cut it but i wanted him to do it in layers. after he did all the layers i got out the buzzer and had him buzz it because i was convenced that if he shaved it after he cut it would all grow back cool and in all these different layers.... my friend tried to tell me that not how it worked but i told him he was stupid and didnt understand how hair worked...obviously i was incredible wrong

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  71. oh i forgot apart i was extremely drunk

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  72. Olives are awesome! I'm partial to green olives, but I wouldn't say no to black ones.

    Now mayonnaise -- there is a solid excuse for arson.

    ReplyDelete
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