Connections

If you are not African-American, you probably don’t have any idea about the hair. Until we adopted Mr. Freshpants, we didn’t have any clue until an African-American lady at our Church gently chided us for letting his hair grow all Buckwheat style. Luckily we got a recommendation for Mr. James, who specializes in such things. He told us about the right way to care for Mr. Freshpants’ hair and then gave him a very detailed and involved cut the intricacy of which surprised us for such a little head.

The first time we saw Mr. James, he told us to not look at our son no matter how he cried. So we struggled to ignore our son through his first barber visit while he sat very still, bolt-upright, and bawled his eyes out while Mr. James gave him his first cut. Yesterday, Mr. Freshpants just climbed into the chair and had his cut and was quite happy with Mr. James. He’s getting to be such a big boy.

Anyway, Mr. James listens to jazz while he cuts heads, and Heidi likes Mr. James’ taste in jazz. “It’s not all screechy like yours,” she says. Excuse me but Bebop, John Coltrane to be precise, is not “screechy.” “But you know what I mean,” she says, “This stuff is smooth.” She saw a few Boney James CDs in his collection, so Heidi wanted to go get a Boney James CD to listen to in the car on our upcoming vacation.

So we were checking out of Wearhouse Music with two Boney James CDs and a used CD of Stereophonic Space Sound music for me when these two guys pull up in a truck and start to set up some sort of display in the parking lot. So of course I had to investigate. I asked the bigger guy what was up and he said that he was a rapper and he was promoting his new album coming out in September. It was then that I looked at him — he was white, football lineman big, had a buzz haircut except for these very long Hasidic style curls that hung from the corners of an imaginary square on his scalp down past his cheekbones. Quite odd. He handed me a demo CD. “It’s southern hip-hop,” he said. He told me his name was “Tow Down.”

I listened to his CD and he sounded about as thugged out as your typical dirty-south Geto Boy rapper clone. Apparently he gets pretty good reviews. Maybe he’s gonna be the biggest new rap thang to come out of Houston since South Park Mexican. Let’s hope he can stay away from the underage girls, though.

So you don’t have to be on the web to get from A to an unpredictable B via a random walk. Mr. Freshpants’ Buckwheat hair to Mr. James’ funky haircut salon to Boney James Smooth Jazz to a funky Hasidic-looking white rapper. I feel like James Burke.

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