I guess this one takes place in a universe where steam behaves rather differently than we’re used to.

Anyway, I’d like to share a little shampoo story with you.

When I first came to Portland, I didn’t know a good place to go for a haircut. Of course, it’s a big town, so I figured it wouldn’t be too hard to find someone with a pair of scissors and a swivel chair. Hell, I have two swivel chairs. So I washed my hair and started walking.

I passed several suitable places, but they all looked like high-end salons, complete with fancy glass shelves full of hair care products the combined worth of which could probably pay my rent for half a year, and that’s just not my kind of place. I prefer a proper barber shop, the kind of place where an old guy in a white t-shirt cuts your hair while talking to you about his muscle car collection and everything is made of pine cut in the ’70s.

I didn’t find that, but I did find a reasonably non-stuffy place that was having its grand opening special: all haircuts half-off. Good enough.

When I went in, I was given a free shampooing. It was easily the most thorough hair-washing I have ever experienced (which was pretty unnecessary, given that I had clearly already washed it, but shampooers were meant to shampoo, I suppose). Then, after being shampooed for what must’ve been 5 or 6 hours, we finally moved on to the actual haircut.

Once my mop was chopped, the lady cutting my hair went and did The Great One knows what while some assistant girl came to do the whole “putting-gel-in-your-hair” routine. Thing is, she didn’t use gel – she accidentally grabbed some shampoo instead. I noticed the mistake as she made it, but since she didn’t speak much English and I don’t speak any Korean, there wasn’t much I could do about it. So she spent the next 7 or 8 hours trying to shape my hair into a stylish array of spikes, but they kept falling limp.

Finally I got out of there and walked home. If you’ve never walked 10 or so blocks with a head covered in shampoo, congratulations! You’re almost everyone who has ever lived.

Naturally, I rinsed the unwelcome shampoo out as soon as I got home. If you’re playing along at home, that’s 3 hair-washings in the span of about an hour (or about 14 subjective hours). My hair was so oil-free you could’ve saved oil-spill-victim seals by rubbing them against my head for a few seconds.

You know, it’s pretty hard to write a satisfying conclusion to a story about getting your hair washed a lot, so I’m going to go ahead and not do it.