Santo the Barber

Santo the barber had no 6:00 appointment that day, and he was just about to take a break and make himself a cup of coffee when a man wearing a corduroy jacket came in and asked for a haircut. Santo gestured expansively, and the man in the jacket sat in his chair. Santo tried to make conversation with the man as he put a bib on him and turned a towel down at his neck, but quickly stopped trying when the man refused to answer. The man in the jacket’s hair was remarkably stiff, and when Santo took the first lock between his fingers and tried to cut it with his scissors the scissors resisted, and when he squeezed them hard enough to cut he nicked the blades of the scissors, ruining them. So instead Santo got out his trimmers, but no sooner had he applied them to the man in the jacket’s hair than the little pieces got swept up into the little motor and killed it in his hand.

In the end, Santo had to use a pair of tin shears he happened to have in the toolbox he kept in the back room. The man got up without a word, paid the woman at the desk, and left. When Santo went to put the tin shears back, on a whim he brought out a little electrical testing box, to see if he’d blown the fuse in his trimmers. But when he sat down to check it, he discovered that the man in the jacket’s hair was conductive.

The woman at the desk came over to him. “The man in the jacket,” she said, “it’s the darnedest thing, but he paid in Bitcoin, that fancy cybercurrency that’s been in the news.”

Santo regarded the mangled scissors that he’d used on the man’s hair in silence for a long time. “Do you know,” he said, “I think I just cut the hair of a robot?”


Written for my barber on 11/16/15.

Podcast Episode (Listen to this one with headphones, if possible!):

032 Santo the Barber (Downloadable mp3 – right click the link and choose “Save Link As…”)

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