JN51: Don’t ever grab the bull by the cojones

My friends,

My organization was just selected for an important and prestigious, multiple-year grant, one of four organizations chosen among over a hundred applicants. To celebrate, I went to Anthony’s Beauty School to get a haircut for 5 dollars.

Now, I always prefer beauty training schools to regular salons. The students are extra careful, and they’re usually very nice people. Sure, it’s like playing Russian Roulette with your hair, but the rewards far outweigh the potential risks, and I haven’t had a bad experience yet. This time, I met a charming young Vietnamese woman named Stacy, who went into hairstyling because she got bored working at a hospital. She was rather talkative. “Are you Vietnamese?” she asked, and I said yes. “That’s funny, you look Chinese. Are you married or are you single?” And I thought, Oh no, my manly charms must have overwhelmed the poor girl.

“I have a girlfriend,” I said, “and we’re going to Vietnam this summer.”

“That’s great,” said Stacy, “I think it’s important to keep your roots. I came here when I was 2 months old, and I’m fluent in Vietnamese. I think Vietnamese people who don’t teach their kids Vietnamese are stupid!”

“Yeah, stupid!” I said. We both laughed. See, that’s what you get when you do not always take the beaten paths, you get to meet all sorts of cool people. Stacy and I had a great conversation while she clipped and buzzed. In our modern world, we get into comfortable routines, which stabilize us. But my friends, I’ve argued before, that life is short, and sometimes we need to have the cojones to grab the bull by the horn, or have the horns to grab the bull by the cojones. Either way, it is important to grab the bull by something every day. Today, do something different: Take the scenic route to work, buy hot instead of medium salsa, high-five a passer-by. Life is too short to fall into the mundane.

Then Stacy was done, and I put my glasses on and took a look in the mirror, and realized she had completely screwed up my hair. She had cut it way too short, and it was not even. Horrified, her teacher came over with a pained look and spent the next 15 minutes trying to fix the damage, all in vain. With my big ears, my head now looks like a personal watermelon with wings. And a porcupine on top. Jameelah said I looked like an “Asian Simon Cowell,” the mean judge from American Idol; just so you can image the extent of the damage, here is what Simon Cowell looks like.

When I walked into the office today, one of the staff, Kim, shrieked, “Oh my God!” then quickly covered her mouth with her hands and tried to get back to her work. I went to our after-school program, and the kids were brutal. “Mr. Huy,” one of the teenage girls said, “you look horrible.” Dee-Dee, a volunteer tutor, was determined to be optimistic. “It will grow back,” she proclaimed, “You. Will. Be. Fine.”

My friends, I’ve learned several lessons from all this. First of all, I should be careful how my irresistible manly charms affect unsuspecting hair stylists. But more importantly, life means nothing if we do not take risks. Sure, I may have lost this round with the game of Beauty School Russian Roulette, but does this mean I won’t take any more chances? Hell yeah, it does! Don’t take risks, ever! Stick to routines! Routines are there for a reason! Don’t fix what ain’t broke! Stick to medium salsa! Don’t grab the bull by the horns; the bull will kick you in the cojones!  

I hope that this post has inspired you to not take any risks in life, whether small or great. Send me any advice on how to take care of this situation. Should I wear a hat? Should I put gel in my hair and look like a Japanese cartoon character? I am going into hermit-mode, where I will stay inside during the day, and leave my lairs only at night to feast on the flesh of plants, a creature feared and pitied by all, and laughed at by teenagers.

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24 Responses to JN51: Don’t ever grab the bull by the cojones

  1. Serious offer: If you want to hang out i’ll fix your hair. I’ve got clippers, scissors, and a hair cape. I’ve been cutting my own hair ( and not my ears ) for 6-7 years now. You might have to use a minimal amount of gel for a bit though, depending on how you want it.

    As an aside, and not to be sexist, but the 1 thing I miss by cutting my own hair is having a girl cut my hair. For some reason its very relaxing and pampering. Having a guy do it is sort of relaxing, but only if it’s an old school place that gives you a massage afterwards. Ah…

    • Thanks for the offer, Huong, but I think I’ll need to get over the PTSD before I let anyone with hair-cutting tools near my head again.

      As for your aside, you should go to Stacy and let her cut your hair. Seriously, she really pampers you and is delightful to talk to.

  2. AndyintheUK says:

    Two ‘bright sides’ I can immediately think of to assuage your plight:
    1. you could easily get a job as a slighty demented but vacuous teen-pop TV program presenter,
    2. if you were in the UK, your new monicker would be ‘Lu Brush’!
    Count your blessings.

    • Andy, in this dimension, being demented and vacuous is highly rewarded. Think of Paris Hilton and others.

      Lu Brush! You Brits are so subtle with your humor. It took me a while, and some googling, to get that one.

  3. Thao T Nguyen says:

    I haven’t seen you or [the organization] for quite a while now… suddenly I feel inspired to come down and visit?! :D

  4. Chevy says:

    I think you should get a fedora. Hee. Please post a picture when you do.

  5. sandysays1 says:

    You might want to consider buying a basketball, wearing a numbered tank top, and lots of bling, and SHAVING your head. Who knows you might get an offer from the NBA. Ahhh…if appropriate some elevator shoes might help. http://www.sandysays1.wordpress.com

  6. sedgehammer says:

    I recommend wearing or doing something that will take all the attention away from your head. For example:
    1 – plaid Hammer pants
    2 – a kilt
    3 – several huge gold chains
    4 – two missing front teeth

    Also her name was Stacy? I don’t think so. That’s defamation of character.

    • I say combo of 2 and 3. Guy Seattleites are more frequently wearing “utilikilts” now. Not only are they practical, but the drafts are rather pleasant in increasingly hot weather.

  7. Obnoxious Republican says:

    Hmm, something to make you feel better, let’s see. I know, don’t worry isn’t only teenagers that are laughing at you! For example, I have been doing it for years now. Hope that helps.

  8. Ana says:

    Congrats on the grant! You’re awesome. And my advice for the hair: avoid mirrors, but you’ll see, the temptation to look at oneself in the morning and periodically throughout the day is strong!

    • Anita. If you had such a sexy 90-pound vegan man body, you too would not be able to resist the temptation to look in the mirror. Just because the hair slightly detracts, does not mean the rest of the aesthetics should be ignored.

  9. Leo says:

    Haven’t you had haircuts like that in the past?

    • Thanks a LOT, Leo, for reminding me! Each time this happens, I just repress my memories. What are friends for but to bring up these painful episodes, such as the incident of 2001, when a hairstylist thought I was my little brother, who often gets a crew-cut…

  10. Paul says:

    Mazal tov!

    According to Wikipedia, “Mazal Tov” is used for all sorts of happy occasions, whether they be a new driver’s license, a birthday, or the end of military service. Another common use is to acknowledge a bad event or experience being over – for example, after a very hard test.

    So mazal tov for both the grant and the haircut!

  11. Cathy says:

    I’m not sure if you had moved to Tennessee before my tragic mistake of ’95 when I went to some chain salon and said I wanted shoulder-length hair and came out with ear-length hair. Not a good time.

    Then, I went to a friends salon and feeling adventurous said “I trust your judgment.” I came out with Betty Page bangs. Also not good.

    Now I force my neice into free child labor and have yet to have a problem. The kid is a genius. You should have her do yours next time.

    We’ve all been there. It sucks but it provides endless hours of amusement for those around us. :)

    • Eh, we just thought all those bad haircuts were normal to you. And I guess it’s futile to tell you not to grab anything by the cojones. Ahahaha. I’m hilarious.

  12. Cathy says:

    Dude! My mom reads this!!! No cojones talk. :P

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