Cheap Shot | Hair today. Gone Tomorrow: Phil hits the DMV and the Dollar Shop. 

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On the way to the Division of Motor Vehicles, I was talking to Kristen on the phone, and she asked, “What are you wearing?”

“Wearing?” Asking what clothes I have on is like asking a police officer what he or she wears to work. I have a uniform. Black Carhartt pants and a T-shirt. If I have a job interview or need to dress up, then I get a lint remover and roll the cat hair off of my pants.

“The usual,” I said. “Why?”

“The photo for your driver license,” she said. “Don’t you even care?”

Of course I care. For instance, when I drive, I use a hands-free ear bud for my cell phone, so I was able to take a sip of coffee, then look at my reflection in the rearview mirror. I care about safety. I didn’t, however, care for my reflection.

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Going to the DMV isn’t like going to an audition for Tyra Banks’ America’s Next Top Model. Not only did I have on my uniform, I was wearing an outfit that was so yesterday. I’m taking a day off from my construction job in Park City to run errands. With a list of things to accomplish the length of a 2 x 4, I didn’t have time to pick out an outfit for my driver license. What I did have time for was to pick yesterday’s outfit off of the floor, put on a hat and hit the expired-license road.

After filling out the paperwork at the DMV, and while waiting for my name to be called, I stepped into the bathroom to gussy up for the photo. With my hair, there isn’t a lot of gussy to up. It’s getting to the point where it seems like there is more hair caught in my bathtub drain than on my head.

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I was able to wet down, pull out and arrange my hair to look like an angry porcupine with male pattern baldness. Then I stepped into the waiting room just in time to hear my name called followed by a shout behind the counter of, “He’s in the bathroom.”

Sure, everyone at some point “goes to the bathroom.” It’s nothing to be embarrassed about, but I didn’t want the entire DMV to think, “That guy just pooed.” So I diffused the situation by saying, “No. No. I was just looking in the mirror fixing my hair.”

It’s not like the DMV is a holding area for the Mensa club of Salt Lake City or is even a place where pretty people congregate. No. This is seemingly a collection of ugly, stupid people. It’s almost like the beautiful never need to get a driver license. And yet, the entire waiting room of the DMV found common ground in thinking that I looked funny. It was like being laughed at by the cast of Dumb and Dumber.

My driver license photo wasn’t worth 1,000 words. It was only worth one: “haircut.”

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Legally blond and licensed, I drove to the Dollar Shop (697 S. 700 East) where most haircuts are $5. There was a time when I’d pay $20 to $30 for a haircut but, as time has taken away my hair and stylists don’t offer a Rogaine discount, I’ve found myself spiraling down the discount haircuts until landing at the Dollar Shop.

When you walk into the Dollar Shop, don’t look for a receptionist, because there isn’t one. There are two rows of barbershop chairs (some dating back to the early ’60s). You also don’t take a number. You take a seat on a wooden bench or plastic chair in front of the person whom you want to give your $5 to. Then, they take the money and a little off the sides and the top.

After I got my haircut, I called Kristen and said, “I may be wearing the usual, but I feel like a hundred bucks.” Minus $95.

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About The Author

Phil Jacobsen

More by Phil Jacobsen


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