OK, guys…this one is strange.
When I was a tyke, I hated, HATED getting my hair cut. In the small town where I grew up, our barber actually made house calls to cut the hair of small children, and it was always an unpleasant experience. I can recall the hideous sound his antique electric clippers made, and the way they overheated and filled the kitchen with the sickening scent of burning hair. And I just wailed like a banshee through it all, watching my hair fall on the floor in big, blond clumps. To my mind, that hair was a part of me that was being lopped off, no different than a hand or limb, and now it was on the floor, dead. And I also was very upset by the trope of sudden baldness as a source for T.V. comedy. (In fact, as I write this, I’m recalling seeing either a sitcom episode or a movie about a beauty parlor full of beautiful women, all having their hair burned off by malfunctioning hair driers, and being played for laughs. I’ll have to do a Name That Trauma search on that!)
But my adverse reaction to disembodied hair reached its apex in an episode of SUPER CHICKEN, one of the other animated series that accompanied installments of GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE in 1967. In it, Super Chicken and Fred combat a giant living toupee, growing to Kong-like proportions and wreaking havoc across America. My brain didn’t register it as animation, and I had nightmares for months about that writhing, ferocious mass of hair. And how did they kill it? By causing it to shed! This just verified what I thought — that my life was endangered every time I had a visit from the barber. (Add the fact that in the cartoon they use the deceased scalp for a practical purpose, and that just layered a whole ‘nother level of weirdness on for me.)
This wasn’t a trauma that lasted long; by the time I was seven, I was going to the barber shop without incident (and to his credit, he invested in new clippers). Now I just consider it a prescient flash-forward, as male pattern baldness made me its bitch starting in college. Maybe I was screaming and carrying on because I should have been sweeping up my precious locks and saving them for a follicle-challenged day!
UNK SEZ: Thanks Senski for the wonderful traumafession! If any of you out there have not visited Kindertrauma legend Senski’s fortress of smartitude HEART IN A JAR then remedy your folly right quick YONDER! Biggie thanks to clucking awesome DAVE’S UN-OFFICIAL SUPER CHICKEN HOMEPAGE for the hirsute capture above!