Hair Today

August 9, 1999


Since we’ve seen a lot of son Gene in real time lately, I thought I’d dredge up this little series from 1999. You can, of course, click on the above link to see the entire thing. (It’s six strips total.) As I’ve mentioned, no character’s hair has undergone more changes over time than Gene’s, and that continues, although now he sports a modification of his classic appearance since adolescence. Also in the old strip (Are you getting confused? I am.), you get to see Gene’s old girlfriend Ruth. And a shopping mall! Remember those?


35 thoughts on “Hair Today”

  1. Remember shopping malls? We’re so far behind the times in Utah that we still have shopping malls! And since I’m not on the road much anymore, what has replaced them in other states? Especially in states with real weather that makes walking indoors between stores preferable to driving or walking outdoors? Yes, I know a lot of people are in love with online shopping, but I prefer to get clothes that fit when I’m still in the store!

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  2. “Clueless Little Boy”? Huh. Never thought to use that one. Way too late now.
    I once had a haircut like Gene’s. I got it for free. As did 49 of my buddies. Who were all dressed just the same as I was.

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    • I always liked how the rebellious youth of my generation so valued doing “their own thing” and being nonconformists while they all made a point of dressing alike, wearing their hair the same ways, and following the same bands,

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    • Sheesh. They charged me for mine. We had one guy in our intake that had gone out a few days before and gotten a clipper cut just shy of a shave – his hair was shorter than what we were getting. The drill sergeants had to huddle up and decide how to handle it. He ended up getting charged his buck and having the clippers run over his head like the rest of us, to little or no effect. They probably were looking for head lice and scalp infections, so that much needed doing anyhow. I’m pretty sure no money changed hands, but was a deduction from our first pay: We stood in line to go up to a little table where they gave us a pay slip which showed what we were due and what they were keeping (including a buck, maybe, for the haircut) and counted out cash for the whatever was left over. The marching cadence song went “they give you a hundred dollars, and take back ninety-nine,” but it wasn’t quite that bad. Not long after that, they began paying by check.

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      • A few days before I reported, I did something I’d always wanted to do…I gave myself a “haircut”. The government-issued one actually looked quite a bit better.

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  3. And I loved the “dog sitting” arc that followed. (There’s probably a reason why Golden Labs are sometimes referred to as “The Dumb Blondes of the Canine Word.”)

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  4. I almost always had a crew cut during summers as a kid. If memory serves, I adopted it at college for all ’round use because it was so care-free. Was I “clueless”? You betcha – big time – but that doesn’t seem connected to a hair style.

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    • I got a butch at the beginning of Summer Vacation both so that it wouldn’t need combing until it was almost time for school again and because Mom considered it cooler during the hottest part of the year.

      On a different note (C#) the website still doesn’t remember my info, but Firefox does; all I have to do is double click in each text box and I’m offered the same data I’ve always used.

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  5. My grandfather used to take my brother and me for haircuts. One time he got us both crew cuts. My grandmother took one look when we came back and told him, “Don’t ever get their hair cut like that again.” And he never did. His favorite shop is still in business and has been in the same location over a hundred years now, having opened around 1920. I miss those trips with him. Riding in the car, getting a Coke in a glass bottle from the big red vending machine, listening to the men talk as I waited my turn.

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  6. Remember shopping malls? Remember open air shopping centers? Now they are called lifestyle centers and are replacing the closed malls. We’ve come full-circle there, but I doubt we’ll keep going till we get back to downtown streets lined with shops.

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    • Closed malls have gone out of style. The new style is to have actual streets running between the store buildings. That’s been the fad for at least 15 years now (that kind doesn’ t work as well in the Pacific Northwest, but that’s what got built. I think they were preferred because of the smaller footprint and lower cost to operate (no AC needed for people who go outside the stores)

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  7. Two years ago the local mall sold to a major holding corporation. Everyone thought/said, “What we’re they THINKING?”. And that was before COVID. Now, a couple of months ago, the corporation has filed for bankruptcy. I dare say that this is only one of many lifestyle changes coming at us.

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  8. When I was about 5 or 6 the local barbershop, brought in a young barber, Rex to start cutting hair. Eventually Rex was the only barber at the shop. One of the other barbers took a job at the K-Mart Distribution Center where I worked during the summers to pay for college. I didn’t say too much to him, except about the weather. That was all that we ever talked about anyway.

    Last year, just before the election, there was a story about Rex in the local paper. He has been cutting hair for 62 years ( He must have cut at another shop for 2-3 years) and is still doing it. Apparently all of the local politicians like to get their haircut by Rex as they usually go on an win the elections. I don’t think Biden or Trump visited him….

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  9. Alan B W & Ghost

    It was 150 of us – and we got a “Flying 10” some guys did not
    have it by the next morning. 🙁 Don’t know what they did for the stuff
    that was required but not issued. I think haircut was 50¢ but we had a guy that did
    it for quarter in barracks. It helped in that we were required to get haircut once a week.
    .
    By the time I got out as E4 with Propay I got a whole $108.00 a month

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