Kevin Haskin: Conversation with barber affirms move into new position

Director of commentary will offer broad range of opinion

Kevin Haskin is The Capital-Journal’s director of commentary.

Weird weekend.

 

Midmorning on Saturday a haircut was in order. What that means is a haircut had been put off for some time.

I don’t make appointments. I don’t really care who performs the task, man or woman, stylist or barber. Or, whether their fingers are handling a pair of scissors or electricity is powering their trimmer.

Doesn’t matter much. My hair still grows back. Thankfully.

Being out of town obviously was not a big deal either. Saturday being Saturday, however, I realized I might peek into a place, notice it was packed and put off the visit another week.

Not so. A shop was open, the pole was lit and the barber was taking a short break.

Some customer brought him a breakfast sandwich he was nibbling. Another dropped off a box of rolls. Another a box of doughnuts. Not sure if either delivery came from the bread truck driver who offered cookie samples being introduced on grocery shelves.

Suddenly it dawned on me that January was just like any other month — a rotten time to attempt losing weight on the Grump For Now plan I started.

After passing on a roll, doughnut and cookie (points should be rewarded for what you don’t eat, rather than what you do eat), then watching as the barber ate the only biscuit, immediate seating commenced.

So too did the conversation, which began with an attempt at neutrality, the weather. That topic dovetailed into the mortality rate of calves born in frigid temperatures.

At that point I tried to be a good listener, but was diverted by a TV documentary that had previously divided no one’s attention.

The subject matter, transmitted as you might guess from an old wooden console, was Stonehenge, which interested the barber long enough to mention Chevy Chase, the Griswolds and their cinematic slapstick in Europe.

Suddenly, programming took priority.

“Hey, we’ve got a game today, don’t we? Know what time?’’ the barber asked.

“This morning. Eleven o’clock,’’ I said.

The conversation floated into my wheelhouse.

“Game’s at KU, right?’’ the barber asked. “K-State won there last year, didn’t they?’’

“Nah. Remember? KU got a layup at the end. There was a no-call on a travel.’’

A few additional comments followed but I couldn’t help but stare at the clock. Roughly 30 minutes before tipoff of another Sunflower Showdown and I was sitting in a barber’s chair.

For the second time since the turn of the century I would miss a renewal of the basketball rivalry. The other instance was when the flu left me on the couch when Michael Beasley and friends ended KU’s string of 24 consecutive wins in Manhattan.

With that, I shall reveal that my position with The Capital-Journal has evolved. I have been named director of commentary.

The main thrust will be to coordinate content for the editorial page. I will continue to write columns. Even for the sports section at times, though the transition to the editorial page will demand utmost attention.

Sure, I watched the game Saturday. It featured a competitive contrast between Devonte’ Graham, and the invaluable experience he provides the Jayhawks, and Cartier Diarra, and the dazzling potential he suddenly provides the Wildcats. The finish — a clutch drive that led to go-ahead free throws for KU and a botched last possession for K-State — was altogether predictable.

Still, it was unusual watching the game unfold on TV.

Weird is what you get living the life. Hopefully, it helps with what commentary I share.

What I didn’t mention was the weekend began by taking the fiancée to dinner, asking what was on tap and learning it was karaoke.

Sometimes, life defies description.

Contact Kevin Haskin at kevin.haskin@cjonline.com or @KevinHaskin on Twitter.

 

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