Rickter Scale: Follicle follies hair to stay

The Rickter Scale is a regular column

Rick Stiebel before the COVID-19 pandemic. He would send a current photo. (Black Press Media file photo)

Rick Stiebel/Columnist

My usually reliable brush isn’t handling the lockdown well.

It bristles at any attempt to coax my coif into assuming the position and rejects outright extra strokes aimed at flattening the curve. It’s left me looking like a silver-haired version of mid-’60s Ringo Starr meets mid-’40s Moe from the Three Stooges.

Six weeks in, my sideburns have taken on a life of their own. On the best days, they magically morph into bats frantically fleeing a brush fire.

The rest of the time they look like the turn signals that stick out of the sides of old European cars that most of you are too young to remember.

Meanwhile, my eyebrows have embarked upon an uncontrolled growth spurt that, according to the bride, leaves me looking like a horned owl.

Attempts to trim them myself went sideways, exacerbated by the fact that the range of colours for eyebrow pencils does not include white, whiter, or salt and pepper.

READ MORE: Rickter Scale

The upside is that I’m wearing my mask more when we’re out in public in a vain, futile attempt to distract people from the folly of my follicles. It doesn’t seem to be working, however, judging by the looks I get from people we pass during our daily walks through the old golf course in Sooke.

For those of you scoring at home, I’m up to about two kilometres of forced march a day. The bride skips the drive home with me, however, because she says she prefers to add a couple of miles to her stroll.

The skeptic in me believes it’s her way of escaping my witless banter.

On our recent once-a-week outing to the grocery store – without a doubt, the unquestioned highlight of our weekend outings these days – Joan ran into a client who looked like he just stepped out of a stylist’s chair.

She mentioned how nice his hair looked, with me standing beside her for a before and after comparison. After ensuring no one else was in hearing range, he whispered, “I got a guy.”

Although you can’t be too careful about accidentally identifying your black market barber, I was tempted to ask if his guy made house calls. Instead, I mentioned that Joan has offered to cut my hair and that I was seriously considering caving to her craving to carve my cranium.

“What have you got to lose?” he asked with the smug confidence that comes with having “a guy.”

I admitted to Joan that I’m on the brink of turning the bride loose, despite her lack of expertise as a hairdresser, which seemed to add a certain spring to her step.

That’s on hold for now, though, after I took a peek at next week’s shopping list.

Seeing garden shears raised one balding eyebrow because we don’t have a hedge, and for the life of me, I can’t think of anything inside or outside our house that requires a belt sander.

Rick Stiebel is a semi-retired local journalist.

Rickter Scale

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cancelled cruise ships costs Victoria more than $130 million

Transport Canada bans ships until end of October in response to COVID-19

Point-guard lobs no-look, three-pointer for Oak Bay High video

Trick-shot only took three times, says Oak Bay teen

Saanich residents sound alarm after second owl dies of rat poison

Great Horned Owl found in Kings Park killed by three rodenticides

Phase-by-phase look at how Greater Victoria Public Libraries will reopen

GVPL to quarantine returned material for a minimum of 72 hours before lending again

Langford pitches Westhills as Canadian Premier League soccer hub

Langford could host all eight teams for August matches

VIDEO: Victoria dental staff dance to *NSYNC to promote reopening

Urban Smiles staff ‘want you back’ after closure in response to pandemic

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Most Read