Unconditional Lifetime Guaranty

If you want to know the truth, this is my second unbreakable 25-cent comb from Lee’s Barber Shop. The combs are kept on a cardboard display on the wall above the cash register, each comb in a brown vinyl sleeve imprinted with Lee’s Barber Shop and his phone number. When Lee removes one of the sleeves from the card, it’s immediately replaced by an actual size picture of itself. In bold print, above a cartoon picture of a man’s neatly groomed head, it reads: Lifetime Guaranty Against Breakage.

I had to work very hard with a pair of pliers to bend the first comb until it snapped.

When I brought the two pieces in, Lee couldn’t have looked more surprised.

“That’s a first,” he said. “Never had one come back before.”

Then he cut my hair as usual: short in the back, buzz–clipped above the ears, cropped to the eyebrows. He asked about my mother, whom he used to date. He asked if I wanted my hair left wet or dry and I said dry, please. Then he charged me one dollar and when I handed it over he told me to make sure I said Hello to my Mom.

“She changed her number again,” Lee said.

Then he handed me a new comb in a crisp, brown, vinyl sleeve, no questions asked.

I’ve decided against breaking this one out of respect for the man.

Bob Thurber’s fiction has received numerous awards and prizes. For more information visit: http://bobthurber.net.