Most days I think I’m a good person. Not like Malala/Marie Curie/Rosa Parks good. I mean more like I always vote, follow the law, tell the truth, try to think of others, helped as many kids and families as I could kind of good. I’ve always been a responsible and respectful citizen, keenly aware of the suffering of my fellow humans and my compassion toward them is strong. And years of being a psychiatrist has taught me how to suspend judgement of others. But I have to tell you this pandemic is testing me.

Yesterday I watched videos of folks strolling about my city like it was any old day of the week. Groups of six or eight people walking shoulder to shoulder, laughing, sipping coffee, blissful and oblivious. Maybe they’re just ignorant, I thought. Perhaps they hadn’t heard of the global scourge. But we all know that dog don’t hunt. It’s enough to make anyone slip into judge and jury mode. Neil and I are doing our best to think charitable, positive thoughts at all times, but it’s an uphill slog at times.

Speaking of Neil, it must be said that he too can be counted as a model citizen. His hands are now rubbed raw from washing, he leaves the house only when absolutely necessary, and his distancing is world class. The other day American writer Laura Lippman tweeted, “I see a lot of men are as confused about six feet as they are about six inches.” Not my Rusty. He knows exactly what six feet looks like: the length of his wife. He’s taken to saying everyone needs to stand at least one Bobbi apart. He finds this hilarious, I do not.

What I did find hilarious was his solution to avoiding a barber visit. Note to all: letting your hair do its own thing is not nearly as bad as being ventilated and dying alone surrounded by strangers in Hazmat gear. Don’t even think about getting your hair done now.

Anyhoo, I was sitting at my desk hard at work on my novel (almost finished, I swear) when I heard a buzzing sound coming from upstairs. The buzzing stopped and I heard Mister yell out, “Oh my Jesus. I think I’ve made a huge mistake.”

A little background. Neil and I were both long overdue for haircuts. I’d been waiting out flu season and he was just plain lazy about it. He wasn’t as far gone as I’ve seen in the past (see Exhibit A below) but his signature hair was wild enough to be driving him right round the pipe.


I found him in the bathroom, electric clippers in hand, a pile of orange fluff at his feet. His head was a mish-mash of bald patches and stubble, round humps and tufts and tendrils poking off every which way. He looked like a lunatic. If I hadn’t been in danger of wetting myself from laughing so hard I might’ve thought to grab my phone for a photo.

His only choice was to press on and he finally got the hang of it. Now he looks like a relatively stable individual albeit an individual who guards the dressing room door at The Pussy Palace just off of Highway 13.


I think he’s on to something. I’d say I’m two maybe three weeks away from taking the clippers to my own head. In the meantime if you’re looking for some smile-inducing advice on how to deal with your locks while on lockdown I’ve got good news. All you need to know to tame the tresses can be found right here.