My Spiel:

If anyone mentions my dreadlocks to me, I tell them the following spiel:
"Thank you for mentioning my hair. Anyone who is kind enough to mention my hair..."

at which point I pull the scissors from my pocket
" asked to cut off one of my dreadlocks!"

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Encounter 16: The Thirteenth Dreadlock Removal

   I sat on a bench by the bridge, eating peanuts for supper, watching as the stream of people leaving a rock festival flowed along the road and back over the bridge to the mainland. Many of the passers-by stared or glanced at me, some gave me a convivial "otsukare," assuming that I had been with them at the festival, but it took a long time before any of them mentioned my dreadlocks. Why, after all, should they mention my dreadlocks? Hairstyles like this are not so uncommon in such circles.

The one person who took more that a passing interest said something along the lines of "I like" as he wandered past. I asked him what exactly he liked, and he revealed that he was, indeed, referring to my dreadlocks. He did not expect what happened next, which was that I produced my scissors and asked him to cut one off. He seemed fairly happy to take the scissors and make the cut.

 The guy also seemed happy to keep the dreadlock. When I asked him for something in exchange, he went into the standard mindset of believing that he did not have anything with him. I think he really believed this. In my experience, the majority of people carry clutter around with them and have no idea that they are doing so.

 He was holding a bottle, and I said anything is OK, even an empty bottle. Then his friends noticed that he had around his neck a black and yellow towel featuring the name of one of the bands that had been playing. This seemed to both of us to be rather a good exchange, so I came into posession of a sweaty towel, with "Yama Arashi" emblazoned on it in Japanese and English.

The boy danced off, dangling the dreadlock from his head. He was pretty hyper. It would not surprise me if he lost the dreadlock on his way home.

On to the next encounter.


  1. some people would be wary of handing a pair of scissors to a stranger...