The Slow-Cooked Sentence

Turning up the heat

Rachael Conlin Levy
“Sexy Scissors” courtesy of HeadOvMetal.

Five minutes from my house a barber shop offers topless haircuts, or at least that’s what the sign said. The word was scrawled in large black letters on cardboard and posted above a painted barber shop sign. It caught my eye as I drove home with groceries.

Topless usually doesn’t raise eyebrows in Nevada, but this one apparently was operating in a strip mall that included a Christian bookstore, an H&R; Block, a supermarket and a laundromat. I had to investigate. So I bundled up the toddler, deposited the big kids at school and headed toward the strip mall, all the while thinking about boobs and buzz cuts. This was the conversation in my brain:

Is it really that erotic to receive a haircut while checking out titties in the mirror? Would I offer to cut my husband’s hair while topless? Hah, I’d probably end up with a chest hairier than his! How much can you charge for such a cut, anyway? Wait a minute. I have given topless haircuts — to my sons when they were very small. Remember chasing them around the yard with scissors, until I grabbed one of them, stuck a boob in his mouth and, as he nursed, quickly snipped his hair.

The first point of investigation on my walk was Razor’s Edge Barber Shop, located across the street from where I spotted the sign. As I passed, I glanced inside: Two men were getting their hair cut by two other men. They all wore shirts.

So I crossed Pyramid Way and headed north to New Image and The Establishment, both located in the strip mall. At New Image, a sleepy woman sat like a lumpy potato in a barber’s chair waiting for the first customer of the day. Could I imagine her taking off her shirt? Uh-uh. I kept walking, past a bar, a laundromat, an empty store-front, and then came to The Establishment. The dark tinted windows prevented me from seeing inside.

I took a deep breath.

I opened the door.

My face flushed.

“Hi, I’m looking for the topless barber shop.”

“Oh, that was an April Fool’s joke,” a woman said. “One of the barber’s played it on the other barber. We cut men and women’s hair while wearing clothes.”

Oooh, I wondered about the sign. Did you get any reaction?”

“Nah. You’d think there’d have been a long line, but nothing. Must be the economy.”

Face sizzling, I slipped outside. My cheeks radiated heat, my brain harangued:

What was the point of that, Rach? Heat. Heat. Heat. Embarrassing heat. Erotic heat. Spicy heat. Like this week’s soup with smoky chipotle chilies, sliced thin, like lines of burning filament in a bowl, in a blog post.

In the bowl:

Chipotle Turkey Stew

Chipotle Turkey Stew
Adapted from Sunset magazine, January 1999

1 pound cooked turkey or chicken (I used smoked turkey)
6 cups chicken broth
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup masa or flour
15 ounces tomatoes, diced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons canned chipotle chilies, minced
sour cream and cilantro (optional)

Saute the onions. Pour in the broth and bring to a simmer. Ladle out about a cup and whisk the masa into the broth. Then slowly whisk that thickened broth into the main pot. Add tomatoes, oregano, turkey and chilies. Garnish with sour cream and cilantro.

2 responses to “Turning up the heat”

  1. mamapease says:

    (belly laugh!!) Funny Rachael. You’ve got guts! This soup sounds really good as usual!

  2. Kyna says:

    This reminds me of Stacy, Hairstylist for the Hip, and her erotic head massages.

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