The barbershop is quite the sacrosanct place.
Just look at the movies. Ice Cube’s character pretty much did everything humanly possible to save the barbershop his dad handed down to him after Cube decided to gamble it away on a music career. The local barbershop was the last place Clint Eastwood’s character visited before getting blown away by Hmong gang members in “Gran Torino.” (The movie’s 10 years old; if this is a spoiler to you it’s your own fault.)
Earlier in his career, Eastwood even managed to blow away two guys while getting a shave in “High Plains Drifter.” And then there was “Sweeney Todd” — which, in all fairness, was significantly less sacrosanct.
So clearly, I’ve established beyond a shadow of a doubt that the barbershop is an inviolate domain where no evil should happen to the men within. Or, at least I’ve established that I’ve watched all four movies. And maybe there was some evil in “Sweeney Todd.”
Still, even with that level of sacrosanctness, I was stunned to hear that a barber from Bedford in the United Kingdom gave a young boy a haircut so bad that he’s going to be spending the next eight months behind bars.
“The youngster, who was said to be ‘proud’ of his hairstyle, was given a number one all over” — the shortest of haircuts — “as punishment for trying to use a razor himself,” The Telegraph reported.
“But after being laughed at by others who were sat around him, he felt so humiliated he called the police.”
And the po-po did what any rational law enforcement agency should. They talked to both of them and urged them to work it out, lest this degenerate into — oh no, just kidding. They arrested Abdulrahim Omar, who admitted he’d shaved off the young-un’s hair to teach the razor-happy boy a lesson and then had him clean up the shavings, and charged him with causing actual bodily harm.
Omar pleaded guilty and was sentenced to eight months. He had no prior convictions.
“The young man was proud of his hairstyle and felt that it was important to him,” prosecutor Alex Ridley said. “He suffered psychological and physical harm.”
“This offense was the premeditated humiliation of a 10-year-old,” Judge Richard Foster said at sentencing. “It was despicable conduct to treat a child in that way. …
“There is no excuse for what you did. It was a most disgusting piece of humiliation.”
I don’t get it. I keep on looking back up at the address bar and the URL still doesn’t read TheOnion.com. I’ve done this like five or six times already and nothing seems to change.
I understand that this happened in a different country, but let me introduce you to Crenshanda Williams, a Houston 911 operator who hung up on thousands of people because she says she didn’t feel like talking. During one call, when someone reported two trucks racing dangerously on the highway, Williams told the caller, “Ain’t nobody got time for this. For real.” During another call, she hung up on a convenience store owner who lay bleeding to death on the floor of his shop after being shot.
She barely took responsibility. “She was going through a hard time in her life, and she was a poor-performing worker at the Houston Emergency Center,” her lawyer said. “But punishing her doesn’t do anything to fix the problems that still exist at the emergency center.”
Williams was recently sentenced to 10 days in jail for hanging up on thousands of people having emergencies.
Compare this with the statement from Omar’s legal counsel, Ahtiq Raja.
“Mr. Omar recognises he made a grave mistake. He fully understands it now. He is of previous good character and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and is very, very sorry for his actions,” Raja said.
“He knows there is no excuse and knows what he has done is fundamentally wrong. The actions were a one off.”
Hang up on thousands of callers having emergencies and don’t take responsibility for it, 10 days. Give a bratty kid acting dangerously a shave-down, take responsibility for it, eight months. All because this “young man was proud of his hairstyle.” Eight freaking months. Even Sweeney Todd didn’t get that.
This is the kind of thing that makes you wish Walt Kowalski was around to intervene.
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