I love my local barber shop, Joey’s Downtown Dapper in Vero Beach, Florida. It is every bit the local social hangout that great barber shops are mythologized to be. People drift in and out without getting within five feet of razor or scissors. Joey's two sweet, docile American Staffordshires (the paranoid and ignorant would call them "pit bulls") often laze on the waiting benches or an empty barber chair. The barbers and the clientele are diverse, mostly in their 20s and 30s, though plenty of kids and retirees get their ears lowered there as well, inevitably bobbing their head to the constant soundtrack of R&B and hip-hop.
In a generally sleepy community, Joey's is an oasis of cool. Any golf course would be thrilled if its 19th hole had half the energy Joey's does. When I showed up for my most recent cut, there was a new addition to the hodgepodge of movie posters, drawings and other wall-hangable ephemera you might expect in a place with a distinctly DIY feel. It was a $15 print of a monkey in a red polo and khaki shorts addressing a golf ball, barefoot but wearing a golf glove. It looked so out-of-place that it fit in perfectly.
“I just thought it looked cool,” said proprietor Joey Lucchini when I asked him about the new art. In a space where golf is hardly a typical topic of conversation and banter, I take it as a sign that this niche sport you and I love may actually have some casual aesthetic value to non-golfers as well. Who cares that the monkey is using an iron on the green?