New and Improved Article at Skatepark of Tampa

New and Improved

Posted on Tuesday, March 5, 2002 by Ryan

New and Improved
By Ryan T. Clements
February 18, 2002

     Behold! The ‘new and improved’ Ryan T. Clements! I never thought that a haircut meant so much. I haven’t had an official ‘hairstyle’ since my spike in the 6th grade. For so many years now my haircuts have consisted of, “Dude, did you bring the clippers?”



     I got inspired to get a ‘real’ haircut recently when I saw Mike V. with a part-on-the-side, feathered hairdo, with a splash of mousse. I thought, “That’s pretty funny, Mike V. has a totally ‘normal’ haircut.” So I got one. No big deal, right? But the aftermath has really got me thinking. See, the problem doesn’t lie in the physical act of cutting of the hair; it lies in the image one portrays towards society based on his/her haircut.

     Even though working at SPoT primarily revolves around skateboarding, sometimes my job consists of doing day-to-day business ventures. I have to step outside our comfortable little skateboarding world of sponsors, crooked grinds, and kickflips to do things like go to the bank, meet with our C.P.A., and yes, sometimes I even have to visit our lawyer’s office.

     These outings sometimes bring me to the infamous Bank of America building in DT Tampa (the one that the dumb-ass kid flew the plane into…otherwise known to skateboarders as Marble Manor). On one particular occasion, upon making my way through the revolving glass door and up the three-story escalator, I was stopped and questioned by security as to my ‘business’ in the building. Although I legitimately had purpose in the high-rise, it brought back the feeling of being a kid and having to answer to an adult. But now I’m all grown up, so I evaluated the situation and kindly told the security-chump that my reason for being in the building was not his concern. Then I dropped a few names of tenants in the building and he started backpedaling with “Sir this and Sir that.” Screw him. Look, Man, it’s 2002. You can’t just stop someone in a public place because of his or her undesirable appearance. We’re talking major discrimination lawsuits. Nowadays, when I know that I’m going into that building, I purposely try to look like as big of a scumbag as possible, tank-top and all, just for the reaction. And it works every time. I’ll admit it, I like it when I walk into an office and the record needle skips right off the player (Maybe the tattoos have something to do with it, too?). Hey, the girls in my wife’s office still like me, so what the hell?

     But recently, with the new haircut, I haven’t been getting a reaction from strangers at all. My own friends and family notice my improvement, but no one in public even looks at me anymore. Well, except sales people. In Sears the other day, the saleswoman behind the jewelry counter went so far out of her way to acknowledge my passing with the ol’, “How are you, Sir?” that it was ridiculous. Look, I still don’t have any money and I’m still not going to buy anything in your store just because I have a presentable hairstyle.

     Where does the hair go from here? All I know is that the best feeling in the world is being 28 years old and really, honestly, not caring what my hair looks like. I can say with a 100% open heart that, “I don’t care!” Spike, dreads, pony tail, bald, and what the hell, even a mullet…I don’t give a crap if anyone likes my hair or not (sorry, Honey). And for the punk-asses at SPoT that make fun of my new ‘do on a daily basis…I know you’re just jealous.

Love, Ryan


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