I'm pretty sure I just got my hair cut by Xena, Warrior Princess's real-life blonde alter ego, Polyanna. And I'm not saying they look a lot like, either. I'm thinking they have a similar passion for physically abusing other people. Seriously, this is the first time I've ever gotten a hair cut and felt like I'd just spent two minutes in a boxing ring, duking it out with Jesse Ventura. Polyanna started out nice enough, I suppose, and was actually quite the chatty cathy, starting from the point when she called me up from my chair, where I was sitting, patiently awaiting my turn to get my hair cut. Had I known it would all be chopped and whacked, I might have decided to vacate the premises immediately and return on a day she wasn't working.

Polyanna: Phil? Phil: That's me. Polyanna: Dr. Phil. Phil: ... Polyanna: Not Dr. Phil. Phil Don't get me started. Don't even get me started.

After this strange greeting was over (I should have read the signs: we were not off to a good start), she asked me how I wanted my hair cut. I explained: "Basically, pretty much the same thing you see now, only shorter."

Xena-Polyanna grabbed her clippers and set to work, on some sort of freak mission to not only cut my hair, but also to make me aware of just how many ways one's scalp can feel pain. Scissors pressed uncomfortably against my head, hair pulled in strange directions. I tried to see if there was some way to have some other hair cutter person rescue me, but to no avail. Xena-Polyanna was working alone today, it seemed, and I was to be a victim. I protested, and requested that she please go easy on me and/or use a lighter touch. I may as well have been telling my neighbor to stop flashing me.

Xena-Polyanna continued the crusade on my hair, until at last she was satisfied that she had defeated all the long and evil hairs she had confronted. I attempted to comb my hair, which was a chore, and then she doused what was left of my hair with about half a bottle of hair gel. All I need now is my camouflage gear and I'm ready for boot camp.