"Reporter's Inside Stories: An Interview With Barber Smurf"

Story by Vic George
Based on the Smurf concept of characters by Peyo
This Smurf's ready for putting on
          the clips

Reporter: One of the things I really enjoy when it comes to smurfing my Inside Stories column is that I get to smurf the spotlight on Smurfs who don't normally get noticed by many Smurfs, despite the fact that there's only like 102 of us smurfing here. In fact, some Smurfs have roles here that smurf so small, one can only wonder if there's any purpose for these Smurfs to exist, which is not something Smurfs should really be questioning. One particular case is the subject for today's installment, the hairsmurfer known as Barber Smurf. Let's see what he has to smurf about himsmurf and what smurfs on in the village.

(Reporter finds Barber outside his shop, wearing his usual smock but using a pair of hedge clippers to do some pruning on a bush, singing a happy song as he works.)

Reporter: Hey, Barber, I didn't know you could smurf landsmurfing. Is this one of the things you smurf during the times when you don't have a head of hair to smurf away on?

Barber: (Continues his clipping as he talks.) That it is, Reporter, that it is. The business of hairsmurfing is a tough one when you only have the likes of Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Sassette, and even Duncan McSmurf to smurf your craft on. Not that I don't enjoy it, but this limits me to the point where I wonder at times what I've been smurfed into this world for, and I end up smurfing with Papa Smurf, Empath, and even Tapper on this matter.

Reporter: And what do they usually smurf you?

Barber: That even if I smurf something that doesn't do much for the whole village, it's still better than smurfing nothing at all. Tapper likes to smurf me from his holy book that God -- this Lord Almighty he believes in -- has smurfed all sorts of different people together in places that He alone has smurfed them in, that none can smurf things like, "I don't belong in this body because I'm not a hand or a foot or an ear or an eye," nor can we smurf to others that we don't need them because they're not like others. But rather, as Tapper smurfs, the ones who may not seem necessary are in fact more essential, even if they don't smurf out like a sore thumb to others.

Reporter: So how does that help you deal with the fact that very few Smurfs ever have any need for your trade?

Barber: It helps me in that I should not be smurfing so much about what little I can smurf for others. It's not an easy lesson to smurf by far, smurfing with so much downtime that I can feel tempted to just smurf up my barber's smock, smurf down the comb and clippers, and just smurf the shop down.

Reporter: Which leads me to asking what you do with Tapper when you're not busy here.

Barber: Tapper likes to smurf time with me whenever he and I are not busy by smurfing some of those old-time songs with me, the kind my own Papa Smurf used to sing when he had such a busy shop full of customers. Sweepy and Miner heard us smurfing together one day, and they decided to smurf in as well.

Reporter: And that smurfed to the creation of the Barber Shop Quartet, right?

Barber: Isn't it amazing what so much downtime and a few other Smurfs who smurf what it's like to be without much to smurf in their own lives can smurf? Of course, we'll never be quite as popular as those Smurflings with that "Smurfbop" song of theirs, or even Smurfette with her Ray of Sunshine album that I like to listen to every now and smurf. But Tapper says it's not for the recognition of other Smurfs that we should smurf such things for others, but for the sake of smurfing the One who holds all of the world in His smurfs, for He has smurfed all things to be good and for His pleasure.

Reporter: Not that I would want to smurf a discussion about religious beliefs, but do you truly believe that what Tapper's been smurfing about his God smurfing "the one and only true god" is the actual truth? I mean, what he smurfs from that holy book he has at times can be things that are very offensive for us to hear.

Barber: I smurf what you're trying to ask me, Reporter. Tapper likes to smurf himself a "born-again Christian", smurfing that this human named Jesus has smurfed His life on the cross for all of creation to redeem it from sin and that there is no other way we can smurf into heaven except through Him. He's not a Smurf who fully agrees with all things that smurf on in the village, and he fears that we will someday be smurfed into the lake of fire if we don't smurf this Jesus to be our Lord and Savior.

Reporter: I guess there's hardly a Smurf who hasn't heard what Tapper had to smurf regarding their eternal destiny. Even Papa Smurf at times had some words to smurf to Tapper about his "smurfing the gospel" and upsetting other Smurfs with his beliefs.

Barber: I know from my smurfing with Tapper that he doesn't mean to offend other Smurfs by sharing his faith in a God that only he himsmurf believes in. But as far as whether I believe what he's been smurfing is the truth or not...I just simply don't know. It's something that I feel will only be revealed in time, and that the best we can smurf is to smurf the good that we can smurf until then. Nevertheless, I won't let what Tapper believes in and what I believe in smurf in the way of our friendship at all, even if he's praying for my very soul to be smurfed by his God.

Reporter: I guess we should also pray that he doesn't get "raptured" away by his beliefs! (Laughs.)

Barber: (Unsure of whether he should laugh at Reporter's joke about the word "rapture".) Yes, well, it's not a subject that I like to smurf about to a lot of Smurfs. I believe it's a very private matter, but I'd hate to smurf of the consequences that he may be right after all. I'm just going to smurf go of the subject right here and now.

Reporter: Okay, then, enough said. Smurfing right along...I hear on good authority that you help Papa Smurf make Smurf essence with beard clippings.

Barber: That is very true, Reporter. You see, Smurf essence is a very special substance that has curative effects on various beings in the forest, including humans, such as smurfing down the aging process, because you know, as Papa Smurf would point out, Smurfs have a special genetic code that causes us to smurf very long life spans compared to other creatures. Papa Smurf can't just smurf this substance to anyone, and he certainly wouldn't have let Gargamel or any of our enemies have Smurf essence, even as the evil wizard would have smurfed us skin and bone just to make up his own Smurf essence for his magic.

Reporter: So Papa Smurf makes this solely from his beard alone, Barber?

Barber: Papa Smurf couldn't mix his hair with anyone else's to make Smurf essence, because it would contaminate the product and cause unpredictable side effects. That's why whenever he smurfs a haircut, I clean the place first and then I carefully sweep up the hair so that he could smurf it to his laboratory.

Reporter: And who exactly gets the Smurf essence once it's been made?

Barber: Papa Smurf entrusts this to Homnibus, who rarely if ever uses it on himself, even though I think he desmurfs to live just as long as we do. It gets properly mixed into his formulas which he smurfs as cures for his friends and other humans who smurf his aid. Papa Smurf had a whole smurfload of it to give away when Brainy smurfed that magic beard with the tonic he smurfed up, the same one that also smurfed Gargamel his beard.

Reporter: (Laughs.) Yeah, that was a really hairy situation, just as the one where Smurfette almost lost her hair to Hogatha and you and Papa Smurf tricked the evil witch by smurfing her bear hair that was smurfed in yellow hair dye. So tell me, what was it like to grow up with your Papa Smurf as the village barber?

Barber: Oh, I feel that was the best time in my life, up until the disease smurfed him and my beloved Mama Smurf away. He was the best barber in the village, though he also had to deal with the simple fact of biology that female Smurfs mostly had hair and male Smurfs rarely had any unless they're smurfing into middle age...which makes me jealous of Duncan McSmurf! (Laughs.) He tells me that the Puffos were the best singers and musicians of the village, and he would always prove that with his singing voice. I would join in with him every chance I smurf when he sings in public, and every Smurf was clapping for our performances together.

Reporter: It must have been really sad to lose him, only to have Papa Smurf as your one and only Papa Smurf from that point on. How did you deal with that?

Barber: Not very well. I think I smurfed twenty years of my life crying, and not because I no longer had any hair to practice my art on except for Papa Smurf. It was just that everything in the world changed around me, and things can't smurf back to the way I wanted them to. And when our parent Smurfs did smurf back, only for us to realize that they were just hallucinations smurfed upon us by the Auld Lang Syne Spell, it felt like the end for me. Fortunately I had good friends like Tapper to help me smurf through the tough times.

Reporter: And what was your impression of Empath when he first smurfed into the village years ago?

Barber: That he felt too ashamed to be a Smurf. You know how he was, Reporter, when he smurfed here just wearing that dark suit and no hat on. How could he really be a Smurf without a hat? I mean, I know that Sassette still acts like a Smurf even without a hat, but Empath was like totally without the soul of a Smurf. I just did the best I could in trying to be a friend to him and helping him to become like a Smurf. But he never smiled during his first visit, and I figured we would never see him smile at all.

Reporter: But Empath changed over the years during subsequent visits. You must have seen how he changed.

Barber: I don't just see how he changed, I also hear how he changed. For a Smurf that doesn't know how to sing the Smurf song with any feeling, he has the best singing voice I have ever smurfed from any Smurf. I bet being away from us in Psychelia wondering when he's ever going to smurf home has smurfed out the soul in him where he must now be singing his heart out, finding his freedom. It's too bad we didn't let him smurf that freedom to be whatever he wanted to be at first, though, because we were smurfing too hard for him to be our hero and to smurf Gargamel away from the forest forever. He eventually did, but that was because we were all smurfing it together instead of just having Empath smurf the whole job when Gargamel finally smurfed over the edge.

Reporter: And every Smurf is now grateful to not have to deal with Gargamel ever again. I'm wondering how you feel about Empath and Smurfette smurfing their time together with each other, and if you're jealous of Empath being the only Smurf she has set her smurfs on.

Barber: I think those two Smurfs have a thing smurfing on together with each other that I can't smurf anything against. I mean, who among the male Smurfs in the village doesn't love Smurfette? She's the most beautiful and friendliest female that's ever smurfed into our lives. It isn't because Papa Smurf made her that way, it's simply because she is that way! She's not out to willfully smurf any Smurf that she smurfs into contact with, even if Gargamel had smurfed her for that purpose. I would just love to be able to smurf her beautiful hair any way that she wants it, though it's only recently that she ever wanted to smurf a different style.

Reporter: But you don't have any problems if Smurfette wants to marry Empath someday?

Barber: I can't smurf that I won't feel hurt by that decision, but I love Smurfette enough to know that I won't smurf in her way if that is what she intends to smurf. And me and Empath smurf along pretty well, knowing that we will always be smurfing out for each other, smurf what may.

Reporter: What do you think about Empath's friend, Polaris Psyche?

Barber: (Sighs.) He's one customer that doesn't like having to have his hair cut, and he's very particular about how he wants it cut. It's not much fun trying to talk to him because he's all business like Empath was at one time, but he never had the privilege of smurfing visits to the Smurf Village like Empath had. Everything he knows about us smurfs solely from Empath until now.

Reporter: If I had a choice among Brainy, Jokey, and Polaris for being "entertaining", I'd smurf with Polaris over the other two any day. (Laughs.)

Barber: (Doesn't join in with laughing.) Well, that is the reason I keep mysmurf busy with other things like the Barber Shop Quartet and whatever landsmurfing I can do with a pair of clippers. As Brainy likes to smurf, idle hands are the devil's smurfground. And that's one place I would rather not be smurfing in.

Reporter: I guess there's just no escape from smurfing about the devil, no matter who smurfs it up. Well, thanks for letting me smurf with you today.

Barber: My pleasure to smurf with you.

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