|By Bob Weaver|
Bim the Barber has renewed his contract for
political polling and prognostication for 2002, and the voting public will be
given updates on trends, opinions and who's hot and whose not.
Bim, who personally admits to being a rabid Democrat, contends he has
been able to remove his bias and become more open-minded this year. "I will
embrace all people and all possibilities," he told The Hur Herald.
Asked about his secret prognostication skills, Bim alluded to a keen eye for
body language. "When people start lying, they shuffle around more," he said.
"I can tell a hundred feet down Main Street if they mean business."
"Some folks have tried to fool me by pretending to be a for another
candidate, but I catch that one really quick," he said. Bim claims a good ear
for 'tone and volume' from barbershop loafers. "I know when they're
After Bim's first polling contract with The Hur Herald a few years ago, he
expressed fear candidates and their families would quit using his services if
he predicted against them. "We try to be kind to the losers," he said.
"They've been kind to us."
Bim's Barbershop has become such a hot spot for political discussion during
the past few elections, people are flying into Calhoun to get a haircut just so
they can get heard. The haircut numbers went up 43% during the last
general election. "People want to be heard," he said.
Voters have become apathetic at times. During one election, he said things
were so bad, barbershop loafers began their naps in mid-sentence. "I had to
bring a pillow for Scottie Westfall and Jim Anderson," that year. All they
would say was "Who cares."
"This year I intend to put two extra dips in the coffee pot to liven up the
"If Leonard Marshall (who belongs to that other party) can sit through all
this, anyone can," Bim said.
Bim did request that candidates not give him a tip during the weeks prior to
the election. "It would take a lot more than that to sway my poll."
Asked what he does when he makes a wrong prediction. "I just grovel with
the rest of 'em."
Editor's Note: A year or two later Bim discontinued his political prognostication, saying it had caused him too much trouble, and then he closed Calhoun's last barbershop about three years ago.