Friday, May 18, 2007


I went to the wig-scratcher for my half-yearly topiary session yesterday. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing, though I have to admit the old mop needed attention. Heading towards mullethood at the back, and I don't think I could have coped with that kind of attention from Jen.

Chiswick had to go back to the vets for a check-up, having finished his sugar-coated pills. Something must be going right, because the vet was surprised to see him still alive, and commented that what was left of his coat was looking healthier than the last time. But before that, and before I could spend an hour in a hot, stuffy waiting room full of cats hissing in baskets at dogs barely under their owners' control, I had to kill half an hour in town. The reason for this was that, idiot that I am, I'd got the surgery times wrong and turned up early.

So park the car in the shade, with plenty of air for the sleeping beast, and head into town. My usual coiffeuse was too busy giving little old ladies their blue rinses,* but just around the corner was a new place - Pier Street Barbershop - which I'd heard good things about. Admittedly the person I'd heard good thing about it from doesn't have the most brilliant of hairstyles, but I'm not that bothered by my appearance either.

And what a place it was. Definitely a male establishment - they don't cut girls hair - it had a widescreen plasma telly on the wall, sadly showing sport; a stack of recent editions of all the lads magazines to read whilst you waited; remote control cars to play with - you could race them up and down the long wooden floorspace between the banks of cutting stations; and best of all, a fridge full of free beer for the customers to help themselves to.

Sadly I wasn't kept waiting long enough for a beer, or indeed a race with the remote control cars. No sooner had I settled into the comfortable chair and flicked through the pile of magazines for something that didn't have hooters on the cover than I was being called over for my haircut. Since I only go under the shears about once every six months, there was quite a lot of work to do, and the hairdresser - a friendly enough man with little on top to deal with himself - set about me with comb and electric clipper.

Now I don't have a lot of experience of different tonsorial techniques, but the electric clipper method is one I've encountered before. It's quick, and when done by a skilled cutter, gives a very good finish. But it also leaves you covered in tiny little bits of shaved hair. They get everywhere - in your clothes, in your mouth, up your nose. I've even found some in my coat pocket, and it was hung up on the other side of the salon, about fifteen feet away. The best thing you can do after such a trim is to strip off,** have a shower and put a completely clean set of clothes on. Even then you'll find little bits of hair everywhere. And so it was this time. I discovered the last one this afternoon whilst taking the dachshund for a walk. It got into my eye and itches like a bugger. Still can't get the damn thing out.

But that aside, the haircut was, I think, a success. It cost the same as the old place, and I will probably use it again, in another six months time, when I can't see where I'm going. The only thing that might sway my decision is the way the overly friendly hairdresser kept fondling my locks and massaging my scalp. This wasn't unpleasant - especially since the first thing I have to do when getting a haircut is remove my glasses, which means I can't see a thing, least of all who's doing the job - but it was strangely disconcerting. A little bit of ruffling is necessary, I accept. Hair has to be pulled and cajoled into the right shape for the blade. But there comes a point when it goes beyond that, and strays into the realm of undue intimacy. I'd never met this bloke before, so why was he stroking my tresses so?

I guess he must just really love hair.

* why do they do it? Why blue? What's the point?
** once you've got home, of course.

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Blogger Trace said...

I have to remove my specs when I get my hair cut too hehehehe. I hate that because I can't see what the hell they're doing.

May 21, 2007 11:25 am  

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