Given that the unruly mop atop my head was verging towards “that bloke that doesn’t look after himself”, I figured I should get my hair cut this morning.
There are a few choices when it comes to getting your hair cut (if you’re a guy) in the town I live. You could opt for one of the “name” salons in the high street, where all the women go – they are staffed by either gorgeous girls in their twenties that cause simpletons like myself to stammer and trip over invisible items, or by very nice men in their 50s that you might imagine have been working in the industry since the Beehive was invented.
You might choose the Sweeney Todd style barber in the road towards the station. I’ve never dared get my hair cut in there – it’s staffed by a sinister looking old man that stands in the window each morning as I pass on my mountain bike, wearing a white coat. His creased face never forms any expressions, and his hair is slicked back with bryl-cream. I’ve never seen anybody in his shop, and I’ve never seen anybody leave his shop. I haven’t seen an advert for pies either, so perhaps he’s ok.
At the top of the high street,Â near the cashpoints,Â there is a chain “gentleman’s hairdresser” with a Tattoo artist upstairs. It’s staffed exclusively by pretty ladies (some kind of employment law must be being broken somewhere there), and it used to have a parrot to entertain you while your hair was being chopped off.
There’s another place – just around the corner that used to be “the place to go” among my co-workers, mainly I think because all the girls that worked there were quite pretty. Over the years it seems to have changed – the last time I went there (I choose pretty randomly) my hair was cut by a hassled guy in his 40s that talked non stop about his kids football tournament. Another time in there, a girl cut my hair and quizzed me non stop about her computer that had gone wrong at home.
This morning I chose the place that used to have the parrot. Actually, I very nearly didn’t. When I walked in all the lights were off, and the staff were running here there and everywhere looking for the fusebox. It turned out the circuit breakers were hidden under the bench seating where I was sitting (in the dark), so I got up and wondered if I should offer to help while the salon staff did their best to disassemble the furnishings and drag them away from the wall.
You know that situation when you’re watching a pretty woman do something, and then she bends over right in front of you, and you don’t know where to look? That.
Moments later the lights flickered on, the seating was re-constructed, and the small queue of us that had arrived in the doorway were directed towards the various chairs and mirrors. I somehow ended up with the same lady that cut my hair last time. She seemed to remember me. After laughing about the furniture adventure, I gave her my very complicated indeed hair cutting instructions, and she set about hacking lumps of hair from my head.
You know that situation where you’re half watching a pretty blonde curvy lady cut your hair, and half watching the reflection of the TV you can see in the mirror in front of you, and then you look back and see WAY more of the lady than she probably intended? That.Â I looked at the floor for a good few moments, wondering when it might be safe to look back, not wanting to be “that guy” that stared down her top with disbelieving goggle eyes. Every time I glanced up it was kind of like the rest of the room had disappeared (remember the dolly shot on the beach in Jaws?) – replaced only with… well, you can imagine.
A few minutes later – after being shown the back of my head with a mirror (always a slightly weird experience – seeing where you’re wenting), money exchanged hands and I clambered back aboard the mountain bike to make my way to work.
You know the one where you manage to get your hair cut on the coldest morning of the year, and your ears feel like they are going to snap off during the remaining two miles to work on the mountain bike? That.