Haircut City

Tomorrow night the great and the good at the company I work for are getting on a river boat filled to the gunnels with food and alcohol in order to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the company. We are all invited, along with our significant others. It thought it might be appropriate then this morning to go and get my hair hacked off so I at least look somewhere near presentable.

It’s not that I’m not normally presentable – more that once my hair reaches a certain length, it’s appearance each day becomes a game of chance. It might look wonderful – but then again, it might look like I either just survived a car crash, or it was moulded in the Play Doh hair salon. I’ve seen people write about “good hair days”, and “bad hair days”, and can identify.

So – I updated my calendar at work this morning, telling anybody who bothered to check it that I wouldn’t be showing my face first thing, and set off towards the barbers in town. The one that has the pretty girls working in it. Not because it has pretty girls working in it – more because it’s closer than the other one.

Actually – I’m not being fair, and I’m sure I’ve written about this before. There is another barbers in town – a sinister one on the same road as the railway station. It’s staffed by an old man in a white jacket, with bryl creamed hair. When not putting people in pies, he stands in the window on a morning, watching the world go by. I always pedal the bike a bit faster when passing his shop.

So yes, I chose the closest place. The one with the pretty girls. At 16 years old I would probably have sat in there too scared to breath while being leaned over by a curvy young woman brandishing a sharp pair of scissors. I would like to say that as a grown man now, I would be fine with that same woman cutting my hair, but that’s not what happened this morning.

I got the obviously homosexual new member of staff. I can’t remember his name, which was on a plaque in front of the mirror, so I’ll call him Brian. His line of conversation was about as good as any other person that’s ever cut my hair.

“Is that your bike outside?”


“I supposed I should have guessed – I’ve just seen you take your helmet off”

I wanted to reply with something along the lines of “I wear the helmet all the time actually, to stop me involuntarily hurting people when I headbutt them – it’s a nervous thing”. I kept quiet.

I learned that Brian liked drinking shots, and that he could drink a LOT before getting drunk, unlike one of his co-workers, who was going on a hen-party weekend. Quite why he had to tell me about this was anybody’s guess.

“How much do you want off the top?”

I shrugged.

“About a finger width?”

I nodded.

Ten minutes later my hair looked presentable again, and he let me get up without showing me what he had done to the back of my head. For all I know, he’s shaved “Cock Womble” into my scalp. There was a moment when he shaved my neck with a cut-throat razor, and I thought “Of f*ck – he’s Sweeney Todd’s son!” (the other barber – the one I never go to).

Obviously I survived, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this, but I tell you – it was a close run thing.

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