Haircuts, Bowling, and Bad Movies

While the other occupants of the house sat around sipping tea and watching breakfast television shows this morning, I jumped in the shower, had a shave, got dressed, and headed into town to get my hair cut.

Normally getting my hair cut would result in some kind of spectacularly entertaining conversation with the girl cutting my hair. That didn’t happen this morning, on account of the salon being closed for building work. I continued on to the place I used to get my hair cut – the place co-workers talked about a decade ago because it was staffed with pretty young things. They obviously grew up, and moved on – leaving a grizzled fifty-something guy, and a lady that tells you her woes if you give her the opportunity. I got fifty-something guy.

“Are you still coaching the football team?”

“No. Not for years.”

Ok. That’s the end of that conversation then. I can fake a “sporty mc sporto” Dad conversation with the best of them. All you really have to do is get them started, then you can sit back and switch off while they get increasingly uppety about something or other that only gets sporty people uppety.

After completing my “zero maintainance” haircut, and telling me about the political shenanigans of the local cricket club, he waved a mirror around my head. I thanked him, paid my money, and walked.

I think I had been in the house perhaps 10 seconds when Miss 12 ambushed me.

“Are we going swimming?”

“I just got back!”

“But are we?”

My other half looked at me, and raised an eyebrow.

“How about bowling?”


There is a bowling alley about fifteen minutes away by bus, and our youngest daughter has a bus pass. I had planned on taking all the kids with me, but that plan went out the window when we challenged Miss 13 on her choice of clothes.

“Are you going to get changed? You wore that to bed last night.” (she was wearing rugby kit – best not to ask why).

“I didn’t wear it to bed!”

“You did – we saw you.”

“RIGHT! THAT’S IT! I’M NOT GOING! SEE YOU LATER!” (she stamped off through the house, shouting unintelligible rants over her shoulder as she went)

And that’s how me, Miss 12, and Miss 16 ended up at the bowling alley 20 minutes later, looking at the few empty lanes, and the humungous queue ahead of us, and decided that maybe Bowling was going to be a total and utter waste of time. Given that the cinema is next door, an alternative plan formed.

We could see “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” in 40 minutes time. Maybe we should get some lunch. There was a “Yo Sushi” next door.

I’ve never been to Yo Sushi, and I think it’s fair to surmise that I will never go to one ever again – not when you have two eating machines in tow that rapidly ate their way through the same amount of money you might normally spend on food for a week. For the first time ever, I stopped eating because I was in fear of my credit card bursting into flames there and then.

Next stop – movie theatre. I managed to crash the first self-service kiosk we tried to use, so moved on to the next one. “Valerian” had nobody at all booked to see it. That’s odd, I thought – but a couple of hours later I realised why.

Let’s preface this by saying that I love movies, and I’ve loved a lot of Luc Besson movies in the past. The Fifth Element is one of my favourite movies, for all sorts of reasons. Valerian looked amazing, and sounded amazing, but there was something odd that I couldn’t put my finger on for the longest time.

Here’s the thing – if you lead a huge movie with two angsty millenials who either frown their way from scene to scene, or don’t appear to care about anybody or anything – then you don’t care what they are doing, or what happens to them either.

I almost fell asleep towards the end of the movie.

Let’s summarise the day. I got my hair cut, then I set a colossal amount of money on fire on forgettable food, and a forgettable movie. I’m wondering if we can spend several days spending no money what-so-ever in response. Board games. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow, so perhaps a day of playing board games isn’t such a bad idea at all.

Oh, and I’ll look up the comic book that “Valerian” is based upon – it’s not going to have to try very hard at all to be more entertaining than the car-crash of a movie.

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