Haircut Sir?…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s sounds are: creak, rattle, rumble, creak, rattle, rumble, thud, drip, drip, drip.

Here’s an old post rehashed, it’s from my early blogging days on that funny old thing called MySpace:

Haircuts… Back in my teens, after all those childhood years of having to go regularly to the barbers I decided that I should let my hair grow. That was definitely becoming the thing for young chaps to do in those interesting days of change – ‘Good gracious!… Just look at those arrogant, filthy louts!… How dare they!… Rolling Stones indeed!…’
Unfortunately, on my daily walk to school (or was it by then the technical college, where I was doing my daily battle with mathematics and science?) I had to walk past the very barber’s shop which I had been forced to patronise in my younger years.
It was a typical working class establishment with a slanting red and white striped wooden pole over the door. The barber’s name was Ken. Ken was a short, but upright, military type with an immaculate shiny greased ‘short back and sides’ regulation cut; perhaps he learned his trade in the army? He was not a particularly pleasant character, but I had to go there; all the men and boys in the neighbourhood went there, it was expected, and no argument…
When we kids went in, his protocol dictated that we should sit there on hard chairs waiting until all the men present had had their hair cut (or possibly had a shave, or had something called a ‘singe‘, or even purchased ‘something for the weekend‘) before he would attend to us, regardless of who was there first. You could sit there for a whole hour, and just when it looked like it might be your turn, one of Ken’s mates would stride in, and without a glance at us kids, would plonk himself down in the chrome and leather chair. It was miserable, and it was unfair, and of course you couldn’t walk out. That would mean arriving home with uncut hair and the money still in your pocket – big trouble would surely ensue…
When Ken had finally given us our quick and painful short haircuts, he would finish off by squirting some strangely scented oily concoction from a grey metal flask onto his palms and blather it on, slapping us on the head quite violently as he did it. A vicious scalp-scraping comb-through and then we could hand him the cash and escape, our bruised pink scalps tingling as we went.
Ken was a bastard! No, no, really, he was!… There, I’ve said it now… It’s good to get off my chest after all these years.
So, later on, as I walked past his shop every day, my hair flopping in the breeze and edging its way cheekily over my collar, he was there… cigarette in mouth… arms folded… standing in the doorway of his shop. He just couldn’t resist, every time, coming up with some hair-related snide remark as I passed. As I walked on however, I soon learned to be cheered by the thought that his style of hair cutting was rapidly going out of fashion, and that he might soon shut up shop and bugger off… Which happily, is just what he did…

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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