My main priority today is to work on growing my hair. To do this I adopt a thoughtful stance and meditate upon as many follicle-stimulating notions as is cognitively possible. I imagine spider plants growing in fast-forward; earthworms evacuating a moist lawn; a portly diner slurping spaghetti in reverse. That sort of thing.
The most useful image I have so far summoned to the inner eye is that of a Play-Doh Fuzzy Pumper Crazy Cutz play set. Trust Tomy.
I suppose you are wondering why your humble narrator is engaged in such an activity. The answer, dear reader, is simple. It has been cut far too short. Far too!
At least I have nobody to blame but myself. Less fond of having my hair cut than most people are of going to the dentist, I decided this time to make the most of it. If I were to have an extra inch taken off I would be able to procrastinate for a few weeks longer than usual from having it cut again. So that’s just what I did. But now I regret it.
My new hairdresser is a most jovial fellow though. Most hairdressers, as I am sure you have observed, will ask about football and holidays. I don’t want to talk about either. I don’t know enough about either topic to pretend to be interested and if I were to truthfully declare in the barber’s seat that “football is little more than the repulsive goading of yobs”, I would find surely myself standing in Great Western Road with half a haircut and an ear in my hand.
Hairdressers also ask you what you do for a living. I can either say “I am a comedian” which isn’t quite true but beats having to explain what a humourist does or “I’m a librarian” which can prove similarly awkward. I am here to have bits of my body professionally removed: telling jokes or discussing library etiquette are not something I want to do in such a situation.
There is nowhere to go with this line of conversation is there? In the real world, such would be a two-way exchange of ideas. In the hairdressers I can’t ask him what he does in return because I know full well what he does: he cuts hair and makes small talk.
The chap responsible for removing my cranial surplus today, however, was of a very different breed. Far from the usual shaven-headed thug or screaming freak to whom I am used to, this guy was a lovely big gentle bear – an artist who only came to cut my locks once his assistant had washed and conditioned me and made us both some tea. His conversation was far more amusing than the average smalltalk too. “Most hairdressers talk about football or holidays,” I told him, “but today we’ve talked about nuclear bombs and being buried alive”.
All of this might surprise you, dear reader, but I have often supposed that the true gentle people of the world are those with black senses of humour but those who fail to laugh at the dark side of life are usually aggressive idiots. The League of Gentlemen are seen as the dark lords of comedy but I can tell you first hand that they’re all top blokes. Michael Barrymore, king of soft early evening crap, is an utter freak. Marilyn Manson = Lovely chap. Britney Spears = Total fuckhead.
He laughed a proper laugh from the belly. It was true. He’d told me about a dream he had in which he witnessed a mushroom cloud in the desert. Later, we’d talked about the Kill Bill movies and that his favourite bit was the buried alive sequence.
The staff of this particular salon were apparently disappointed with the recent terrorist bungles. Far from being afraid of the idea of terrorism coming to Glasgow, they chose to dwell upon the ineptitude of the bombers and how they (hairdressers!) would have done it.
“If it were me,” he said, “I’d go out to the middle of Paisley with a bomb in a briefcase. BANG! Hundreds of people dead.”
A particularly good one was this:
“I’d just nuke everyone. Middle of Glasgow. BANG! Everyone would be dead. That includes you, Delores and Shantelle. Dead. You’d not have to worry about getting a good tan anymore, Shantelle. You’d have a lovely tan for a split second right before all of your skin melted off.”
I am definitely going back. Once my hair returns.