When I was a nipper, back in the days of short pants, I was regularly dispatched off to the barbers.
In those days there were basically two cuts available to the young male of the species – basin cut, or short back and sides. The basin cut was seen as a DIY job where The Mammy slapped a basin on your head and cut away anything that was visible, while the short back and sides was the posh cut that showed your parents could afford the shilling a week to get a professional job.
I fucking hated that short back and sides – bristly neck that could detect the slightest draught and a horrible sense of conformity. As a result it was my first act of rebellion against the establishment and I started refusing to visit the barber. Of course I was ridiculed at first by my peers but then the Beatles started copying my style so suddenly I was in fashion.
For some reason the headmaster in my school didn’t approve of the longer haired trend and I became famous for being thrown out by the the old bollox to get my locks shorn by the barber beside the school on a regular basis. I used to mooch around for a while and then comb my hair down inside my collar and peace would resume in Academia for another day.
College days were freedom! I could, and did just let the hair grow. At last no one could nag, as I was a Student and as everyone knows [or knew in those days] that Students were just plain scruffy and best ignored. My parents had completely thrown in the towel by then.
Since then, my hair has been varying lengths but has never reverted to the bad old days of the short back and sides. Herself tried in the early days to nag me into the occasional haircut and occasionally I complied. But then along came retirement and the need to look even vaguely respectable was no more. Haircuts became a rare event.
A couple of weeks ago I began to think it was time for a cut. The fringe was dropping into my eyes all the time and the old mane didn’t half whip around if there was a breeze. But I still have this lingering dislike of barbers [or unisex salons or whatever the fuck they’re called these days]. It must be a hang back to my earliest days visiting the Butcher of Terenure and the shilling a week cut. Something had to be done, but what?
In the end I just grabbed one of Herself’s little elastic yokes and tied my hair back in a pony-tail. It worked a treat. No more hair in my eyes and Herself stopped complaining about my looking scruffy. My new look is even drawing compliments down in the village [mostly from women so Herself is now having doubts].
One of the great benefits is that I no longer look like Gerry Adams or Harold Shipman and more like Stephen Seagal, not that I’m vain or anything but it’s nice not to be reminded of a mass murderer every time I look in the mirror.
So having entered this new chapter in my hirsute life I now wonder what’s ahead?
Maybe in a year or two I’ll try plaits and start another new trend.