Sunday, September 24, 2006


Jesus, I think. What have I done to offend this bastard?

I am at the barbers. The Barbers, mind. Not the hairdressers.

It has been a long time coming, in two ways.

The first: I will leave it and leave it until at least three people during one single day will inform me that I look like ‘a twat’. This is because I look in the mirror once each day, mainly just to check that everything is where it should be, and sometimes to shave. Latterly, I do not look at the hair on my head.

The second: I have made a decision to have my hair cut, and am lurking outside my usual barbers, pretending to be walking past it in an unconcerned manner. It is heaving. It is one of those no-nonsense-wait-on-the-bench-no-appointment establishments. The bench has been full each time I walk past. I have walked past every 15 minutes for an hour and a half now. Of course, each time I walk away, a space at the bench becomes free and I miss it.

It occurs to me that my behaviour is verging on the OCD, so I make the brave decision to go to the Barbers (not Hairdressers mind) Round the Corner that I Have Never Been To Before.

This is a big step.

I don’t like being touched. Generally. There are situations in which it can be the best thing ever, but to my mind these situations do not take place in commercial premises. My own mother is given to hugging me on occasion; frankly, I rather wish she would not. To have people I do not know touching me in a semi-intimate manner (and let us not ignore the whiff of perfume and tit-in-the-face that usually have to be tolerated during the haircut experience) is one thing. To have it happen in a Barber Shop (not a Hairdressers mind) that I am also quite unfamiliar with is another matter.

I step inside, with the confident manner of someone who is not a bit weird about strange people touching them.

There is a space on the bench. I take it, despite the fact that a moment’s lack of concentration and thence relaxation of muscles will result in my touching thighs with the person sat next to me.

I wait my turn. Grinding my teeth. I expect the usual. Going anywhere nice on your holidays? No. I’m of to Greece next week. Amazing. Day off work is it? No, I’m actually at work and you are dreaming. Ooooh, we had a lad in here with terrible nits. Get fucking off me now.

It is my turn. I step up to the chair. A Swarthy Guy with obvious upper-body strength and an awful lot of body hair wordlessly motions me to sit.

He slings one of those black-sheet things around me.

Swarthy Guy: Whaddya wan?
Me: Shorter.

He shrugs in a contemptuous manner and grabs a pair of clippers. Having exhausted all of my best lines, I fall silent and take my usual stance of staring at a random section of wall and trying to disassociate myself from the whole experience.

He begins JABBING at the side of my head with the clippers. Like he has seen something there that has annoyed him.

It fucking hurts. And he is wasting no time either. JAB JAB JAB JAB.

Looking back, I do not remember the buzzing sound these devices usually make. I suspect he had not even turned them on, and was relying on brute force and friction to remove hair from my head. Who needs electricity?

He gets to a point where he seems satisfied with this section of my head. At which point I would expect to feel a number of gentle fingers on the back of my head along with some murmured instruction.

Not this good man.

He SHOVES a big meaty Mediterranean FIST under my chin and forcefully JERKS my head to his desired position.

And begins STABBING my head with his clippers. He finishes, and then with heel of his palm, SLAPS the back of my head so my chin near touches my chest, and sets to work STABBING the back of my head.

He shoves his FIST under my chin, jerks my head upright and grabs a random pair of scissors. There is usually some discussion regarding what should be done at this point. He delves right in without a word. I notice my heart rate is not exactly at ‘resting’. I drag my eyes away from their usual space of disassociation and look at his face. He does not look friendly. I look away. He has access to sharp things, is standing, and I am sat with my arms under a sheet.

He JABS at my hair for some time, repeating the fist-chin-thing as he sees fit.

This entire process has been wordless.

He steps back, and wordlessly looks in the mirror. I consider this ordeal near an end.

From NOWHERE he produces a CUTTHROAT RAZOR. I was not aware they even existed anymore.

He flicks it open, and twirls it in a manner reminiscent of Mexican villains in old B-movies (they were always Mexican). More of the fist-chin stuff whilst he tackles the nape of my neck and the side of my hairline. A new technique, and one I did not welcome. Perhaps would have been better if the razor had been sharpened this century, and something resembling soap/foam had been employed. It also hurt, is my point.
He whips the sheet-thing off. At this point, there is usually some nonsense with an additional mirror, some blow-dryer action to get rid of the loose hairs, or sometimes some rather inappropriate action with a soft brush and some talcum powder.

Again, not this man.

He tosses a single man-size tissue in my general direction. Very much with the air of somebody who would think me to be the ‘queer’ they had barely disguised their suspicion of my being should I decide to use it.

He tells me the price, and gives me a look that suggests I would be unwise to barter at this stage.

Less than ten minutes after first sitting in the chair, I am on the street.

I see my reflection in a shop window. I look Alright.

I shall probably use him again.

NEXT: Some entirely innocent people going about their blameless daily lives make me so cross I consider 'doing time for them'.


Blogger Davenelli said...

I didn't realise we shared the same barber.

1:17 am  
Anonymous frenchie said...

At least he didn't approach you with a flaming taper and set fire to your nose and ear hair. I witnessed this little technique in Turkey and Egypt and am glad to be nose/ear hair free.... very effective though, but very smelly. Great post by the way.

5:55 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is it with you TD? Even after all this time, you NEVER cease to amaze me. You're the only person that has the ability to drive me to absolute madness one minute, and then have me crying funny tears whilst weeing myself, blowing coffee out my nose, almost choking to death and then finishing it all off with a'pip pop'.
Comforting to know you can still make me laugh, huh? (Sorry I'm not American!) Bastard! xx

10:38 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sonny jim is a proper barber. If he was in Central Cuntdom Sorry London he would charge an arm and leg for using a cut throat razor.

Well done.

12:14 pm  

He does my crack, that bloke.

2:22 pm  
Blogger fwengebola said...

My haridresser's a Polish cutie with all the right bits. Except a coherent grasp of the English language. There's definitely something between us but we can't really do much about it. It's all rather depressing, actually.


7:33 pm  
Anonymous Bucket said...

I shall probably use him again.

Brilliant execution, sir.

I lol'd.

1:56 pm  
Blogger Windypops said...

I'm quite fond of the whole tit-in-the-face-thing, though only from my dental hygienist. I'm terrified of hairdressers. I notice Scaryduck has done a piece about dentists pushing hooters in faces; I reckon you're his muse.

Ace blog, by the way.

7:44 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Davenelli: He is obviously a serial abuser.

Frenchie: Thanks.

Anon: Cool. Another stalker. Who insists they are not American for no discernable reason. I love the internet.

RD: Six pound ninety my friend. And where have you been?

NWM: Jesus wept.

F-person: No need to be sorry.

Bucket: Many thanks.

Windy: hanks. Haven't read the Duck-guy in some time but will check. Perhaps you're right.

10:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>;> TD. The Devil?
I've been hunting you down for centuries,
I know you've got my horn,
'Cos you're my other half,
Come inside and we'll make our spawn.

9:46 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

u really r funny td

4:27 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Anon: Fuck me, the mentals are out in force this week. Do you all ring each other or something?

Puppydude: Many thanks.

8:24 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:24 pm  
Blogger FOUR DINNERS said...

You seem to be attracting some strange people like anon. And me of course. I'll stick to my regular. Number 2 (Caz will no longer tolerate number 1 or a mohawk sadly) and...that sounds like they're shitting on my head...anyroad, she's blond and shoves her jugs in my face and it isn't too unpleasant an experience. If you lived near Heathrow I'd recommend them. I'm goin' tomorrow. Last visit she told me how this teenage lad got a hard on as she cut his hair. Dunno how she knew. Self control tomorrow I think.

9:07 pm  
Blogger Amanda said...

ARGH! Lost your link. Very funny, bit scary with the razor though...

10:15 am  
Blogger Cynnie said...

Ohh so you like a bit of abuse huh?

Oh, I use to have a dentist , and whenever he worked on me he kept a huge hard on..

not quite tits in the face...
but close.

11:05 am  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

4D: Strange isn't the word. As for the hard-on lad, he must have been blessed. Those sheets are pretty all-concealing. NO-ONE would notice if you.....erm. Doesn't matter. (I too was young once)

Amanda: Glad you've found me again. You were scared? I was HERE. He did not say ANYTHING.

C:There seems to be a recurring theme here. Brings to mind Milgram's study of destructive obedience. If we find ourselves in a social situation where ONE MUST REMAIN IN THE CHAIR, we give all sorts of people the power to do whatever the fuck they like. Usually involving their genitals.

11:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We know who you are and where you live.

10:13 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cuuuuuuuuuuuuunt! and keep off tomlinsons blog.

10:20 am  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Excellent. MORE mentals.

What is it this week?

11:14 am  
Blogger Amanda said...

Hey, you're popular!!
Have bookmarked you.

1:33 pm  
Blogger mr_glide said...

TD: "Excellent. MORE mentals.

What is it this week?"

Mentals post abuse, Tired Dad posts pithy response, I'll wager.

Any more proper posts on the horizon? This textual drought is gaaaaay.

1:44 pm  
Blogger Lee said...

It's good to hear that there are others who dislike being touched by strangers. Most women I know love going to the spa and getting naked so a complete unknown can rub on them with some nicely fragrant lotion and a candle burning...sounds like foreplay to me. Ditto on the pedicure thing, except it's a little worse because we've got no choice but the stare down at the nice little Vietnamese person who is rubbing our calves. No thanks!

2:50 pm  
Blogger Clare said...

Sometimes they do this kind of thing to women, too.

I hate hairdressers. They're worse than dentists. They have a secret society where they discuss new ways to torture people.

3:58 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Amanda: I suspect there is more of a 'freak show' element than your actual popularity.

M_G: Get your own house in order my good man.

Lee: It's not right is it?

Clare: I suspect you are correct. They probably have pentagrams and special incense and that.

9:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that barber reads tomlinsons blog

he pourposfully didnt strop that razor

you could have both had an accident if it was sharp

5:30 am  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Would the last commentor please, you know, repeat that and stuff.

Because it did not make sense in any way at all. Unless it was intended as some sort of joke - thing.

Do so quickly, before I have a 'strop'.

10:36 pm  
Blogger mr_glide said...

Bah. Point taken, though unlikely to be acted upon in anything approaching a timely fashion.

11:43 am  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

M_G: It's as easy as it looks. Crack on. If it's shit, then it's shit. Won't be the first shit blog ever. Apparently there are about one billion as of now (including this sorry effort). So you won't be alone.

10:58 pm  

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