A Good Hair Day


Today was haircut day. The book is on reprint after all and even Waterstones are recording zero-stock. Plus, Deeside Books, a local Indie bookseller got in touch to say that they have none for sale at present. What could I say? Try Amazon wouldn’t quite cut the mustard – although the on-line giant seemingly still holds ample stock of my tome for delivery by 12pm tomorrow. Then there are the discounters. It appears that my barely four-week-old tome is available at a third off second-hand. Yeah right.
But back to the haircut. I usually travel the 17 miles or so to the nearby town of Huntly around four times a year for a quick haircut plus a stroll around the bookshelves of yet another Indie store in the form of Orbs Community Bookshop. It’s a pleasant day out and comes with the bonus of a slap-up lunch at the local Asda.
The barber, for that is what she is, is a pleasantly jolly lady who does an honest cut and does it well and speedily. On top of that, and this is important for me, she doesn’t ask personal questions and the banter only verges on the general. In fact, I usually exit the chair knowing more about her good-hair day than she does about mine. At least, that’s the theory anyway.
A quick check on-line today revealed that she has closed up for the winter however. The shop is closed until March or something – by which time I will no doubt resemble bigfoot and be shunned by the local bald-brigade. So, what to do.
Well, and this is a big well, I went local. Not that the actual haircut was bad, in fact it is superb. The fastidious barber went to great lengths to make me look handsome again and, apart from some pointed light banter, all went well. But, and this is why I go to Huntly normally, the folk in the waiting area were treated to a resume of my life at present. Not only did the hair-cutter pointedly and loudly ask about my occupation, marital status and holiday plans, but she also dragged out of me how much authors make from a book, how long it takes to pen one and – of course – extracted a vague promise that I might consider penning her budding actress-pal’s autobiography. All this in hear-shot of half of the population of Inverurie.
I will, of course, go back; if only to promote my next book. But in the big scheme of things, I prefer the jolly Huntly barber.
I penned a very short play – some 8 minutes in length and an easy watch - some years ago about this sort of situation. It’s no great shakes, but does I think reflect the vulnerability of the barber’s chair.
It’s on YouTube @: The Barber of Ferryhill

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