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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Lock Down

There's one thing on a par with chatty taxi drivers, and that's a chatty hairdresser. I've never really got the confiding aspect of a hairdresser's job, mainly because I know a cluster of them and they gaggle and bitch about their clients like a bunch of, well, hairdressers. And as went in to get my mane teased last night, there was already an elderly woman in stretched lycra several hours into her confessions: "Oh!" she gasped, throwing her hand to her mouth. "You know more about me than my gynaecologist!"

Shudder.

In truth, I miss my old hairdresser - a charming broad-shouldered girl of Romany stock who didn't speak a word of English. We'd communicate through the medium of her Girl's World - a dilapidated plastic head resting on the magazine table, pulling the fibrous tresses into a style that would befit me. And without another word, she'd be off with the shears, scissors and mousse - the only danger would be catching her numerous gypsy bangles in my gorgeous locks, or trying to curse me with a soul. Her hairdressing transcended words, and by the time it came to presenting the mirror behind my head, an immaculate job had been done.

And it was bliss to be in her hands; no chatting about where I was going on holiday, nor the last football result. Nor the state of the government. I don?t want to have to pay attention. I want to be able to just relax as my tresses are teased this way and that, to be washed, rinsed and styled. And I do have to pay attention, thanks to a social mishap a few years back where I was idly nodding and laughing at what the barber was going on about, until he stopped, utterly horrified. Turns out he's been talking about one of the murdered children in the news that week.

Oops.

So, there I was with the new guy, who appeared to have verbal diarrhoea. I now know everything about him, should I ever wish to hunt him down and destroy him.

The problem is, he'd done a fabulous job.

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