• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 05
Image by

Bad Hair Day

My normal hairdresser was not available today. As you can see. And I am not happy. As you can also see. I have trouble with my hair at the best of times, but you’d think that any halfway decent stylist would know how to handle quiffs. This one, oh my goodness, where shall I start?

‘How about a comb over?’ she says, airily. ‘I’m Tracey, by the way, call me Trace.’

‘My hair,’ I tell her, ‘is very fine. Very fine indeed. A comb over won’t hold.’

I’m about to add that I’m no Don Draper either but the phone rings.

‘Hold on a mo, ducky,’ she says. I’m left there tapping my toes while she chats for about fifteen minutes.

‘Sorry,’ she says, when she finally gets back. ‘It’s a wedding. Now, where were we?’

I can’t think of a witty riposte so I say nothing.

‘Okay, we could go for a mohican.’ She hesitates. ‘Get you a coffee while you’re thinking about it? Milk and sugar?’

‘Cold water will be fine,’ I say. ‘Trace,’ I add, with a small cough. What kind of name is that? My normal hairdresser is called Samantha.

I flick through some of the hairstyle magazines while she’s in the kitchen. I can hear her giggling with the girl who’s been sweeping the floor and giving me sideways glances. When Trace comes back, I point to a pic in one of the mags. ‘That one,’ I say.

She looks doubtful. ‘That’s a Skin Fade, darling,’ she says. ‘Are you really sure? Shall we get Shirl to shampoo you first?’

I waddle over to the backwash sink.


Bad Hair Day

‘Shuffle down, ducks,’ says Shirl, reaching up and turning on the taps. ‘Is that too hot?’ she says as I squawk.

‘Just a bit,’ I say, and next minute it’s a freezing blast.

‘I do a bit of head massage,’ she says, after she’s shampooed me with her long and rather sharp finger nails.

I sit up before she can embark on more torture.

When I get back to Trace, she’s taken the mags away.

‘Shall we just go for something simple today?’ she says, pulling her comb through my wet hair. ‘Short back and sides?’

I haven’t got the strength to argue.

‘Wax? Spray?’ she says when she’s finished.

I shake my head. I look like...I’m not saying who I look like. I just want to get out of the place. I tip Trace, because at bottom I’m a wimp. But I don’t leave anything for Shirl, who has, mercifully, disappeared into the kitchen.

‘I’ll be reporting back to Samantha,’ I say, with my most ingratiating smile. And turn to leave.

‘Do that,’ she calls after me. ‘I mean it.’