Monday, 28 September 2009

By "Polish" I mean definitely Eastern European and probably Polish (alternative title: Blathering on about the mundane)

For a couple of months my wife had been asking me to get my hair cut. I finally gave in and headed into town. Go to Supercuts, said my mum, they're cheap and you don't need an appointment. Six years since I last lived here, the last thing I wanted was to fritter hours away searching for the right barber, so to Supercuts I went.

I lasted in there for no more than ten seconds, fifteen at most. Uncomfortably feminine, cheap and tacky, it felt entirely dubious. There were two hairdressers, both in action. One a humongous mama, the other a depressive maniac. Or so it seemed. The mama terrified me and let's face it, would you really submit yourself to a depressive armed to the teeth with scissors and clippers?

To be fair, her long, miserable face was nothing compared to that of a mosquito I saw the other night. The poor bugger was splatted on the tiles above a urinal. Talk about depression, could there be a more depressing fate than that? The little bloodsucker had been lurking in the Marquis waiting for the perfect inebriated target. He spotted an ideally stinky rogue, followed him into the gents, found himself in a dimly-lit under-ventilated wee-splattered hell-hole and was promptly swatted against the porcelain. A lowly death and one to be depressed about.

Supercuts yeah right, I took to my heels and scurried down the street. A few shops further on a ginger painter was lounging about taking a fag break. "Are there any barbers round here?" I asked. He took a long drag, lost in thought for a few seconds. "Couple down East Street," he said, "nothing special," he added, "should cost you a tenner."

"What a nice chap" I thought, my opinions of the human race lifted a notch. I wandered down East Street and sure enough there they were, practically side by side. The first looked preferable with a blue steel style, slick and classy. In truth it was a bit too slick and classy and in reality not classy at all. A Polish girl stood outside smoking. By "Polish" I mean definitely Eastern European and probably Polish. Tattooed to the hilt, long nails, very alternative, slightly off-putting. I entered anyway, never expecting she would be the one to cut my hair.

Snipping and clipping she chewed gum noisily, producing a nauseating cigarette-Spearmint stench. As always I had to take off my glasses meaning I couldn't see a thing. Why didn't I wear contact lenses? she asked. I used to, I explained, but my eyes decided they had had enough. She was worried about being allergic to contact lenses, she had all sorts of allergies, she could only wear silver or gold jewellery. I didn't know what to say, did she mean as opposed to plastic or copper?

It was a riveting conversation, simply riveting. The above passage was carefully formed to illustrate what a skilled conversationalist I am.

A bloke in a black vest wandered in, a total gimp if you ask me. Not Polish (nor Eastern European), just a plain old English yob. He was trying to sell aftershave. Counterfeit aftershave most likely. The Polish owner sent him packing, the vested gimp caused a bit of a fuss. By "Polish" of course I mean definitely Eastern European and probably Polish. By "fuss" I mean he cursed like a miner and spat like a Chav.

I strolled home infinitely pleased. Pleased with the haircut, pleased it only cost a tenner, pleased I hadn't gone to Supercuts. Passing the Marquis I thought of the poor mosquito. An old man stumbled on a paving slab, turned round and glared at it menacingly. If a trip to the barber is this much fun I'll have to go more often.

69 comments:

Minka said...

It takes so little sometimes to have some fun! :)

jpooh said...

Since you're pleased with the haircut, I'm assuming you do not have a mohawk or Margaret Thatcher's face shaved into the back of your head.

Do you?

Oh My Goddess said...

I think hair stylists practice on themselves way too much.

I also think the same of plastic surgeons because I have never seen an un-freaky looking one.

And come to think of it, rotund chefs are most definitely sampling too much.

Catching my drift with this Mo?

Courtney said...

We have a barbershop around the corner from our house that for $12 you get a scalp massage, a haircut and a brew. The boys love it!

Gaston Studio said...

Yep, you can definitely find "fun" in the oddest of places! BTW, I'd have dashed out of Supercuts too, and not just because of the mosquito.

ladytruth said...

Few things in life make me happier than when I have the opportunity of killing a mosquito. Those bloody bloodsuckers are attracted to me like Tina Turner was to an assaulting husband. This usually means that I have so many bites during summer people often ask if I have measels. Did I mention I LOVE killing mosquitos?

Call Me Cate said...

You are one of few gifted enough to make an ordinary trip for a haircut into an actual story worth reading.

I'm glad you're pleased with the results and the 'experience'.

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

My village barbers was a front for a cocaine dealing business. The owner was on Crimewatch and everything. He once beat up the delivery bloke for the wine shop across the road because he'd been sitting in his van writing down the notes from his deliveries and the paranoid dealer bloke thought he was an undercover snitch.

Sassy Britches said...

The minute you said "Supercuts," I thought: "Oh, please do not let him have succumbed to that!" Thank goodness you saw the light and went local. Plus, the stories you get from going local are gonna be as good as the experiences on the trains and buses. Yay for you and your being everyman (yet somehow unique!).

Alan Burnett said...

Top class stuff (again). I have to agree with the comments of Call Me Cate. When I have to have my hair cut I not only have to take my glasses off (and therefore cannot see) but also take my cochlear implant off (and therefore cannot hear). It is like being confined to a minimal stimulation floatation tank whilst someone sets about you with a pair of sharp scissors.

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

Sounds as if the Brit version of Supercuts is as odious as the Yank version. Except ours always have about ten stylists working and a plethora of screaming kids running around because their mothers think it's a good idea to be trapped in a salon chair while their incorrigible brats aren't supervised.

But it is cheap.

I admire how easily entertained you are.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

It does sound fun and I am so glad you walked out of Supercuts.

Captain Dumbass said...

I've got to stop cutting my own hair.

Soda and Candy said...

Awww, I like the inclusion of the glaring old man at the end. When that happens to me I swear at the paving stones as well. It puts them in their place.

Lana said...

finding the funny in the mundane is no small task. you should drop by supercuts and give the depressed one your website, she could probably use a good laugh.

cactus petunia said...

Supercuts: the WalMart of hairdressing. It's only safe to go there if you're in need of having your head shaved.

I drive all the way across town to a lovely Scottish redhead prone to hot flashes and endowed with the gift of gab.

And her place seems to be a mosquito-free zone!

JennyMac said...

Concerned about being allergic to contact lenses? wtf?

And supercuts? EGADS..glad you hit the highway. And have a ravishing new coiffure too. I am sure Mrs. MadDag was quite pleased as well.

Happy Monday!

Audra said...

That was quite a story. My trips to the salon generally end with me sweating profusely and ready to kill my kids

The Vegetable Assassin said...

I've fallen for the cheap Supercuts experience in the past. Thing is, I looked afterwards like I'd been to Supercuts. I do feel their name is false advertising. It was a barely average cut, but Barelyaveragecuts doesn't have the same ring to it I suppose. Plus they don't enjoy when you tell them it's none of their goddamn BUSINESS where you went on your holidays.

Michel said...

haha! Great story! In our house, my hubby demands that I let him know whenever I decide to go get my hair done so he can leave the house. Maybe go out of town. He claims that I tend to be a tad bit dramatic if I don't like the results.

Seriously, where does he come up with this stuff!?

Eric said...

Aww Mo, you've got to find one of these franchises around. Sure it's only a bit better than 'Supercuts' results, but there is eye candy and sports on the tv.

The Jules said...

Now I'm no longer allowed to shave my own head because it's not "respectable" and looks "scary", I have discovered the joys of a young fillie who comes to your house and barbers you in your own kitchen.

Costs the same as in a salon and you get to stay at home, although you do have to sweep up your own fur.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Sounds like a most interesting day! I quite like going to get my mane trimmed, although it is only necessary about once a year. The great chore for me is washing it - seems to go on forever!

Cora said...

*shudder* Supercuts scares me. The last time I braved Supercuts I walked out looking like Coolio. Nuff said.

Surge said...

It's really funny when people stumble, and then stare at whatever tripped them like it's the floor's fault and not their own. Tehehe.

A picture Mo, a picture of your hair! :D Dooo it.

A Mom on Spin said...

I don't think I've ever felt sorry for a mosquito before. . .

rubbish said...

Spooky. I had my haircut this weekend.
Years ago my mates girlfriend was an hairdresser. One day she's cutting this guys hair and notices he appears to be playing with himself under the gown. Not known for her shyness she spins his chair around in the middle of a busy shop and says "look at what this dirty bastard is doing". Everyone stops and stares at this guy and she lifts the gown only to discover that the guy had been cleaning his glasses.

Harmony said...

Absolutely riveting....

I can't believe it took all day for me to realize that today is Monday. Monday! Can you believe it?! It's almost insane how fast I got here. And by almost I mean positively.

Ananda girl said...

Well now there's a shared experience. I would have laughed out loud at the old guy tripping. Yet in his position, I'd have done the exact same thing.

There is something about getting a new doo that lightens the step.

Twenty Four At Heart said...

Smart man to stay away from Supercuts! As for the mosquito ... better it be squished in a urinal than some poor man get his ... bit while visiting it!

blueviolet said...

I can't believe you made such an entertaining blog post about something as simple as a haircut!

blognut said...

Good thing you left Supercuts. They would have scalped you and charged you $16 to do it.

ellen abbott said...

I have no idea what my predecessors said...to lazy to read them all. But I am a fan of striking out so bravo.

Frogs in my formula said...

Did you, perhaps, request a mullet?

diane said...

Awesome story Mo.
I'm sure the cut is too. xo

g said...

Sounds like you found your place.

My husband goes to Supercuts here in L.A. - it's a place in the San Fernando Valley where the stylists are all Eastern European or Russian. He gets his head shaved with a number 2 blade - it takes about 90 seconds and costs about $10. But he likes to go to the same place with the Polish and Russian ladies. He goes every couple of weeks. They adore him, he is very amusing to them.

Me, I go to a place in Santa Monica where a 20-something girl with lots of tattoos cuts and colors my hair for about $120, and then I tip her about $20. I go everything 3 months, after spending at least 60 days hating my growing-out hair, but not being able to afford the cost. I am so insecure about my hair.

But I love the Indian beauty parlor, where they take all the fuzz off my upper lip and shape my eyebrows with threads, all for $12.

So who's smart? Maybe I should ask the Indian ladies what they charge for a haircut.

Lucy Filet said...

We have no alternative girls like that here. They must have all been exported.

Vodka Mom said...

high and tight.


that's all you need to say. ( And I LOVE your adventuresome spirit!)

Mary said...

you paint a quite a picture of these Polish people...and by Polish, I mean definitely Eastern European and probably Polish. :)

Matthew said...

Supercuts exist over here too. They must be like Starbucks' nefarious hair-twin or something.

Lola Lakely said...

What is it with the eastern europeans being the subject of many a post. There was mine (strippers), mysterg (nannies), and now yours (hair stylist). Yay for Eastern Europeans and their invasion of the blogosphere! I think your description of her mixture of spearmint chewing cigarette gum was so awesome, i felt like I could actually smell it. I love your posts!

Char said...

A haircut, a tenner and inspirational conversation. What more could you ask!

Samsmama said...

Both of my guys fell victim to Supercuts once. Once. It was hats and do-rags for a month, with a very strict "No Pictures" policy.

That poor mosquito, that is one horrible way to go out.

San Diego Momma said...

Oh come on, Depressive Maniacs aren't all bad.

Love,
A Depressive Maniac

Nikki-ann said...

LOL I, for some reason, hate the gossiping in the hairdressers... Thank God my aunty is a hairdresser, so it's only family gossip! :D

Jan @ Struck by Serendipity said...

My hair cuts costs a lot of tenners. I should head to Supercuts.

plentymorefishoutofwater said...

I'm going to the barber's (though I call her 'my hairdresser' - she hates it) tomorrow. It is uncomfortable, I know. Find one you like and stick with them for as long as they stick around. I've had three in my life - the current one gives me wonderful insights like, "You know you have one stubborn sideburn, and one that causes no problems." Worth the £6.80 all on its own.
Nice blogging, by the way. Check out my dating disasters...http://plentymorefishoutofwater.blogspot.com/

bernthis said...

Supercuts? Smart of u to leave they cut the hair of my six year old daughter's friend and it scared the bejesus outta me.

the mama bird diaries said...

If only we could check out your new cut! Glad you had fun.

LiLu said...

I need to brush up on my Brit lingo...

Hit 40 said...

My boys love to go to my girlie haircutter. They enjoy having their hair shampooed by her. She wears low cut blouses that expose a little too much when she leans over them to wash their hair.

You need to find a hot chick to wash your hair too!!

Tennyson ee Hemingway said...

Being bald, I don't have to worry about things like this. Though I think having a Polish (or at least, an Eastern European) cutting my hair would add a bit of class to my life. And by my life I mean......

Jeanne said...

It's the mark of a true storyteller, when you can take an ordinary day, where nothing special happens, and make it entertaining.

plentymorefishoutofwater said...

Hey, I have re-posted that blog...hope it's clearer now!

The Stiletto Mom said...

I have had days where I feel exactly like that mosquito...

My husband sometimes gets his hair cut at Supercuts. It rarely ends well.

♥ Braja said...

Who the hell paints ginger, anyway.....

Amy said...

Did your wife like the haircut?

And why can't mosquitos and ticks become extinct via global warming? Why polar bears and such?

I glare menacingly at inanimate objects myself, so I can't comment on that.

otherworldlyone said...

Supercuts...the devil's playground.

Glad you have some sense, Mo.

Joanie M said...

Glad you liked your haircut in the end. I'm guessing you'll go back.

I used to be a hair stylist, so this post just cracked me up!

Simon said...

I feel strangely let down. I’d been expecting the punchline to be that you’d been given a blowjob by the Polish (at least Eastern European) barber (either the girl who cut your hair or the owner).

I am not sure why I was expecting this: for some reason the narrative seemed to be heading that way.

Nej said...

Did you get a good scalp massage with those long nails?

Mr. Charleston said...

Pleased with your haircut? Seems unimaginable. I think I can count on both hands the number of times I've be "please" with a haircut.
It doesn't seem to matter where I go or how much I spend, it's always the same, or at least never what I asked for.
What's so damned hard about making me look like Robert Redford?

Slyde said...

wow, supercuts. you, my friend, are a brave man for even stepping in there.

i didnt know they had those across the pond as well...

Amy@Bitchin'WivesClub said...

I loved your diversion with the sad fate of the mosquito... though I didn't actually hold one bit of sympathy for the *expletive*.

BrightenedBoy said...

The girl who cut your hair sounds interesting, and your description made me want to hear more.

I scarcely ever get my hair cut for very obvious reasons, but when I do I usually go to one of the salon type places.

Barbers don't tend to understand the nuance of "trimming" long hair. It's a distinction the stylists understand.

~E said...

There's such a thing as "counterfeit aftershave"?

Do they sell them from the inside pockets of long dingy trenchcoats or the back of a beat up old Chevy Impala there too?

Amanda said...

What is this "Supercuts" you speak of?

I have an amazing personal stylist who walks two steps behind me at all times in case I have a hair emergency. I once had a rabid raccoon attack my hair as I was headed to an important lunch date at McDonald's.

My stylist immediately came to the rescue.

Tooj said...

I always stare menacingly at the thing that tripped me up. Not that I trip often, errr....I mean....it's just that it wasn't there the last time I walked that route. And whoever is responsible for it being there NOW...is rude. No pic of the haircut?

p-huong said...

I don't know what's so funny about people, but the fact that he "turned round and glared at it menacingly" made me laugh hilariously. Like yes, it was the cement that tried to purposely trip him. Reminds me of when I was young and ran into a chair leg and started crying. The parents would hit the chair, like as if it would make me feel better to see the chair get punished. They were right. It did make me feel better.

As I have quite a few new readers since I became a "Jelly Biter" I've put this up here again. To understand the context you must read this post!