Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: In Praise of Arthur

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  • Russell Brown,

    I've never had a lot of luck with barbers. There was the clumsy git who slipped me a sixpence to make up for cutting my ear when I was little. (I don't actually recall this, but it was a matter of family lore. And yes, it was pre-decimal currency.)

    Then there was the bloke at the Smith & Caughey barbershop in 1986, who regaled me with tales of how he'd known Ringo Starr back in the old days in Liverpool, and left me with a haircut that could be characterised with the words "bizarre" and "incompetent". Given that I was about to be interviewed on Radio With Pictures, I was distraught. Ngila Dickson made a call and got me into her friend's salon at minutes' notice.

    And then there was the Greek chap in Stamford Hill in London, with whom a conversation might go:

    "Is it a big one?

    "Eh?"

    "New Zealand. Is it a big country?"

    On my third visit he brushed his hand against my trousers in a manner such as to constitute sexual assault. Very rum chap.

    My hairdresser is called Shane. He's about the same age as me and gay as all get-out. We discuss music, politics, media and life. I pay him with stolen television.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Joy of the failling folicals - No.1 (or no comb) once or twice a week done by me - free is a good price to pay.
    Downside I do have to avoid black T-shirts and my perscription black wrap around sunglasses being worn together.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I pay him with stolen television.

    he's THAT nervous about the kiwi dollar?

    Steven's mine, been doing it for... well since about 1990, but it was a different Steven then who sold to the new one a few years later.

    Or maybe he regenerated or something.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2074 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    I used to go to the Barber's Club in town, $15 for a clipper cut, shampoo to get the itchy bits out, chat about stock cars & rugby & manly stuff, and a glass of OJ (I don't drink coffee, otherwise ot would have been an espresso). Can't top that for value - except once I stopped working in town its too much hassle to drive in & find a park etc.
    Now I use the same method as Michael, give it a buzz at home.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 841 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    On my third visit he brushed his hand against my trousers in a manner such as to constitute sexual assault.

    Reminds me of a song I once knew. What happened on Sunday, after supper?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1616 posts Report Reply

  • Evan Yates,

    I am a patent vacillator when it comes to haircuts.

    Sometimes on a lazy Saturday morning I like to go to the "lovely young foreign lady with an exotic accent" (Establishment called "The Sharing Shed"). She does good haircuts but takes about 20 minutes to finish the job.

    Last time I went she offered to trim my eyebrows. They are a bit unruly and looking like you've got a pair of gypsy moth caterpillars crawling on your forehead can get you sprayed with BTK if you live in Hamiltron.

    If I'm in a hurry I go to "the young bloke with spiky hair" (Peros barbershop). He is fast, good and has a good line in light chat.

    I don't know either of their names. Does that make me a "hair-John"? Just there for the service and then on my way... Like the Tina Turner song, "Private Dancer".

    All the men come in these places
    And the men are all the same
    You don't look at their faces
    And you don't ask their names
    You don't think of them as human
    You don't think of them at all
    You keep your mind on the scissors
    Keeping your eyes on the hair

    I'm your private barber, a barber for money
    I'll do what you want me to do
    I'm your private barber, a barber for money
    And any old cut style will do

    Hamiltron, Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Nov 2006 • 190 posts Report Reply

  • Rik,

    Can't beat ESQ in Grey Lynn...cute chicks (ladies for the PC-impaired) cutting at barbers rates ($10 for balding). They even offer you a beer sometimes if it is late in the day. Conversation is a bit all over the place though.

    Since Jun 2007 • 124 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I am possibly the only woman in Auckland who cuts and dyes her own hair. I really hate making stilted conversation for an hour with someone I don't know very well, all the while staring grimly at my increasingly weird-looking visage. And the magazines always suck.

    (Hi, I'm Danielle and I'm a curmudgeonly misanthrope. Nice to meet you.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I should note that the thing a real barber is good for is a shave with a cutthroat razor. There's nothing like being wrapped in a scalding towel and emerging minus a couple of layers of facial epidermis. Makes a man feel alive.

    Now ... must ... work ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Danielle, I swear, you're my wife arn't you...(considers this possibility)...now that would be weird.
    Mikey in Mt Eden, now there's a barber...

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    My regular barber is a woman who does a short back and sides regardless of what you ask for. Last time I was lamenting the waste of all that hair on the floor. She said that usually a man calls for it to feed to his worm farm but had not been recently. Hope he hadn't fallen into his farm! Awful way to go.

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I spend about $220 getting my hair cut and coloured every couple of months. My hairdresser is awesome. She gets my hair.

    I used get it cut cheaply and to do a DIY dye job, but I always ended up looking about five years older and like I should have four kids in tow.

    But whether you pay $200 or $20, if you find a good hairdressser/barber stick with them.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1865 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    My ex-barber was a lady who was also a body builder. Sometimes I would scare myself by making mild criticisms of her styling skills. Then her muscles would flex, nostrils dilate and I swear my head started looking like a wine cork in her eyes.

    Lesser mortals dodge buses in the one lane Mount Vik tunnel.

    Last I heard she was selling food supplements to fellow builders in Brisbane.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1616 posts Report Reply

  • Hamboy,

    Hmmm, must be a generation thing. I have only every been to hairdressers and usually female ones.
    To me the shampooing and cutting is an intimate act. The sort that I would only wish a female to do.
    For some reason it's just not the same when a male hairdresser leans over you to shampoo your hair. lol

    if you find a good hairdresser/barber stick with them.

    Too true. But that is many because I hate that little interview you get with a new hair dress and what your were expecting is a mile away from what you get.
    I haven't even had the some doctor for as long as I have had my hairdresser. She doesn't need to ask how I want it, non waste her time trying to start a conversation and she is kinda cute. Though she does always point out new grey hairs.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Sargent,

    She doesn't need to ask how I want it, non waste her time trying to start a conversation and she is kinda cute. Though she does always point out new grey hairs.

    Maybe its in the hairdresser syllabus : mine does this also.

    Since Nov 2006 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Danielle wrote:

    I really hate making stilted conversation for an hour with someone I don't know very well...

    This raises a very interesting point. I also loathe having to make awkward conversation with strangers (it actually gave me hives on one occasion) so maybe I prefer a barber simply because of the strict conversational protocol. I also prefer the type of old-fashioned dancing where there is a set pattern rather than the modern style where you just jump up and down. Although when I say 'prefer' I would still rather have my teeth drilled than engage in any form of dancing.

    On a related subject, I recently discovered a supermarket (New World, Stanmore Road, Richmond) where you can check out your own groceries -- and thus avoid having to make chit-chat with the checkout lady. It has hugely improved my quality of life.

    Hamboy wrote:

    Hmmm, must be a generation thing...

    Yes... of course... you have to remember that when I had my first haircut, steam had only just been discovered, and barbers' shears were still powered by pit ponies. Every Christmas my parents would give me a bent twig to play with.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 992 posts Report Reply

  • Thom James,

    I fell victim to a 'hilarious' drunken game of scissors at the weekend, you know, taking a sly chop out of your unwitting mate's hair. Got a bit out of hand though. I now resemble the 'before' photo from a Propecia ad. Think my hairdresser will be reduced to tears when i go see if can sort it out.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Oddly, two days ago I had the worst haircut of my entire life (if you exclude 80s spiral perms I thought were great at the time). My regular woman wasn't there, and I didn't want to deal with the guy who cuts in the chair nearest the window who seems to think he's a taxi driver. ("Right, what are we doing today lemme tell you what's wrong with this fucking country") So I got the cute young girl.

    The first thing a hairdresser asks me to do is take off my glasses. Then she'll cut my hair, and ask me how it looks. For some reason, "I don't know, I can't see it" always goes down badly, so I've just settled for 'great'. Saves time.

    I have to assume she was using scissors to cut it. It looks like she used a tiny enraged pomeranian. Either as the cutting device, or the model.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    That took me back a looooong time ,when a short back and sides cost...$1 about the last time anyone other than my wife cut my hair

    Jimmy Jones cut my hair then and I am pretty sure I took one of my sons to him before he retired so that three generations would have been under his shears
    He as rumoured to sell condoms but not sure about that
    I am sure the smell of bay rum would take me back to those inocent days of rugby, racing and beer

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • Josh Addison,

    I've always been one for low maintenance hair. For a long time I had long hair, where styling meant tying it into a ponytail and getting my hair cut happened maybe three times a year. Eventually a combination of regular physical exercise and warm summers were enough to motivate me to lose it (there's only so much sweat-soaked hair a man can take) so I moved to low maintenance option number two -- shave it all off.

    Now I just give myself the once over with clippers every week or two. Is being your own barber like being your own lawyer -- a fool for a client and all that? Works for me, but I am horribly, horribly lazy when it comes to hair.

    Onehunga, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Muriel Lockheed,

    I loathe going to the hairdresser, because damn it they never listen to what you say half the time. I always instruct, look I don't do hairdryers, I don't do product, and I don't live to faff about with my hair everyday, so give me something I don't have to worry about. Typically then they will say, I have just the style for you, honestly all you do is hang your head over and dry your hair upside down, then a little bit of this and a little bit of that and voila. Even after following these instructions diligently, my voila always hints at an unfortunate encounter with electricity. And I never go back to that particular hairdresser again.

    So, to avoid the hairdresser I grew my hair longer last year, but after my close friend went on and on about woman of mumble mumble age not suiting long hair I trudged back to the hairdresser. And, had a disasterous cut there. So bad that when I walked out of hairdressers I found myself in the shopping centre, crying.

    Now I am not in the least bit prone to crying at "real life" but show me a TV ad, movie, book, play a song, open a supermarket or take me to a funeral and I can bawl at the drop of a hat. I often joke that I could be a professional mourner at funerals, I am totally hopeless, even at the funerals of the most casual acquaintance. That can be a little embarrassing when after the service someone comes up to you and says "oh you poor dear how long have you known blah blah" " ummm errrr I only met them once, they are friend of a friend" and then back comes the loaded "ohhhhhhh????"


    So here I am crying at my RUINED hair and thinking this is silly, I don't really care about my hair this much do I? And then having to pay $60 to get it fixed up, but it does look cute now and best of all I don't have to fanny about with it.

    Wellywood • Since Nov 2006 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Let your freak flag fly!

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Raymond A Francis wrote:

    He was rumoured to sell condoms...

    My Scottish grandfather once astonished me by revealing that many blokes (perhaps including himself, he was a little non-specific on the topic) purchased condoms from the barber.

    Does anyone have any intelligence on barber-supplied condoms in NZ? It seems to be an important part of history that has been otherwise overlooked.

    I am sure the smell of bay rum would take me back to those inocent days of rugby, racing and beer...

    Arthur offers me bay rum every time...

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 992 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    David, I think the phrase you're looking to google is "A little something for the weekend, Sir?"

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 841 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Danielle, I swear, you're my wife aren't you...(considers this possibility)...now that would be weird.

    Well, I *do* like pina coladas. And getting caught in the rain.

    I also loathe having to make awkward conversation with strangers (it actually gave me hives on one occasion) so maybe I prefer a barber simply because of the strict conversational protocol.

    It's not that I mind small talk, you understand. I just want to have some choice about when and whether to engage in it. I think I would have been poorly suited to pre-industrial village life.

    I have to assume she was using scissors to cut it. It looks like she used a tiny enraged pomeranian. Either as the cutting device, or the model.

    I would like to nominate this joke for some kind of award. It's the funniest thing I've read for days.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

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