A Cautionary Tale

Joe doesn’t have much hair. It grows quite thick at the back and at the sides. But on the top – well, not a lot, just shine. When it gets too long, he looks like a mad professor.

Barbers charge full price whether you have only a few tufts or a whole head of hair. To save money, it seemed like a great idea to buy some hair-clippers and I would do the cutting.

It was midday, and Joe nervously sat in a chair in the garden. I opened the box containing clippers and graded clip-ons.

‘A Grade 3, I think,’ I said confidently, attaching the guard over the cutting blades.

cautionarytale02‘That seems quite short,’ Joe said doubtfully.

‘No, it’ll be fine.’

I clicked the ‘On’ button and the clippers buzzed into life. All went well for a while. Joe obediently tipped his head this way and that, and clumps of hair fell to the ground in satisfying piles.


A massive blast ripped through the air and Joe and I jumped in fright.

`They’re getting the Fiesta started,’ said Joe, settling back into the chair. ‘Why do the Spanish like such loud fireworks?’

To my horror, a bald patch, the width of the hair-clippers, gleamed palely on the back of Joe’s head. Somehow the guard had been knocked off the clippers and the naked blades had chomped a track through the hair. I recalled my daughter telling me this was called a ‘Runway’ or ‘Brazilian’ but didn´t think it a style usually adopted for men’s haircuts.

cautionarytale03‘They’ll be letting off more, you mark my words,’ said Joe. ‘How’s the haircut coming along?’

‘Fine,’ I lied.

I didn’t replace the guard, I just worked at evening out the remaining hair length. My efforts were not successful. The more I clipped, the worse it all looked. Joe’s head looked as though a plague of starving moths had descended and feasted.

‘I think that’s it,’ I said, brushing off the last hair clumps from his shoulders.

Joe stood and went inside to admire my handiwork in our large living-room mirror. I counted down…10, 9, 8, … 2, 1, Zero…

On cue, an anguished howl rent the air.

‘What have you done?’ yelled Joe.

☼ ☼ ☼

cautionarytale04Lala, our neighbour’s Yorkshire terrier, and Joe´s arch enemy, is more incensed than ever. She hated Joe before, but the jaunty baseball cap Joe now sports absolutely enrages her. As reported in my last blog, she succeeded in sinking her teeth into Joe’s ankle  once before. She now redoubles her efforts to repeat the exercise.

Joe is not pleased with me at the moment.

The moral of this story is: Get your hair cut professionally. Or, never cut your beloved’s hair during a Spanish Fiesta.