Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Barber-ian Hordes

I popped in to my local barber's this morning for my regular fake-Haji cut. The venue never fails to disappoint. I could spend hours there just listening to the whacky conversations fading into each other, jostling for lyrical supremacy. But I'd need to understand Mirpuri to do that with any degree of success. Fortunately snippets of chatter do take place in English (or a least its Brummie equivalent).

The owner was valiantly holding the fort single-handedly while his colleague was "at a meeting", which prompted much speculation from the crowd of eager haircut-ees. Eventually, the AWOL tonsorial artist made a stunning entrance in traditional Pakistani dress. (We're accustomed to seeing him in 'Western' gear). Once the wolf-whistles had died down, the timely wail of a police siren triggered the expected:

Customer: Bro. You look like a Paki.
Barber #2: I am a Paki.
Customer: Yeah but the police don't need no help innit
Barber #2: I got nothing to hide man.
Customer: People dressed like that do all sorts of crazy things on aeroplanes. Dunno what they could get up to on the ground innit?
Barber #2: I aint cutting your hair.
Customer: I aint here for a cut anyway. I'm just chilling...It's all a cover up man. Taking attention away from the real stuff in Lebanon. Bush just says to Blair, "Oi Tony". Nah that's not it. How does he talk to Blair?
Me: I think he said "Yo Blair!"
Customer: Yeah that was it. He goes "Yo Blair!" What a joker. My car is mashed. I'm gonna sue BMW. But qasme, once I've replaced the transmission and stuff I'm gonna have 3.2 litres of power in a manual. Those rear wheels are gonna need serious replacing.

By that time my hair had been cut. I handed over the cash and made my exit stage left.

Postscript: People tend to get their hair cut by the barber* with the coolest cut but unless he/she has the supernatural ability to cut their own hair, surely the responsible hairdresser is someone else?

*insert relevant term for your coiffeur

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