What is it with barbers?
After the gym, I was wandering through the hinterland below Alexandra Palace but above Crouch End (I am going to name it VictoriaStakesLand, after the pub) when I decided to get my hair cut. As I habitually do, I ended up in a small, smelly barbershop run by a middle-aged man. The difference being that this man was Turkish, not Greek. A triumph for diversity.
I asked for my usual haircut: two on the sides and three on top. Simple. An idiot could do it. Or so I thought.
My suspicions were aroused when he informed me that he was going to wash my hair after the cut. I explained that the hair would be very short, and wouldn’t need washing, but he was insistent. My suspicions worsened when he kept stopping the haircut to attend to customers at the cafe next door. Apparently, his wife runs the cafe, but she was out doing Christmas shopping, so my clippering was put on hold as customers sporadically paid him for capuccinos and cakes.
After about 20 minutes, he started tidying up the haircut when realised that it looked odd. Rather than blending the grades, he had left subtle but identifiable bands of hair around my head, making me look like a thug from 1988. I politely asked him to blend the hair. He looked puzzled and explained that he would have to put the clippers on a different setting. He continued for another 15 minutes or so, without actually doing much to correct things. Still, the haircut looks ok. It’s not what I wanted, but it’s not going to get me attacked in the street. He then washed my hair, which is something that I have never had done in barbershop in my life. He seemed to take a lot of professional pride in massaging my scalp, and I had a terrible fear that it was all going to lead to some gay overtures, but fortunately that didn’t happen.
On the plus side, he did clipper my goatee, so I look less like a tramp.
Earlier on, at the gym I saw the fattest man to ever wear swimming trunks. The exercise bikes overlook the swimming pool area, and as I paddled away, I watched an enourmous man on a diving board. He was immense, with a massive wobbly stomach. Despite this, he repeatedly did huge twists and backflips off the board, landing in a variety of compromising positions before the lifeguard told him to stop. I was quite something to watch.