Economic Imbalance of the Barber Industry

As you might have gathered from the limited photo on this site, my hair is long. Ok it’s long in some places. I’ll be man enough to admit that maybe the fringe isn’t really as … how shall I put this … “existing”. But the rest of it is long and I like to think that if I did still have that full head of hair that it would be long too.

But the point of this entry is to tell you all about the economic imbalance that exists in the barber industry.

Today I got a fairly decent trim, took about forty minutes. The guy doing it took great care to ensure that my intricate instructions were followed to the letter – trim the sides, take an inch off the back, trim less from the fringe so the length looks more equal. So away he went, cutting and chopping, brushing and combing, looking every inch the consummate professional. He didn’t so much go at it hammer and tongs as went at it feather and flannel.

So at the end of the forty minutes, I was quite pleased. Looked good, keep Maria-Ana (the girlfriend) from threatening to cut it herself. How much did it cost me? Eighteen Euro. How much hair did I actually have removed? About four ounces I’d say. So I’m in fact paying for their time, not for the amount of hair they take off. Fair enough.

Therein lies the problem though. My mate Tom is on the opposite end of the scale to me. He has about half-an-inch of hair maximum, and when it’s time for a cut he just gets a blade all over. It takes about five minutes. How much? Eighteen euro. So what does the barber do to try and justify the outrageous cost? He aims to turns a simple head shave in to a mock up of the Sistine Chapel. So in the end, there’s thirty minutes of labour filler.

What’s the solution? The cost of a haircut needs to be a balance between time taken and hair removed.

If I go in with foot-long hair (think a hairy Italian sub) and order a head-shave, takes maybe ten minutes. The hair needs a good snip before they can take the razor to it but they don’t need to take care so it’ll probably be a ten minute job. Cost? About seven Euro.

Head shave of half an inch of hair? Five minutes. Cost? About three Euro.

Don’t get me started on bald men with just a bit of hair around their ears. They deserve to be paid for the ignominy of having a shiny head all their lives, poor bastards.

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St Leprechaun Day

Ever see that “Leprechaun” film? Well, ever see any of the six they made? A little Irish leprechaun fella (played by Warwick Davis – above) kills a fat bloke who stole his pot o’ gold. He then embarks on an emphatic, and frankly indiscriminate, killing spree that takes him to Vegas, outer space and, of course, The Hood. Twice.

They’re rubbish. But every time St Patricks Day comes around I always recall the movies. In particular there is a murder scene in one where he wishes a victim a ‘Happy St Patricks Day’ in the most comical and over-the-top Irish accent I’ve ever heard. It’s the sort of accent that has become the streotype for Irish people around the world, yet not one person in the country actually speaks like that. That’s not to say that the diminutive actor’s accent is not more convincing than Tom Cruise’s “Far and Away” shambles.

My point? It’s St Patrick’s Day and while this day last year I was flying back from Chicago after tasting the Irish festival through American eyes, this year I’m in work. Writing this diary up.

Where else could I make observations like “imdb.com promote themsevles as ‘Earth’s biggest movie database’. Are they concerned that somewhere in the untapped galaxy there is perhaps a bigger movie database that would ridicule any claim they might make to be the ‘Universe’s biggest movie database’?”.

You see? Lateral thinker, I ain’t.

So while Facebook will be my place for general social stuff, WordPress will be where I get all deep and meaningful. It’ll be a slow beginning but bear with me.

Now if you don’t mind, I’ve just been buoyed by the news that Hilary Swank is desperate for a baby.

Happy St Leprechaun Day.