Thursday, 20 November 2008

Just a little off the back, please

One of the only poems I ever wrote, at the age of 14, went like this:

Look at my hair
It's my despair
It goes everywhere
But I don't care

Oh yeah

It's not exactly up there with the sonnets, is it? But I was writing from the heart, at least. As an anxious teenager I actually did care. For one thing, I appeared to have an unruly marsupial perched on my cranium. Mixed with the rampant acne, the girls from the grammar school up the road from mine were never going to give me a second look.

The problem was one of thickness. Stop sniggering at the back, there. As I hurtle manfully towards the wrong end of my thirties, having a thick head of hair is definitely something to be put into the 'Good Thing' column. Several of my colleagues can now comb their hair with a flannel, for instance. But it has had its downsides in the past.

As I stumbled into my later teens I spent a lot of time listening to music played at stratospheric volumes. In the circles in which I moved, long hair was de rigeur. And I was going out drinking with Kevin. Quite a lot.

Kevin was a friend, probably my best friend at the time. He captained the rugby team, skied, played guitar, had his own car and was built like a brick outhouse. Kevin had the hair of a young Robert Plant - a blond mane all the way down his back - and a confident swagger. Wherever he went, girls stuck to him like poo to a blanket.

I tried to follow suit, but where Kevin's hair grew down, mine just went outwards. It just wasn't the same, especially as I was whippet-thin at the time. I tried acting as wingman whenever Kevin and I went out - all the girls who'd failed to catch his eye would have to speak to someone, I thought. I used humour to compensate, which put me firmly into the category of 'Kevin's weird mate - the one who looks like a furry lollipop'.

Kev looked like a rock god, I resembled an extra from Shaft.

Eventually I got my Afro reduced to a sensible haircut one lunchtime, without telling anyone in advance. My ever-supportive parents never said anything when I returned home, but I'm sure I heard champagne corks popping later that night.

On Saturday I go to the lovely Liz who will adminster to my boring tresses. I will emerge the picture of respectability. But deep down, there's still a bit of me that will forever be a longhair.


Lisa said...

I can SO relate to your parents popping champagne corks at the moment. Ryan got his haircut the other day, looked like there was bugger all taken off...he said it was the first time he's ever been happy after going to the barber. Pfft.

Not to mention the screaming music coming out of his room. Literally screaming into the mic this chap was.

Oh God, I'm old.

Rebecca said...

Poo on a blanket is such a sexy simile, Phil.

Tom said...

I wasn't allowed the loooong hair, so mine simply was "just past the collar" long. As I got older, I had less and less interest in styling and taking care of it and it became shorter and shorter until it became a pain to have at all. I shave my head every morning and couldn't be happier about it.
I don't think I could've done it in school, when I envied men like David Coverdale, Tommy Lee and Joe Elliot for their manes, but Kojack is definitely the better way for me now.

Le laquet said...

Everyone had a "rock god" friend like Kevin - Eleanor was mine ... she looked like one of the girls from Bananarama - grrrr ... hated her really!

City Girl said...

Translating Tom's comment:

"I had a mullet."


the wife said...

Mum-in-Law decided to show me the long hair photo's once I was firmly ensconsed into the family. Needless to say, it was too late to escape by then!

Le laquet said...

Did she scalp you?


Dear "the wife" ... if you ever felt the need to scan said photos we would be an appreciative audience!!

the wife said...

Le Laquet - I'll give it a try. In the mean time, just think Diana Ross in Chain Reaction!

Le laquet said...

Lol! Lovely vision


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