A GUEST SERIES
16 – Trigger Cut – Pavement (1992 Matador Records)
Released as a single in late 1992 (Did Not Chart)
I could of course talk about ‘Summer Babe’ but I always talk about that record and the way that it was playing in the background when I finally plucked up the courage to ask OPG out. I also always talk about it because it is the first song I play whenever I move into a new house, I’m not sure where that tradition came from it’s just one that has sort of stuck. I think it’s probably because when I left home to become a student that was the record I grabbed when I checked the stereo speakers were all plugged in properly. So to be honest ‘Summer Babe’ is a very influential song in my life.
But let’s talk about the events of the first Wednesday in April 2010. This folks, is the day when a 34 year old me, finally got his hair cut. Now, the more astute amongst you will say that surely a more suitable song would be ‘Cut Your Hair’ by Pavement and you would all be right, but there is a reason why I went for ‘Trigger Cut’.
It’s a better song that ‘Cut Your Hair’ and besides I had my hair cut at gunpoint surrounded by Rwandan militia so its more appropriate. Ok I didn’t really. I had my hair cut because a pretty girl laughed at some chocolate stuck on my nose.
Two days before I got my hair cut I was in a branch of Costa Coffee – one which was inside a branch of Waterstones, and I was sat a table and I was reading my new book, which was, for those that are interested, by Cormac McCarthy, in front of me was hot chocolate and a muffin (blueberry). The table in front of me is occupied by two younger women, who are looking at me and smiling.
Now, I’m happily married, but its nice to get a smile from random strangers. I smile back and they laugh. I work out pretty quickly that they are not ‘smiling’ smiling at me. There must be something wrong with me. I finish my muffin and my hot chocolate and head to the gents.
I stand in front of the mirror and look at myself. I’m 34 years of age, I’m wearing a jumper I bought from a charity shop, my jeans are old, my trainers are battered (but must be cool because the homeless guy I spoke to the other day remarked on how nice ‘New Balance were’). My hair is a mess, its long, its tied up in a pony tail and its scraggly and dry and horrible. Then I realise why the ladies were laughing. I had a big splodge of chocolate on the bridge of my nose, where the grated stuff they put on the cup had stuck.
I wipe it off and arrange my hair so it looks a bit better, but it doesn’t it still looks rubbish. I frown at myself and walk home in a sulk.
At home I ask my wife what she thinks about my hair. She looks at me and tells me that “Its awful and its needs cutting” is her blunt answer. She then offers to do it for me, which I think about for a moment or two, and fearing some sort of hatchet job I decline her offer.
Sabotage – Beastie Boys (1994, Grand Royal Records, Number 19)
Two days later I am sat in the chair in my local branch of Toni & Guy. My wife has booked it for me, having phoned her hairdresser, a lovely guy called Jamie, who wears leather trousers, chains and calls literally everyone ‘darling’. I expect him to be camp but he sounds like Ray Winstone.
Jamie has a pair of scissors in his hand and he collects all the hair that is dragging down my back and in a matter of seconds, he snips it off. He walks around to the front of chair and utters this sentence to me.
“Darling,” he said “Some men, like to keep their pony tails, do you want to keep it?”. Jamie is about half my age. He will, a bit later in the morning, trim my eyebrows for me, and tell me that “Darling, it’s a sign of getting old”.
I shake my head and he throws the hair on the floor like an old dishcloth, three minutes later he will stand on it whilst cutting the rest of my hair. I’m sure that I hear my hair weeping about twenty minutes later as a work experience girl sweeps it away.
When Jamie has finished, he looks at me and says “Darling, that is better, my god, it was awful before”. He holds up a mirror to show me the back. I’d forgotten about the star shaped scar on my neck from where my brother accidently hit me with a stapler when I was seven. I smile, my wife is standing behind me. “Darling, he looks so much better” she tells Jamie and then she kisses me in front of everyone in the entire shop. It was brilliant as well, proper kissing in the public at the age of 34.
I pay Jamie £45 (I know, be quiet) and I walk outside. It is 10am. My wife and I walk up the street arm in arm, one of us with a proper swagger.
Mr E’s Beautiful Blues – Eels (2000, Dreamworks Records, Number 11)