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Short back and sides with a blowtorch, pleaseAdrian Mitchell
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Vol. 13 No. 23 · 5 December 1991
Poem

Short back and sides with a blowtorch, please

Adrian Mitchell

201 words

Barbara Hepworth used to do my hair. I was a weekend Ted in those
days and Miz H could shape a mean Pompadour. She liked to get a sort of
surfer’s tunnel through the front. Trough of the Wave, she called it, and
from the right angle you could see right through my hair like my head had
a hole in it, which it didn’t. I jacked in Babs finally because she’d
always be playing the Bee Gees over her salon speakers. Not that she
listened to them, she’d be gabbing in general about different kinds
of stone. Stone and rock. Lizzie Frink used to shampoo me before
the cut – it was always a ten bob tip for Frinkie and a quid for the Hep. They
both took it hard when I switched to Tony Caro’s place ... Of course the first barber
I went to was old Harry Moore, had a place up the road, old-fashioned
Yorkshire establishment, stick a tripe bowl on your head and clip around
it happily enough while whistling Ilkley Moor Ba Taht or telling stories
about driving a tube train during the Blitz. Naum Gabo once
gave me a Yul Brynner ...

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