Yesterday I had my first professional haircut in 2 years and it was a doozy. Not having been inside a salon for a while, I asked the hairdresser for something fun and he proceeded to cut and build a quiff the size of a small country. After 35 minutes and £20, he’d completely transformed my look from “homeless-not-so-chic” to “rockabilly sex offender” which was startling to say the least. He also gave me a folding, flick-knife style comb that has my name on it.
I walked home in the drizzle and snow feeling a like a taller, hairier, less-dead James Dean; certain that I was radiating an aura of pure, unadulterated cool. When I got back to my flat and passed the hall mirror, I almost shat myself as an unfamiliar, high-haired stranger stared at me from the depths of the reflection, creeping me out with his silly do (and the fact that he was wearing my face).
By the time it came to “drive-to-the-gig-o’clock”, I’d completely forgotten about the hair, so I picked up the other comics and drove to Ipswich oblivious to the fact that I looked like some greaser, lumberjack from the 50s with a severe case of muscle atrophy.
My first hint that something was wrong came when I walked on stage at the Ipswich University Student Union & Cock Fighting Area. A snigger went up from the crowd as I took to the stage but I foolishly thought that I’d left my fly undone, not that I was wearing hair that made me nine feet, two inches tall.
About ten minutes into my spot, well aware that something was amiss, but unable to ascertain what it was, I leant to the side as part of a joke and began to topple to the left, my hair’s gravitational pull exerting its influence on the Earth and pulling me to the floor. For the next few seconds I staggered about like a newborn giraffe, struggling to find my new centre of gravity.
In the end, the gig sucked but I can’t just blame the hair. Sure it made me look ridiculous, but stand-up comedian is an occupation where that shouldn’t be a problem. Tonight I’ve got the night off, so I’m going to spend a few hours, pacing around the flat, adjusting to my new-found height, so the next time I take to stage, I don’t flail about like a drunk transvestite in platform boots.
Often in life, the true consequences of your actions aren’t apparent until they’re running towards you with a baseball bat and nail gun, and by that time, there’s nothing you can do except take a beating and get attached to something. What you’ve got to remember though, is that sometimes the beating you take is worth it. Sometimes, it’s worth £20, 35 minutes and a shit gig in Ipswich just to be able to say to people “my hair is taller than yours”.