I had an interesting experience this week getting a haircut. I am normally in favour of going to the cheapest barber who fails to draw blood or engage in conversation.
However, in view of the fact that I am soon to get married it was suggested that I might want to experiment with something a little more sophisticated as a way of trialling a potential pre-wedding groom groomer.
I had picked up a business card a number of weeks early for a barber which looked like it might be popular among the hipster community so, after my tortuous return visit to the dentist I decided to check it out.
Now the thing you must understand as a preface to this story is that I am English and, as such will go to great lengths to avoid any form of conflict no matter how embarrassing or humiliating the alternative might be.
My mistake was, as I climbed to steps towards the attractive team of receptionist having been buzzed through the exclusive looking front door of the tremendously trendy looking establishment, to ask not ‘how much is a haircut?’, leaving me the option of admitting that I needed to go to the cash point or find my wallet or attend to my dying grandmother if their answer proved a little shocking but instead I asked ‘do I need to make an appointment?’ implying that if no appointment is necessary then I am eager to have my hair cut by whoever they have hanging around, at whatever price, regardless of the quality.
Needless to say they did have someone hanging around, possibly the most groomed barber I have ever been barbered by, and before I knew it I was being whisked off to a chair wondering whether the price I had seen at reception could possibly be the price I would have to pay once they had finished with my head.
I reassured myself with thoughts that this was probably going to be the best haircut I had ever had in my life and that despite the cost the cut would be so good that I would return there time and time again considering it money well spent.
The cut included a wash which, being a Yorkshireman, added to my sense of value for money but I couldn’t help thinking, as I looked at the decor, including a pool table and a juke box, that my money was paying for the 1950’s American theme rather than whatever the guy was trying to do to my head.
When he finally finished and I nodded my gratitude, I always do that regardless of how bad the haircut is, I returned to the reception and paid the figure I rightly feared had been the price. I won’t reveal here the exact price but safe to say it was almost three times the price of my previous haircut.
To make matters worse, on the way home I passed a similar looking barber who was offering cuts at almost half the price including a free drink.