There are many things which, to all practical purposes, are impossible - viewing the edge of the universe, deriving Euclid's fifth postulate from the other four, making Madonna realise it's time to give up leotards, to name but a few. In this big ol' world, impossibilities aboud; but if it was possible to quantify levels of impossibility, the absolute most impossible thing ever would be for me to receive a good haircut.
Scintillatingly vile haircuts have been a problem dogging me my entire life. I'm not entirely sure why... although I'm sure my mother's weird predeliction for walking under ladders while holding a black cat in one hand, smashing mirrors with the other and all the while yelling abuse at old gyspy ladies when she was pregnant with me probably didn't help matters much. Whatever the reason, the International Cabal of Barbers - the shadowy society of men who cut the hair of the men who secretly run the world - has obviously taken some time out from practising unnatural and obscene acts upon one another and decided that whenever I might happen to walk into a salon, that they must do their utmost to fuck my hair up something shocking.
This really wasn't such a problem back when I was a kid. Getting an ugly short-back-and-sides was de rigueur for boys in those days. But when I started paying attention to current fashions and asked a barber to style my locks into something appropriately cool (a Billy Idol style spike, for instance. Hey, don't look at me like that. It was the eighties, I was an impressionable lad, and Mr Idol was widely considered to be the acme of sex and danger, or at least sex and danger as understood by the pre-pubescent mind), I would end up with a mullet. Not a stylish, chic mullet that are (supposedly) all the rage among the hip kids these days. A full-on bogan coif.
Although this was not the only factor (my increasing paranoia about castration, symbolic or otherwise, played a large part), a the never-ending series of disastrous styles was the deciding one when I made up my ape-like mind not to have any more haircuts. And I lasted a full eight happy years before I returned to a barber's comfortably padded torture chair, my hair growing ridiculously long and unkempt. But when I eventually tired of looking like a greasy caveman and grew weary of having to pull my split-ends away from my mouth in order to eat, and in the foolish hope that the curse would have worn off and that the Barber's Cabal had forgotten me, I went for a quick trim. Nothing fancy. Just a few inches off and a bit of a tidy up.
I walked away with a bowl cut. Not just any bowl cut, mark you. The bowl cut of Doom. It was a good month before I was able to leave the house again.
Since then, I have been making half-yearly visits to the hair butchers, and am yet to be satisfied with the results. Nothing as bad as the bowl cut has happened again, but I've been forced to sport such repugnant follicle fashions as the surfies' bouffant ("Now you look gnarly, dude!" said the barber) and yet more mullets ("It's sooo in right now!"). I hate the hairdresser's with a passion I otherwise reserve only for teenagers and foreign ministers.
And, of course, the reason I am boring y'all with this now is that I'm off to the barber's this afternoon, and would solicit your prayers, benedictions and any spare pennies you might be able to afford, for to purchase a handgun to hold to the head of whatever effete boy-band look-alike or mousse-brained ditz might hold a pair of shears to mine. One more bad haircut is like as not to send me over the edge; so gentle readers, either look for me in the fashion pages tomorrow, or in police line-up.