Sweeney McTodd: The Demon Barber of Princes Street

The thing about the barbers is…there is no female equivalent. The prospect of a very hasty, cheap and suspect haircut obviously isn’t appealing. But for men like yours truly, the speed at which my hair grows forces me to get it snipped far too often. It has created a very negative outlook towards my hair, and thus I would rather pay less at a barbers. It isn’t a treat; it’s a bloody chore.

I stumble through the door of a clichéd men’s barbers just before closing. The female hairdresser sighs after spotting my white boy afro. The guy in the chair joins her with a long sigh, staring at the haircut he’ll soon have to pay money for.

I take my seat and contemplate leaving. Will I come out with something acceptable, or am I due a disaster warranting a few weeks worth of hat wearing. My hairdresser is from Katowice, Poland and speaks very little English. A perfect scenario in a barbers, so long as she understands “short back and sides”. You see there isn’t a lot of chitchat going on in these places. It’s pretty much a bish, bash, bosh job and touch and go whether it turns out ok.

I’m borderline shorn like a sheep and nipped quite viciously around the sideburn region. Half expecting blood I realise neither of us wants to be here, justifying the awesomely frenetic speed at which all this is happening.

In the end, I am somewhat unfairly rewarded with a very decent looking head of hair. She mumbles something about shaving the neck, and I duly agree. The phrase then hits me…”shave the neck?”…I have been staring at that blade in fear since I got here and now she’s going to use it on me! Flashbacks of Sweeny Todd enter my mind.

A panic-strewn couple of minutes pass, and I leap out of the chair in celebration. I throw my money at her, accidentally short-changing in the process and charge out the door. It’s a “Run home Charlie!” moment as I dash back home to wash out the awful gel currently sticking to my scalp. I found the Golden Ticket; a cheap barbers that gives good haircuts.

The Barbers. If I owned one it would be called “Chop chop, no chat, cheap”. Perfect.


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