Patriarchal Haircut Privileges

I’m as angry as all hell. And extremely grumpy.

Why can’t men make appointments at the hairdresser?

Why do I care?  I’ll tell you why. Whenever I go to the hairdresser I have to wait 15 minutes while some bloke – clearly a walk-in – has walked into the hairdresser and asked to be slotted in.

Hairdressers rarely say no to men, as they know men won’t go away for a spot of shopping and return later. Men think haircuts are like beers. You go to the counter, order, receive, drink and go.

No, no, no, fellas. Haircuts are like first dates. You spend a lot of time thinking about colour, style, the exact best moment, you ring up and you ask properly. Then you turn up on time and make nice conversation with someone you have nothing in common with. As I say, first date.

You certainly don’t just turn up. I wouldn’t care but this casual attitude means I am inconvenienced by male inability to plan. You might say the hairdresser shouldn’t slot them in but hey, people aren’t going to turn down a job. There’s mortgages to pay, chardonnay to buy. C’mon, this is capitalism.

But if I was dictator for a day I would decree no walk ins. And if there is a walk in, then the walk in has to pay for the haircut of the person (that would be me) who he (always a he) has inconvenienced. Problem solved, everyone’s hair is cut, everyone (particularly me) is happy and 5,000 years of patriarchal haircut privileges waived. Bring it on.

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Grumpy old men

I hate Grumpy Old Men. I am sick of the lot of them – their constant whingeing, their eyeball rolling and their refusal to work the video-recorder. I am talking about the grumpy old men show where men have a BMW (bitch, moan, wine) session about everything: women, call centres, queues, restaurant food, public transport ticketing machines, mobile phones, body piercings, and every single thing on the planet which they seem to believe is put there to annoy them.

 Essentially the show Grumpy Old Men interviews minor male British celebrities and the odd big-name celebrity such as Bob Geldof, and they sound off for half an hour. It was a smash hit in Britain and it has its own following here, but personally I find it about as exciting as watching toenails grow.

It may sound harmless enough, but it’s not. By interviewing celebrities like Geldof and Bill Nighy, it has tried to make grumpiness sexy. Being grumpy when I was a kid was akin to overeating or telling fibs – it was just unacceptable behaviour. Now, thanks to this show, these ageing baby-boomers have made grumpiness legitimate, even something to strive for.

The grumpies seem to think sounding off about piercing on television makes you a superior, more clear-thinking person than those who sensibly ignore piercings, bus ticketing machines and the like, and just get on with their lives.

What these smug superior grumpies do not realise is that they are probably sounding (and possibly looking) more and more like their mothers every episode. They are just a bunch of sad, bored, middle-aged farts with no point to their lives, and they fill the gap by whingeing.

Bob Geldof seems to be perennially grumpy and almost admits that, because he and Bono didn’t end up saving the world after all, he’ll spend the rest of his life whingeing about takeaway coffee instead.

The other grumpies appear to be successful, in good health and wealthy. In short, these men have nothing to be grumpy about, which just makes the program all the more annoying. They make me grumpy just watching them.

Well I’m sick of them. Grumpies, get a life. Do something meaningful: learn to knit (that will give you something to be grumpy about), donate a kidney or work at a soup kitchen. At the very least, learn to program the video-recorder or purchase a train ticket from a machine or use internet banking. Get over yourselves and just accept that you are not young studs any longer.