Lockdown Blues: Well That Was a Close Shave!
Last year, winter never quite arrived, and spring kept springing up before being crushed down again. We imperceptibly melded into summer. Then the autumn leaves hung on, and hung on some more.
But these days, would Mr. Sinatra have to get his lyricist to do a rewrite?
Some of us, and indeed those who happened to live with those of us who have severely compromised immunity, watched Mother Nature adjust to the new reality her offspring had inflicted on her from behind our windows.
Cinemas were closed, but we had a long-form time-lapse movie of tumult playing across the screens of our own windows. Andy Warhol would no doubt have made a film about it. (Of course, he’d liven it up with something “outrageous.”)
I closed my front door to the world in mid-February of 2020. It was, as it turned out, my last night directing my live stand-up comedy show “The Edge” at the London Comedy Store. One of the few advantages of being steeped in the news is to realize when it’s time to hunker down.
The show went on for another three weeks, I believe, and then the West End, along with the rest of the country, was shut down. The U.K. and most of Europe had turned into one long Christmas Day.
That was it, except for a few necessary journeys to my local clinic. Getting my two vaccine jabs was the most memorable outing I had in that time.
And I hadn’t had a haircut since July 2019. How can I possibly be so exact? Do I keep a diary? No. Well, sort of. I wrote about it in a column called “Eight Days a Week.” So, as my imprisonment started, my head was already shaggy.
Like in any prison, another inmate would have to cut my hair. Step forward my wife, Jane. We even had a proper pair of old haircutting scissors, left courtesy of one of her sisters, who had been a hairdresser in the way back when.
Jane attempted nothing adventurous, just a gentle tidy-up and a trim of my fringe. I could see again.
As the months rolled on, I researched and purchased an electric shaver that could keep my stubble, which I’ve rocked since college in the late 1970s. In those ancient days, it was even known as “designer stubble.” The shaver gave a pragmatic but perfectly reasonable haircut.
The first time out, my fellow inmate followed the rules: Take the shaver in consistent strokes toward the crown of the head. This she did, and boy was I happy.
Then it was 2021, and the miracle vaccine had begun to roll out. We still had no real idea what would happen. My hair had grown back, to start with. So, it was time for another shearing. I was relaxed.
Last time out, the rules had been followed. I trusted my fellow inmate to follow the rules.
Never trust a hardened recidivist to follow rules. My head was in the clouds, and unfortunately, it was also in Jane’s hands. She admitted to making a mistake, and I used sage advice culled from all of those how-to-cut-your-own-hair articles: “If you make a mistake, don’t try to correct it. Continue, ignore it, and the dodgy part will soon regrow.”
Instead, Jane said, “Oh, this actually looks better.”
As long as I would be able to see again, it was cool. It had been a long, hard imprisonment, and we were now in our second year. Jane was bored and exclaimed, “I’m going to be creative.”
Why not? There was light in her eyes. She made sure to keep her body in front of the wet room mirror. How bad could it be?
Well, this bad. I looked like an old, gnarled character straight outta “Sons of Anarchy.”
This was back in April! Who besides my carers and family members would see it? Well, my Facebook friends. I would get more hits and compliments for this than any of my occasional witty barbs.
My show, “The Edge,” where we came in, has actually been booked for late August. Who knew the chances of that ever happening?
In the U.K., as of this week, it now looks increasingly likely.
Thankfully, the “mistake” did indeed grow back.
Don’t let my stylist know I referred to it as a mistake!
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