Contributions by other people

Kevin Murray, Australia

Until recently, I have had my hair cut exclusively in shops specially designed for this purpose. I tended to choose the shops with a strong local flavour, usually ethnic, as an opportunity for feeling part of the neighbourhood. In St Kilda I had a Ukrainian barber who always tried to impress me--through his tired eyes--with stories of his ambitious children. In Brunswick, I would go to the Lebanese cutter from 'Golden Scissors', just down the street where I was thrown into the vociferous arab world that is normally silent to passers by. Then I got tired of having bad haircuts.

A friend to whom I normally turn when seeking advice on men's business, notified me of a woman who cuts close by me at home, as well as the shop. One of the best features of a home cut is the lack of waiting room. Second best is the formality of entering and exiting someone else's house. And third best is the hour of conversation that repeats and continues itself every three weeks.

There is something Roman about having your haircut. No one wants more efficiency - the more labour intensive the better!