Regular readers of my literary meanderings will know that I am partial to a good cup of coffee whilst sharing my happy, yet jaundiced view of life. Hopefully, you will have noticed that I always try and put a comedic spin on everything I write. I have enjoyed humour and comedy since I was an infant.
I recall sitting on my Dad’s lap in the mid 1960s, listening to the radio on Sunday lunchtimes with him.
In most matters my father was quite a serious man. A highly skilled engineer, in both communications and electro-mechanical disciplines, but his sense of humour was, to put it mildly, weird and wonderful.
And so the development of my comedy muscle was exercised by listening to the Goons, Hancock’s Halfhour, The Navy Lark, The Clithero Kid and many more.
My sense of humour was further nourished by watching Monty Python’s Flying Circus, The Goodies, The Kenny Everett Radio Show, Kenny Everett on TV, – and then the fantastic Young Ones, Bottom, Blackadder, The Fast Show.
So my sense of humour is by necessity somewhat offbeat, and sometimes is quite dark and black – as I believe in the old adage that its always good to laugh at misfortune, even if it’s someone elses.
Anyway, I thought you would enjoy my account below.
Whilst I don’t have much hair left, I do like to go to an old-fashioned gents barber shop, rather than an androgynous “salon” where a haircut can evaporate a sum equivalent to the National Debt in a matter of seconds.
However, whilst my tonsurial consultant is a traditional gents barber, it doesnt prevent him from engaging in conversations and freely sharing his opinions with me whilst he’s buzz cutting my head.
So, there I was a couple of months ago, getting a haircut prior to departing on a short holiday trip to Rome. When I mentioned the trip to the barber he responded:
“Rome? Why would anyone want to go there? It’s crowded & dirty and full of insane drivers. You’re crazy to go to Rome. So, how are you getting there?”
“We’re taking Alitalia” I replied. “We got a great rate!”
“Alitalia?” he exclaimed. “That’s a terrible airline. Their planes are tired, their flight attendants are even older, and they’re always late. So, where are you staying in Rome?”
Sighing, I explained “We’ll be at the downtown International Marriott.”
“That dump! That’s the worst hotel in the city” He replied. “The rooms are small, the service is surly and they’re overpriced. So, whatcha doing when you get there?”
“Well, I am planning on going to the Vatican and hope to see the Pope.” I replied.
“That’s rich,” he laughed. “You and a million other people trying to see him. He’ll look the size of an ant. Jeez I wish you good luck on this lousy trip of yours. You’re going to need it.”
A month later, I went into his small shop to have my regular haircut. The barber asked me about my trip to Rome.
“It was wonderful,” I explained, “not only were we on time in one of Alitalia’s brand new aircraft, but it was overbooked and they bumped me up to first class. The food and wine were wonderful, and I had a beautiful 28 year old stewardess who waited on me hand and foot. And the hotel – – it was great! They’d just finished a $25 million remodeling job and now it’s the finest hotel in the city. They, too, were overbooked, so they apologized and gave me the presidential suite at no extra charge!”
“Well,” he muttered, sullenly buzz cutting my scalp……
“I know you didn’t get to see the Pope.”
“Actually, I was quite lucky, for as I toured the Vatican, a Swiss Guard tapped me on the shoulder and explained that the Pope likes to personally meet some of the visitors, and if I’d be so kind as to step into his private room and wait, the Pope would personally greet me. Sure enough, five minutes later the Pope walked through the door and shook my hand! I knelt down as he spoke a few words to me.”
“Really?” asked my Barber. “What’d he say?”
He said, “Where’d you get that SHITTY haircut?”