I have Barbershop Inertia. I realised this at 8am this morning as I staggered, zombie-like, onto the local mass-transit system in order to travel all the way across south London to get my manly mane trimmed by a familiar face. I had no need to undertake this ill-advised journey of course. I could just as easily have gone to Bev's Barbers down the road, or the inviting looking place with the three jolly Italians around the corner. But I have Barbershop Inertia, so these convenient tonsorial artists are forever out of my reach.
What is it, I wonder, that causes such fervent loyalty to this most generic of professions? I will gladly cast aside a general practitioner when I relocate, and I have no qualms about securing the services of a more local dentist, but when it comes to the subject of my personal coiffeur I am resolutely single minded. I will happily write-off entire mornings, undertake lengthy and perilous Frodo-esque journeys, and hide my secret shame from family and friends in order to avoid the inevitable "you travel how far..? for that...!?" quizzical inquiry.
I could maybe understand it, perhaps, if I was blessed with a more flamboyant head of hair. But barber science has not yet advanced to the stage where anything remotely flighty could be done with my barnet. Indeed, my main success criterion from such a trip is that my hair is measurably shorter when I leave and I have no visible scars. Nothing more. No fanciful highlights, or sculpted peaks and troughs for me, no sir, just a trim and I'll be on me way.
I think my Barbershop Intertia comes from the fact that it is difficult to find a forgiving and ambitionless snipper. One not hindered by notions of rescuing a lost cause, one who is content merely to maintain and not create! schmoosh! or bedazzle! Many a brash young barber has battled for long hours with my curious crown, my wayward fringe and the inevitable parting, thinking that they among their peers would be the one to tame the untameable. All fail though. I believe it is that look of abject disappointment and disillusionment I wish to avoid. The metaphorical sigh, removal of rubber gloves and the exhausted utterance: "time of death: 0915, there's nothing more we can do here".
Am I alone here? Is anyone else inexplicably attached to an inconvenient barbershop?