I got my hair cut today and regretted as usual that I had failed to take a photo of myself every time I get my hair cut. It’s something that I can at least start off for my child (along with keeping every pair of shoes they ever have for “Walk a Mile in my Shoes”) but what if they don’t inherit my obsession with cataloguing their life? it’s one of the hard things about having kids. Having to accept they might not have the same cool interests as you.
I don’t get my hair cut very often, six times a year at the maximum and often only once or twice, sometimes never. I imagine as I get older, I will give even less of a fuck and hardly bother with this vain frippery, maybe cutting at my own locks with a kitchen knife if they become too annoying. At least I still have plenty of hair so it’s not totally redundant to go (though there’s nothing to stop me just shaving it all off, apart from the fact that I have a massive head (second only to Alexei Sayle in show business - I wore the same hats and wigs as him in sketch shows in the 1990s) And it struck me today I have probably got less than a hundred hair cuts to go in my life. Even if I have a nice long life. I reckon it’s unlikely that I will go much more over that. It’s not like I’m thinking, oh well, that’s nearly it, let’s tread water as the clock run downs, but suddenly realising that something mundane that has been going on for years is finite and that the countdown has begun is a little sobering. I only have to do this 100 more times (even if I went crazy and got my hair cut every month for the rest of my life I’d only have 600ish to go - presuming 97 is the maximum cut off). But less than a hundred hair cuts does suddenly bring the limits of time into focus. Get busy mate, you’ve got less than a hundred hair cuts to go.
I don’t really like getting my hair cut so in some ways that’s a relief. Except the reason I won’t get any more haircuts - because I will be dead or too old to give a fuck any more- is a bit depressing. It puts it into some kind of perspective. It’s a tonsorial countdown to oblivion. I’ve had the 100th last one now, just 99 to go.
Middle age gives you a fun vantage point both backwards and forwards. I’ve definitely got less hair cuts to go than I’ve had already. But that’s true of a lot of things. I have drunk more beers than I am going to drink, run more miles than I’ve run and (if some of my friends with kids are to be believed) I am almost certainly well over halfway over the number of shags I am going to have. Not that I had millions before, but there’s only hundreds of those left (and possibly less shags than haircuts - make your own shag related pun there). I will definitely never again have sex whilst I am having my haircut - not that that ever happened (unless you count the woman who used to work at the barbers I went to in Weston Super Mare who used to push herself against her customers a bit - that was quite weird thinking about it) But a lot of weird stuff happened in the 70s and 80s.
I hope I can fit a lot more in between those last 99 hair cuts, but having 99 hair cuts left to go does make me wonder if I should be wasting any time getting my hair cut. And If I never get my hair cut again, that means logically that I will live forever. I am immortal until my hair is cut for the 100th time. That’s good to know. I have defeated death.
The video RHLSTP with Ben Goldacre is now up in the usual places
The audio will be up in the usual places soon.