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At the Sign of the Barber's Pole

Deep joy - I have at long last found a decent Barber's shop in Wiltshire. For years I have put up with an ever changing rota of feral youths in my local establishments who having passed an NVQ in holding sharp scissors in their pudgy white tattooed paws believe they are doing you a favour in randomly snipping bits of hair off. Unless you want a bleached cockatoo for a hairstyle you end up looking like Nick Griffen.
But tucked away on Winchester Street, Salisbury, I found a proper Turkish barber. Not only did he cut my hair properly in silence, I had the pleasure of him scraping round my neck with a cut throat razor, (maybe that is why Nick Griffen doesn't use a Turkish Barber), and the old flaming wand was produced to singe off the hairs in and on my ears and nose. If you have never had a Turk gently blowing a flame into your ear, and balming it with unguents of the orient, you have never been properly prepared to face the rigours of the day.


But did he offer you anything for the weekend

BE CAREFUL - living is dangerous
Most people die from it.

Alan Douglas

The Gentleman's Shop will do everything you say except set fire to your head.

I shave my own.

Here in the Land Of The Round Doorknobs the last barber but one to shave my neck with a straight razor was a fellow in 1968 or so who'd been a U S Marine in Panama in the 1920s and who told the best off-color stories about peacetime military service and chasing whores. His hand would shake all the while, and yet was steady as a die when he laid his other palm over my kopf to do his thing with the blade. He dropped a razor once, though -- and, it shattered like glass. It was a specialized English steel.

Then, in Old Mankato, there was John The Barber, a scion of our oldtime Syrian Christian ("Lebanese") community. There was some "mandate" and so he had to quit with the razor.... When he retired, twelve years or so since I bought a clippers and shave my own topknot. It's all terribly selfsufficient I guess, but lowclass too, no doubt about it!

Wasn't there something in /Bevis/ about a razor? Or am I thinking of /Peck's Bad Boy/?

Nice post---brings my younger days to mind--always enjoyed a civilised cut and shave from the "Rockies". Cost very little and always felt relaxed and happy after.
Sadly far to hairless and tight to have anyone other than myself do it now.

Aaaaargh yet another reason to visit those therrrrre parrrrts.

Ah yes I go to my own as well I have a Turkish Barbers nearby

Hope that link works

Wonderful story. I spent some time in eastern Turkey in my military days. One of the highlights of my tour was the recurring Saturday morning visit to Ikram the Barber. It was all there: the hot towels, shaving soap in a cup applied with a horsehair brush, the steady-handed straight razor over the jugular, flaming lemon-scented alcohol on a swab tapped to the ears, and even the twisted strands (rubber bands?) used to pluck up any fiercely independent remaining hairs. Best of all, pre- and post- small glasses of Turkish chai with lumps of sugar. Just the thing for the morning after the night before...

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