Monday, June 10, 2013

Teasy-Weasy Like Mitchell Johnson

Teasy-Weasy Raymond was the first celebrity hairdresser. He came on my childhood radar not because of his skills with scissors but because of the Grand National. Builder Sid, a drinking pal of my father's, had given the old man a sure-fire tip for the 1963 race: Teasy-Weasy's horse Ayala. Not a great deal of attention was paid to the post-race interview with the victorious part-owner; a quid at 66-1 went a long way back then.

Teasy-Weasy, when not having a horse winning at Aintree, became famous for his innovative hairstyling, but creative snipping of this early-sixties vintage was primarily aimed at a female barnet. For the male, The Beatles were about to further the changes that Bill Haley and Elvis had been responsible for, but otherwise, the trip to the barbers was predictable in its short back 'n' sides outcome and for the way that small boys were shoved out the door when the anything for the weekend question was about to be put.

Were he alive today and being flamboyant in the faux-French style that he adopted, Teasy-Weasy would have far greater scope for hair sculpturing. The male head is no longer a mere support for the one-cut-fits-all approach of an early sixties SBnS. But what would Teasy make of the Mitchell Johnson? The Barmy Army is pretty clear what it thinks. "He combs it to the left, he combs it to the right." Mitchell manages to successfully put his foot in it not just by having a low and misdirected arm but also by sporting one of the greatest horrors to have been witnessed on a cricket pitch. In so doing, he provides the Barmies with hours of endless, drunken amusement.

I can't better the description offered by a "CharlieBronze" on "The Guardian's" website. "It is the haircut of a madman. He must have gone into the barber shop with his scrapbook of American Serial Killers from the '50s and said: 'Give me something that says Crazed Remote Gas Station Attendant who probably has a collection of human feet.' " In fact, the Mitchell bears something of a resemblance to the style favoured by that sad young man who thought he was going to blow up the university in Palma last year. Not, however, that I imagine an Australian left-arm quick would have any great knowledge of wannabe Mallorcan terrorists.

But if the Mitchell is in a similar barbering ballpark to the coiffure preferences of the close to certifiable, what of other examples of male head furniture of the modern day? You can tell a great deal about tourists (male ones, that is) from what is sitting on their scalps. Or not. And Mitchell is highly relevant in this regard.

The cricket writer Vic Marks has a theory that the reason why all Australian cricketers are now called Mitchell can be traced back to when Phil and Grant first turned up in "Eastenders". I am not convinced by this Marksism, but I am convinced that Phil and Grant were and are responsible for the absence of hair on the head of the British male tourist. The Mitchell brothers transformed the British barnet, at a stroke all but doing away with the need for hair follicles and convincing a generation to trade in their Ken Barlows for a Phil. And those who were not previously convinced of this need now most certainly are.

The British male holidaymaker comes with many years of experience of the pre-flight necessity for an appointment with the clippers of a number one. The Russians, on the other hand, have very little experience either of holidaymaking or the correct fashion accessory that is the holiday hairstyle. Years behind everyone else, they betray this inexperience by showing that they are stuck somewhere in the 1980s. And that means the mullet.

A member of a Russian family in Eroski the other day (they'd probably mistaken Eroski for being Russian) was a teenage boy who was in fact Chris Waddle, this being the Chris Waddle of the Hoddle Waddle "Diamond Lights" period. Actually, and although Waddle has passed into hair folklore for being synonymous with the mullet, it is more accurate to say that it was a Hoddle. The Waddle, in its long-at-the-back ingloriousness, appeared a bit later. Hoddle or Waddle, it doesn't really matter to the Russian tourist.

Yes, you can tell the origins of tourists from their hairstyles. So, when you see some bloke who you think looks like he's from the Jackson Five circa 1970, he will in fact be Belgian. Be warned, be very warned. There are Belgians with a Fellaini.

Any comments to please.

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