Vaga Bond

I need a haircut.

And a shave.

It’s the end of the long weekend and earlier today Wallington declared me ‘dishevelled’. I felt like Russell Crowe.

But I’ve just come in from the garden and now I look like a ‘vagabond’, apparently.

‘Did you say James Bond?’

‘No. Vaga Bond.’

Soon she’ll be throwing me a blanket and telling me I can sleep in the garden shed. I quite like the idea of some old bloke living in our garden shed. I just don’t want it to be me.

Normally I’ve got no idea when I had my last haircut. When I show up looking like an unshorn sheep Tommy asks how long it’s been since my last cut.

‘About six weeks’ is my standard reply.

This exasperated Tommy so much last time he dropped his scissors and went over to the desk to check the bookings.

‘It was three months ago!’ he shrieked back at me. ‘You look like a mad scientist.’

This time around I know when I had my last haircut because it was just before we went overseas back in early July. It’s three months ago again! I’m tempted to ask where the time goes but I know it’s gone into my hair. I look like some kind of mad male Medusa. Scientist. Vagabond.

Appearance is an odd thing. More than anything else, I think, it creates our lives. The way we look determines our choices, our friends, our diet, our personality, our chances. I take being tall for granted, most of the time, but all sorts of studies indicate that it has helped me through life.

Wearing glasses since I was a schoolboy has influenced me in other ways. I never got to play in the forward line for Geelong Football Club. Or maybe that was because I’m a shithouse kick. On the bright side I can read poetry. Girls seldom make passes at boys who wear glasses but somehow I ended up with Wallington. Maybe it was because I’m tall.

Actually that was one tick in my favour, as I recall. And I could read poetry. And I was a loner. And I carried her typewriter (read antelope) back to her cave at university.

That was a cocktail of appearances that changed my life for good.

All these years later, for reasons obscure, we have several mannequins in our house here in Sydney and most people find them ‘creepy’. People are strange. What’s creepy about a life-like-life-size plastic thing staring at you with unblinking eyes and a kind-of smile? That moves like a weeping angel when you’re not looking at it.

Anyway, appearances matter and before the long weekend with a houseful of potentially creeped out peeps Wallington decided to change things. She created a mask. Judge for yourself.

Still creepy? Don’t invite you to our next dinner party? Let me know.

I love it in a laugh out loud weird way. But I’ve taken the precaution of booking a session with Tommy before I wake up with a mask glued to my face.

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