Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Jain Hair

When things got particularly hot last summer, I popped into my local Jain Hair outlet to have my scalp cropped.

If you’ve been to Jain Hair before, you’ll know how quick they are at shifting the punters.  As their strapline says: In & out in 30 seconds or we chant on your birthday and sponsor a maltreated pony.

So I’m expecting a quick zip under the Tibetan Remington when the saffron-robed manager informs me that his staff are downing tools for a twenty minute meditation.  Apparently, Bono’s lawnmower has conked out and they figure he needs a little zen-style goodwill transcendentalising his way.

“But I’ll be late for work,” I say.

“He who rushes,” the manager begins, “is as a thrush among the rushes of a swamp when the North Wind blows.”

“No chance of one of the acolytes fitting me in, then?” 

“Acolytes?  We’re all equals round here, mate.”  He bows low till his head swings between his ankles and hands me a photocopied pamphlet about the miracle of life.  “Have a nice day — and don’t murder anyone.”

The philosophy of the Jain Buddhists is a simple one: life is precious and none of God’s creatures should ever be harmed.  If the Jain had been in charge of Auschwitz, maybe a few more people would have made it through till 1945.  I pondered this (and more) as I sat in my greenhouse among my cactus collection, breezing through the pamphlet, and when time came to move everything prickly indoors at the end of September I was minded once again to reflect on the sanctity of life.


Because the fattest of my cacti, it appeared, was now host to a colony of tiny fruit flies — tiny fruit flies that the beast in me wished to swat from existence.  There’s no fruit on cacti, of course, but since it would be wrong to describe the flies as either gnats, bluebottles or craneflyesque monstrosities of wing and antenna and sting, ‘fruit flies’ it has to be — hordes of them, buzzing about like the coat buttons of leprechauns magicked into the air by O Reilleys of telekinetic vim, urging me to swat swat swat.  Oddly, my hand was stilled as if a spectral tug-o-war team of hairdressing monks had lashed a panda fur rope about my wrist and yanked in unison.  Once again, I heard the Jain Hair manager’s words, as clearly as if he were standing in front of me looking totally plucked.

“Have a nice day — and don’t murder anyone...”

Three months on, and the flies now inhabit my landing window.  When I wake each morning, half a dozen fresh new insects ber-zoop about prickle and glass with the gadabout glee of Disney’s finest full stops from the script of Snow White tossed high like Roger McGough apostrophes.  At first I allowed them to proliferate, but when Son of Whirl complained about the light being blotted out by “that cloud of darkness swirling at the top of the stairs with the menace of an Apocolypse-style abomination” I realised it was time either to defy the wishes of my favourite Buddhist hair stylists or Blue Peter a special attachment for the vacuum cleaner to suck them to a more shed-based kind of safety.

And that’s when I saw it in the 27½p shop: the Special Battery-Powered Plastic Sucky Tubey Thing For Vacuuming Spiders And Wobbies.

Technical conundrums prevent me from bringing you the conjoined buzzing harmony of the transported flies and the Tubey Thing’s “Can Do, 150%” AAA batteries, but if you imagine the contents of a sex shop plugged in to the generator used by Queen during the Live Aid gig at Wembley, maybe your ears will sing with the right kind of zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzuuuuurrrrrbbbbbb.

How many lives have you saved since the end of the Summer?

And would vacuum cleaner fiction be of interest in the absence of a bonkbuster or thriller?


Eryl said...

If you can fuse all three: vacuum cleaner fiction, bonkbuster, and thriller, I'll buy it.

Whirlochre said...


Thanks for dropping by.

Apart from the bonking, I have it — plus better sound effects than the bonking.

fairyhedgehog said...

Vacuum cleaner fiction is bound to catch on.

Whirlochre said...

Hog Hag Bat

Guaranteed to suck...