But I had good reason for concern. Whatever I’d said wrong would be relayed to my dad when he called in to Gormans on Saturday for his monthly grooming.
If Charlie McGrath was cheap, then Seamus Jennings was a surgeon and a showman.
Edward Scissorshands wouldn’t be in it.
Snip, snip, snip, snip, snip, snip, snip, SNIP (brief pause) snip, snip, snip, snip, SNIP …
the barber’s parlour would resound to the tune of the master craftsman.
And all of this before he even approached the customer. He was just warming up.
I ducked instinctively. I always thought a half dozen like him on the front line in a theatre of war would cow any enemy.
I noticed too that, involuntarily, my hands were covering my crotch.
It’s a funny thing in these days when impressions are more important than reality, that there are no ‘showmen barbers’ left. Why would that be?
At the other end of the barber’s parlour, a different tune – and an alternative drama – was being played out, courtesy of the Boss.
Slll aa p…. Slaaap …. Slap … Swishhh …. shluppp …. sclurrrrppp …
Nimble hands drew the keen edge of the cut-throat blade up and down the leather strap, suspended from a stud fastened tight to the mirrored wall.
Sl ..urpp …. Swishhhh …. Zzzzzzz … slummm p … slaaap ….
I marvelled that an ordinary piece of leather could bring a razor-sharp edge to the business-end of a cut-throat blade.
This pair of boyos could strike fear into the Huns, no less!
The expectant victim had his head tilted towards the ceiling, the lower end of his face swathed in a warm towel, to relax the skin and prepare it for the ordeal to come.
His eyes were firmly closed.
There was no reading the degree of his trepidation!