How To Train Your Haircut

dragon2And so another round of school holidays careens towards its noisy conclusion.

I like school holidays because I get to take my kids to the movies.

Any trip to the movies is a rare treat so there’s a lot at stake. I try to hide it, but I usually get a bit uptight. My body has learned to cultivate a very specific cinema-related tension.

It’s all about getting there on time and getting a decent seat. Getting the right seat is critical. If you were born tall then you probably never noticed the little people behind you who are weeping into their tiny souls because a giant head is in the way.

Fortunately I’m taller now, but that residual panic remains on behalf of my children. I don’t want them to suffer behind inconsiderately tall people the way I once had to suffer during Superman III.

About an hour before the film I get jumpy. My exterior is an ocean of calm, but on the inside I am plotting against each and every person standing between me and the theatre doors.

Our film for these holidays was How To Train Your Dragon 2. We fought off a bunch of toddlers for the best seats and had an enjoyable time listening to everyone else eating ridiculous amounts of popcorn.

The film itself was great fun. My review: it’s not quite as tight as the original, but if you must have a sequel to one of my favourite movies it hits all the right notes.

It’s been a good school holidays, punctuated by varying degrees of sickness, myself included. To inject a little Shakespeare into this page, now is the winter of my discontent made glorious by respite from a cold that has dogged me for six weeks.

Seriously, six long weeks of flubbery glug-headedness. Nothing really debilitating, but exhausting for the length of it. It’s the longest I’ve ever been knocked back. Others have said the same. We seem to have had it rough this year.

If I made any bad decisions during that time you can blame it on my cold. Like cheering for Brazil or giving myself a rubbish haircut.

I usually cut my own hair. I haven’t paid for a haircut for at least five years but that’s probably about to change. This week was my first real disaster. One slightly over-enthusiastic move spiraled out of control. My wife made a noble rescue attempt but the damage was done. I had successfully turned myself into a cartoon.

I looked in the mirror and managed to convince myself I could get away with it. Then I went to work and no one said a word. Not. One. Word. A conspiracy of diplomatic silence. The next day a good friend cheerfully confirmed that I do in fact look like a dork.

So I have come to the end of my pride, the end of the holidays, the end of my cold and also the end of the World Cup.

The World Cup had a strange effect on me, which is that I now think I’m a champion footballer. Kicking that ball around looks really easy from the couch. By the end of the tournament, whenever those world-class players sent the ball awry, I would find myself scoffing that I probably could have done better.

My son and I took a football to Fergusson Park last weekend and I learned otherwise. I suck, and so does my haircut.

Oh well, it’ll grow back. And next time I might visit a proper hair dresser.

First published in Bay of Plenty Times 18 July 2014. Reproduced with permission.