As I was about to go into the shop, this man in front who was built like a brick outhouse was clearly struggling with the official recommendations about wearing face coverings. Here was a man not used to putting on a mask. Here was a man not used to shopping, I suspected.
He looked at me with all the warmth and tenderness of John Wayne about to dispatch another mob of no-good cattle rustlers and said: “A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.”
He pulled up his scarf, pulled down his knitted beanie hat, sighed loudly as he opened the door and vanished inside. I followed and watched him flit from aisle to aisle as he bought mainly cleaning products. And toilet rolls – which, I suppose, is a cleaning product. Yeah? Of course it is. What else would you do with it, apart from tie the end to a small puppy and teach it to fetch?
Why on Earth did that man need to paraphrase John Wayne in the movie Stagecoach to go and buy soap, Pledge and toilet paper, as if it was some act of bravery? I think the problem was that he didn’t want to wear the mask. In our topsy-turvy world of new normal, it’s good people who wear masks while those without are the baddies. I kept quiet but I was tearing my hair out at his attitude.
As it happens, lockdown hair is now a big deal too. Remember how some of our loftiest, puffed-up politicians have been bleating about how we are all in this together. Yet there is little sign that they have a hair out of place. So how can they say it when they look as if they have just stepped out of the pages of a J D Williams catalogue? The whole we-are-all-in-this-together thing is very important.
Her husband could give the first minister a tidy-up of the back and sides but naw. She has been videoing herself cutting her own locks and she made a pretty good job of it.
So much so that it has become a talking point on all these pointless TV shows where they have little new to talk about. Podgy men in London studios, like Lord Digby Jones and Andrew Pierce, sneer that there’s no way Nicola could have done an “immaculate” job without breaching lockdown rules.
Our FM did what a female FM has to do. She went Zoom. No, she is not a superhero in a cape – they wear PPE, nowadays. Ms Sturgeon had her hairdresser on a Zoom video link guiding her on what to snip. She was told that to thin hair without it looking like you took almighty great chunks out of it, you use scissors with serrated blades. Like dressmakers’ shears, but for perms.
So I welcome the fluffy famous few showing solidarity with the rest of us by looking eminently and honourably scruffy. I don’t care if Health Secretary Matt Hancock has a wife or partner at home who can cut his hair or not. The point is that he should take a stand with the people who do not and assume a look as bedraggled as Worzel Gummidge. I am asking the public to look more scruffy – except the prime minister, obviously.
This talk of snipping and cutting is unnerving me. It all started with my first girlfriend in Brighton. ‘Twas a hot summer’s day so she suggested we make up a picnic and head to the beach. I packed everything we could possibly need into that hamper. I was shocked because I had no idea it was a topless beach. The far end was bottomless too. After a while, we became more brave. I pulled off my string semmit. Your turn, Felicity, dearest. After a while, she told me to undo her at the back. I struggled but I did it, eventually.
She then said: “You don’t have much experience taking off bras, do you?”
I retorted: “Of course I do. Er, no I don’t. What gave me away?” She replied: “The scissors, mostly.”
Well done to those that are already allowing themselves to become Hairy Harrys. The weatherman Tomasz Schafernaker is a perfect example. He has a girlfriend who could be trimming his locks but he is now reaching up on that big weather map showing us all that the rain from Spain does not just fall mainly on the plain but in Stornoway and Lerwick while looking quite dishevelled. Good for him.
The lockdown has also really made me jittery about how fragile things are. Is it me or do things just break in my hands? An hour ago, when I was buttoning my shirt, a button fell off. Then I went to the supermarket and the handle came off the basket. Then I had to rush home and I got to the bathroom door and the handle fell off. Oh heck. Now this man is afraid to go in there and do what this man has gotta do.