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Toulouse, Haute-Garonne, France
Living alone is the key to inner happiness...Isn't it?

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Animal Rights and Beauty Parlours

So this week, given that I have no job (thanks, Government) or hobbies (thanks, HDTV), I have to thank my lucky charm (if I had one, which I don’t. Do Dream Catchers count?) that my house was invaded.Invaded, admittedly, is a strong word. But I’m told one needs to open the dialogue of one’s Blogs with an attention grabber. 


It worked in 1939, so why not now? Although, it would have been najechany in the original Polish.* So, this week, my house as been hosting more than its usual quota of inhabitants. Around 50,000 more, if truth be told. They’re small, brown and live behind the boiler. And some of them have wings. As many of you have doubtless already guessed, it’s ants. But not the nice ants like in A Bug’s Life and Antz. These are real ants, with ‘survival of the colony’ in mind. If only the Polish had been as successful as I in countering their invaders, the early 1940s would have been a lot less eventful. Although, I doubt sweeping up the Nazi threat with a Morphy Richards PremiAIR 1700 would have been as effective as it proved in this instance. Honestly, believe me when I say; Ant vs Hoover - no contest.

*Incidentally, the polish word for 'peak' is szczytowy, which when vocalised causes vomiting. Don't worry too much though, if you pronounce the word 'polish' wrong, you can use it to re-shine the furniture afterwards.

As well as our Formicidae (ant family) friends, there has also been frequent visits from a member of the Sciruidae (squirrel family, ie. a squirrel) this week. I'm no animal expert, but I'm pretty sure it's the same little fellow who comes back again and again. First it was the strawberries (the protective anti-invader mesh is laughed aside with tragic ease), and then he moved on to his other staple food source; nuts. At least, that's going off the common layman's understanding of the phrase 'nuts and berries'. Either way, those bird feeders have been ravaged. Of said bird feeders (one of which is a bird hotel, don't you know), four are hanging up in the garden. Well, were. As of monday, two remain in the garden, and two are in the garden shed, having been savaged by something, like the goat in Jurassic Park. As of this morning, one of these broken ones has moved to the garden path, with its lid off, and is now empty. Time to apply for that gun license...

Not only, however, have our Formicidae (Ant family) friends caused me a problem this week. There also happens to be a rather inquisitive Sciurida (Squirrel family, ie. a squirrel) who has been doing his best to upset me. And my strawberries. Not content with stealing the majority of the juicy red fruit through its protective mesh, he has now moved onto his other main staple food source, (and I’m going off the common household phrase, ‘nuts and berries’ here); which is, well, nuts.  There are 4 bird feeders in my garden. Or rather, there were last week. Yesterday, there were two bird feeders in my garden, and two broken bird feeders in my garden shed. As of this morning, and due to the shed door being left open, there were two bird feeders in my garden, one broken bird feeder in the garden shed, and one broken, open and empty bird feeder on the garden path. Time to get my gun licence…
*Incidentally, the polish word for ‘peak’ is ‘szczyt’, which, upon vocalising, causes vomiting. But don’t worry too much, if you pronounce ‘polish’ wrong, you can use it to re-shine the furniture.  
Does my hair look as good as my wallet feels light?   
Does my hair look as good as my wallet feels light? The other provider of excitement this week was my haircut. Only after having typed this sentence has its true depressive nature struck me. Honestly, even though Newport has tried its best to copy Liverpool’s Super Lamp Banana idea by depositing model dragons everywhere, Capital of Culture it is not.
Basically, boring personal anecdotes aside, I got my haircut. The subject of this week’s rant is really just that I cannot believe that some of these places charge so much. I had the second-cheapest option on the menu, a ‘gentleman’s dry cut’. I didn’t think the tight-faced woman would give me a discount had I pointed out that I wasn’t really a Gentleman, so I didn’t ask. I paid £11.50. I can hear the Ooo’s and Ahh’s. After that, had I so wished, I could have gone into the (dubiously named) Back Room, for a waxing. HELLO, hot wax! I have never been waxed, but I’m told that it can be painful. A chest wax costs £15. A chest-to-waist wax costs £25. This means that, for some unknown (and probably unsavoury) reason, there is ten pound’s worth of waxable hair in the space between the chest and waist. You don’t have to be a genius to realise that this would only be true if you were waxing a Gorilla. And I don’t think he’d qualify for the ‘gentleman’s dry cut’ either. After that you can get your nails done, for £30. Please. I cut mine this morning after a shower. For free.  
                                           "Do I look in a waxing mood?"     
Essentially, what I’m getting at is that this is all massively overpriced. Did the little pot of wax cost so much it warrants a price tag of £30 for a tenth of its usage? Now I’m no maths genius, but that’s £300 a pot. What.Ever.  
I am aware that a significant part of my unfortunate readership are involved, in one way or another, in cosmetics. And to you, I apologise. Not because I’ve just slagged off your livelihoods, interests and hobbies for the last few paragraphs; but rather because you feed a rip-off industry with no morals, social fairness or economic credibility.   
Having said all this, I’m male (I think), and thus my purse strings are never tightened by this unforgiving industry. And, in fairness, makeup does make women look really good. So (and for the first time ever), I'm going to go contrary to all I've said before when I ask the question; Is L'OrĂ©al really 'worth it'? Hell yeah it is.  

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