In a Word . . . Barber Patsy McGarry

Published date16 September 2023
Publication titleIrish Times (Dublin, Ireland)
One of those sons, tall, thin and with so much hair it seemed his slender frame must struggle to support it, was led to the barber’s chair with a docile resignation as of a lamb to the slaughter. He had accepted his fate, there being no alternative. His hair was green and so thick it seemed the barber might need shears

His mother instructed that the boy was to have a “number three” haircut. I had to look it up later – it would leave her son with three- eighths of an inch of hair on his head. His hair “grows fast”, she told the barber.

“Shades of the prison-house begin to close/Upon the growing Boy,” Wordsworth whispered in my ear. Her intention, it seemed, was that the cut would see her son at least half-way through this term.

Soon the barbershop floor around his chair was a soft deep pile of green hair as a smooth-faced youth emerged from its shade exposed in his innocence as the boy he still was, no longer the cool, green dude he aspired to be but reduced by mother and school back to a...

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