Tuesday 3 May 2011

Ghosts in the salon

It’s not even lunchtime and the day is becoming surreal already. Last week I pitched up to have my hair cut only to be informed I was late – 24 hours late. Too late. So I rebooked and got ready for a second coming this morning.

Chatted on Twitter (as you do). ‘Get them doing conscious breathing, visualisation, meditation, communing with God,’ said one tweepfriend. Well, he didn’t put it quite like that, but that was the gist. ‘Oh don’t be daft,’ I replied. ‘It’s a tea and biscuits place. We’ll talk about holidays.’ Except, I didn’t say exactly that (140 characters and all).

But, blow me down with a feather. I’m sitting there, stroking the head of the attendant flat-coated retriever while having my mop tamed and I ask the hairdresser possibly THE most innocuous question ever. ‘How’s it going?’ Thinking she’d tell me about her new patio or her holiday in Bulgaria.

‘Well,’ she says. ‘I’ve got a bit of a ghost problem.’ And she goes on to tell me about her haunted attic and how her teenage son won’t sleep there anymore on account of all the groaning. And she continues to tell me how she’s getting the priest to come in and do a bit of deliverance. And I sort of mutter quietly about how she could do a bit of DIY stuff, horribly aware that there’s this woman with her hair in tin foil about three foot away who is listening in and probably thinking, ‘Wayhay, local fruitloop alert’. Except she then chimes in and says, ‘Absolutely. You can use sound as well – just make sure you leave the windows open.’ And we’re off – discussing effective space clearing and entity evacuation techniques from around the world – all thoughts of tea, biscuits and Bulgarian beaches out the window.

So, when the snipping is done, I end up demonstrating Space Clearing 101 – with Introduction to Clapping Techniques – to a chorus of affirming nods and claps from Mrs Tin Foil.
I take a bow and go to pay. ‘Sorry,’ I say to the woman on the till. ‘That was probably a bit weird.’
‘Oh God, no,’ she replied. ‘I’ve got an awful entity myself. If the dog doesn’t sleep on the bed, I get this hand stroke my back.’
I raise an eyebrow. ‘God no,’ she says. ‘I sleep on my own. And it’s not even nice stroking.  Sort of a large hand and rather rough.’
‘Can’t you move the bed?’ I say, helpfully.
‘No, the room’s too small,’ she replies. ‘Anyhow, it’s fine. If the dog’s not there, I just use a pillow.’

Ye gods, I love Exmoor people. They're just so flipping pragmatic. Pillow placement for ghost-containment.  Who'd a thought?


Sessha Batto said...

I want to move to Exmoor! That is SO much more interesting than the conversation I have at the hairdressers. Of course, that usually consists of 'you don't really want me to cut it like that, do you?' and 'this can't be your real color, how do you keep your roots touched up?' Hmmm, maybe I SHOULD give a clearing demonstration anyway and shake up the joint (although Lurch would wither from embarrassment and probably refuse to ever tame him mop again!)

internetg33k said...

Reminds me of the time I accidently wore my pentacle to a local book club, and ended up having a very matter-of-fact discussion about Wicca and Tarot cards with everyone in the library. Surreal and marvelous all at the same time... <3

DD's Diary said...

OMG I am NEVER coming to Exmoor! Sounds completely terrifying. Mind you,probably better than another chat about holidays ...just x

Rob-bear said...

Um, fascinating. Yes; that's the word. Or weird. But lovely Exmoor folks. It seems you're precisely in your element.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful. The pragmatism just tickles me (in a very non-ghostly hand sort of way)

Alison Cross said...

Brilliant! All that we talk about at my hairdressers is horses and who's had a baby....

I believe there IS quite a bit of activity here on the island and wanted to write a book about it. But no-one that I spoke to was willing to have their house included in case it adversely affected property prices *sigh* island pragmatism...

Ali x

janet langman said...

I have surreal conversations at my local hairdressers. I enjoy telling them things like the Queen owns everything and can kick us out of our homes at any time if she wants to stay. They are now reliably informed that it is a Queen's rule that one eats Christmas pudding for the fortnight surrounding Christmas and that you have to teach English to any foreigh neighbours, under pain of being summoned before the Magistrate and getting them kicked out of the Uk if they and you do not succeed. It is just a little fight back on my part against the senseless and impenetrable bureaucracy and the fact that there is never any coffee on offer. The last time I ended up looking like Mireille Matheiu. Suspect they are on to me... My word verification is lurgered. I rather like it and will try and slip it into conversations... perhaps not with the French tho..