Monday, 28 May 2012

An Exciting tale involving Hair and Goats

Children tend to worship me; it is both a blessing and curse.

There is one particular child to whom I recently emphasised the benefits of combing over brushing. I wish I had been given such sage advice at her tender age.

As it was, my mother insisted on brushing. Despite her own hirsute difficulties, she believed that one hundred brushes a day was the way to care for unruly hair, having read such instructions in a 1960’s hairdressing manual entitled ‘Then Benevolent Bouffant’ which was first published in 1880 by a Madam Borelli going under the pseudonym Mrs Gloria Smith on account of the Xenophobia of Victorian Coiffeurs.

I have to admit I was rather reluctant to have my hair brushed. She would often have to lasso me, dragging me backwards, whilst I endeavoured to escape with great muster and energy but ultimate futility. She became so aggravated by this daily struggle that she decided to remove my hair in its entirety.

Sadly my powers of telepathy and precognition were greatly reduced by this occurrence and, being such a young child with nothing but my long hair to distinguish me from the opposite sex, I was often mistaken for a boy. So much so that when I was abducted in Tangiers and sold into slavery; I became a goat herder. Usually a position reserved for male slaves.


Despite being gored on the third day by a wether of dubious origin, I enjoyed my new role and wandered the North African mountains with a song in my heart, but I pined for my motherland and decided to make my escape. After leaving my herd in the dead of night, I made my way to the coast. I had learned enough rudimentary French to convince an old seadog to let me work passage to mainland Spain aboard his fishing vessel.

not the wether in question
We made it to Granada within a week and I promptly set about trekking across the Iberian peninsula on foot. However I was no Bear Grylls. Consequently, within just 36 hours of my arrival, I collapsed from malnutrition and exhaustion.

I was taken in by a local baker and his young wife, Maria Rodriquez Elizondo, whose cousin, José, had a basic working knowledge of English and at last my story could be told! The family kindly contacted the local authorities but unfortunately at this time Spain and the UK had rather tense relations due to the Falklands crisis and there was toing and froing between governements; neither side willing to show weakness.

Forced into a corner, through their own pride, the British Government decided to use force and sent in a small SAS contingent; Delta Squad. It was a dangerous move and although they were well trained and well prepared, they hadn’t bargained on the strength of the Spanish resistance (the last bastion against Franco) becoming involved, for no clear reason.

Those farmers were fierce and managed to take out eleven of the twelve men in Delta Squad. But one man, Bob, survived, he managed to get me safely into a passing helicopter, largely thanks to a Sikh and his unbelievably strong turban which he wore despite suffering from alopecia universalis.

Needless to say, we made it back to the UK in one piece (albeit in complete secrecy) and I was delivered home to my waiting family, who mistakenly believed me to be ‘hiding somewhere’ and hadn’t noticed my significant absence from the household.

By this time my hair had grown back, almost to its original length, however, not having learned her lesson, my mother hacked it off again. 

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