Bland On Bland – Haircuts

The theme for the JVG Radio Method today was “HAIRCUTS”. Jon is still on holidays so today we had Peter Lawler (Dr Pump) in control.

Click to play today’s piece … [audio:JVG_Poem20070722.mp3] (Sorry that the recording is a bit gritty today.)

In today’s thrilling instalment we meet the Hair Police and a wig with aspirations. It’s also based on a true incident in my life.

Ed Bates played guitar today.


clause six of the 1971 dress code of an anonymous church run private school stated:
the general appearance of every boy must be smart at all times.
particular attention must be paid to length of hair and style of haircut

ambiguous words, like the bible itself
re-interpreted over the years
in 71 it meant an inch above the collar
and a quarter above the ears

enforcing the code was the hair police
a ruthless organization
offenders were marched off to meet the school barber
it was follicle vilification

leading those bastards, a henchman named pig
vigorous in his pursuit
drunk from the power, ruler in hand,
hunting anyone vaguely hirsute

longhair was banished, short hair forbidden
mullets rooted out with a passion
afros were culled, sideburns were chopped
any style remotely in fashion

a student named humpy, he studied those rules
all summer continued to dig
just after christmas he discovered a loophole
there was nothing about wearing a wig

he marched into myers, piggy bank rattling
but alas, he discovered only then
twenty bucks wouldn’t buy you a half decent eyebrow
came out looking like barbie’s ex boyfriend ken

the first week at school he thought nobody’s sussed it
none said a word but they looked at him strange
till chipper said “humpy, is it true you’ve got cancer”
cause that wig looks as shit as a dog with the mange”

he’d wake up at six, wash his hair, pin it up
pull on his wig while still half asleep
when it came off at four it steamed like a sauna
with the texture and smell of an old compost heap

as his hair grew longer, his head grew larger
made hid him look intellectual, like your classic science nerds
now instead of humpy, they renamed him brains
after the smart arse geek in thunderbirds
the principle knew, but chose to ignore it
correctly pegged humpy as a harmless bogan
a nod and a wink, like commandant klink
and the old “i know nothing”, as shultz said to hogan

one day at the beach, humpy saved a boy drowning
before they reached shore the press had descended
next day his photo was in all of the papers
with his name, age and suburb and the school he attended

the school board was livid and screaming for action
appalled by the image portrayed in the press
they demanded his head, to limit the damage
the principle promised to sort out the mess

at assembly on monday they hailed him a hero
the principle leading a rousing salute
on tuesday he was summoned to the principle’s office
and given the choice, his hair or the boot

“being a church school” the head master stated
“we must make no exceptions lest our moral code slides”
humpy responded “how can hair be immoral
i’ve never seen jesus with short back and sides”

the principle hissed “i don’t like boys who’re smart
watch yourself son, don’t take me for a fool”
“if you don’t like boys who’re smart” replied humpy
“why the hell are you running a school”

his fury palpable, the principle grated
“chew on this, you think you’re so clever
boyo, it’s either the hair goes or you go”
humpy responded “i’d prefer we both left together”

as he hopped on the school bus for the very last time
on the radio hendrix was singing “stone free”
that seven mile journey was like a ride on the tardus
the world between school and reality

humpy kept his hair, the school kept their standards
both sides the loser due to humpy not returning
the school lost a much smart articulating student
and him didn’t get him no intelligent learning

that wig still survives, with its lush nylon locks
lives in retirement, no longer working
shares a drawer in the cupboard with the y fronts and socks
in it’s next life it wants to come back as a merkin*

* Merkin

© Copyright 2007 Ian Bland

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