Golden Fingers

No broken bottles this morning – have we turned a corner? Who knows. But I was glad as I am not a fan of sweeping up.

This was not to say I did not see Dick today. I took my dogs down to the park and as I reached the top carpark, I saw the familiar figure of his dog  enter just ahead of him. He swaggered behind her, and if he saw me chose to ignore it, then continued down the field and through the training practice that some lacrosse players were having. Brave but foolish. I used to play lacrosse and know exactly how much it hurts when a lacrosse ball, which is about the size of a cricket ball but made of solid rubber, hits you. Added to its size and weight is the fact that it has been catapulted at speed from a lacrosse stick. Still, it is his life and a knock to the head is certainly not going to leave his brain any less scrambled. He did have to dodge a few but I think he got through relatively unscathed.

He walked to the end of the park and out across the road and I wondered for a minute if he was off up the road past my house again, via the bottle shop for more ammunition. As it happens, this was not what he was doing. Twenty minutes later as I stood near my car at the bottom of the park again, taking to another dog walker who had lived in the area all her life and knows him, he appeared from around the corner on his way back. He seemed to have been to the shops as he was carrying a litre of Coke.

I had actually been talking about him when he appeared. It seems the reason he keeps walking past my place is that there is a house due for demolition around the corner from where I live and he is hanging out there with his mates, one of whom still lives there and is due to move out in the next couple of weeks. Once the house goes, he will presumably have less reason to hang around where we live. It is crazy, really. I remember a line from the film Crocodile Dundee where the journalist asks Mick Dundee what he thinks about the land rights issue. He stares out across the vast landscape that is Australia and replies, ‘Seems a big enough country to me. I figure there should be room for all of us.’ Surely my suburb is the same?

It seems even the park is big enough. He strode back into the park, greeted my companion cheerfully by name, patted Lucy, my dog and then took up a seat under a tree with his. As he walked away I noticed he had a couple of chops, still wrapped in their polystyrene tray sticking out of his back pocket. ‘That’ll be for his dog,’ my companion explained.

What with the day of sloth yesterday, we had shopping to do and my husband came with me. This was a bad idea as he had found out there was a sale in the ABC shop. The ABC is one of two public broadcasters and their shops are always great for Xmas presents, but now they are moving to online only, which would be great, except the postal service over here is so bad, you may as well walk to the warehouse, which I think is on the other side of the country, and pick it up yourself.

Their shops are closing down and so everything is on sale. My husband is not one to miss an opportunity to save $90 by spending $300 so that is exactly what we did. Still, I got a couple of good cookbooks and he got some books about war, which made him happy.

Later in the day I had to drop into a local pet suppliers to get Lucy and Archie  some new dog tags. They have an engraving machine in the shop and you can pick from colored tags in the shape of bones or fire hydrants. I think, though that I would be better off next time buying them proper thick tags as the colour rubs off these quickly and as soon as it does, you can’t make the telephone numbers out anymore.

As I was getting back into the car, I spotted  a barber’s shop I have never noticed before. The shop was closed, but the sign was arresting. The sign itself was blue and white and red – like the traditional barber’s shop pole stripes, but with added blue bits and the name of the shop was planted squarely in the middle. I can’t help but imagine all the work that may have gone into that. I mean, running your own business is a big deal. You have buy equipment for the shop to make it your own, you will refurbish – freshen the paint up a little and choose a name that will really put your business on the map.

‘So, Son! My Son! The day has come and you are ready to be a man. You have your own shop, these seats of the finest leather. We have spent many days painting the walls and relaying the floor so your customers will know you are the best in the business! Three years you have trained in the art of shaping and waxing, of coloring and sculpting so that a man can walk in to this barber shop and leave with his head held high.’

‘Yes father. And today we put up the sign that will bring people far and wide to this establishment.’

‘Ah yes. What are you going to call this place that you have worked so hard to build? So that the people will know of your art.’

‘Golden Fingers’

‘Ah yes, wonderf… Say that again?’

‘Golden Fingers. I am going to call my shop, ‘Golden Fingers Barber Shop’

‘Golden Fingers? Are you sure? You don’t maybe want to think about it?’

‘No father, Golden Fingers it is.’

Maybe it is just me, but every time I think of that barber, I see a man, not with hands of golden fingers but with fishfingers. Trying in vain to pick up a pair of scissors as breadcrumbs fall tragically to the floor. What was he thinking? Maybe he was a Bond fan and thought he could capitalize on the title. Maybe he thought he was licensed to trim. Either way he was wrong. He has managed to name his shop at best after either frozen food for kids or something you might find on the menu of a Chinese restaurant or at worst after a service you might request in a high class brothel.

One thing is certain, when it comes to choosing a name for his business, this guy definitely does not have the Midas touch.


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