The Orange Barbershop Quartet

Have you ever heard ladies laugh, I mean really dirty laugh, a conspiratorial titter that erupts like a wave of mirth, then engulfs an entire room? Well, I have.

An utterly innocent remark I made during an Orange-themed dinner party last Saturday, with four of my closest lady friends, may have caused structural damage to the Bloomsbury area. While regaling them with tales of my lustrous – and in no way thinning – silver locks, I mentioned what my barber (Mill Lane Barbers, NW6) had said to me on my last visit.

“ John, every time you come it gets thicker.”

I’m not sure where the first titter came from (I have my suspicions, SL). At first I thought it was a cross conversation – not being listened to wouldn’t be a first, especially as it was hardly my finest repartee – but in a moment all four orange goddesses were cackling with mirth like drunken sailors, tears rolling down their radiant faces, and their laughter grew and grew. I felt very left out. What had happened?

“ What’s the joke?” I asked.

“ Do you know what you just said?”

I didn’t, I couldn’t think of anything, I was just telling them about……

“Oh fuck!!!! Yes, I see. Shame on you, ladies!”

As the spirit of Sid James has channelled through their honeyed larynxes I am blushing so hard you could fry eggs on my face, especially when they repeat my words back to me with their own mocking inflections. Still, It’s certainly one way of breaking the ice at parties. I might even have it printed on a T-shirt.

The Orange evening was a magical triumph that I am massively privileged to have been a part of. No men to ruin the mix, with their macho bravado and bog brush beards (except yours truly, an honorary Orange County lady, the new Sir Les Patterson, with his barbershop quartet) but if I told you any more, I’d certainly have to kill you.

Ernie Pip 20.04.15

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