* Pix by Judy Reinen 1997
Well, the new financial year is already upon us and the household budget is sorely in need of a trim.
What better place to start than expenditure on locks and tresses?
Now I confess it was not so very long ago I forked out $150 to have my hair cut by a well known Melbourne hairdresser.
That’s just cut, not coloured, streaked, extended with virgin hair from the temple of Tirumala Venkateswar or dipped in gold leaf.
The hairdresser – we’ll call him Fronk – tutt-tutted sadly over my head before attacking me with the gusto of Edward Scissorhands.
When he was finished I was too shocked to speak.
Mutely, I handed over the money and fled.
Arriving home, my husband confirmed my worst suspicions.
“Nice mullet,” said he.
The next day I went to a nearest barber and had myself de-mulleted.
Having thoroughly learnt my lesson, I’ve never paid any more than $25 for a short back and sides ever since, so don’t be looking at me Mr Bank Manager.
The husband pays even less. And, as he points out, the chemo will soon put paid to his modest $15 monthly outlay.
That just leaves … The Dog.
The dog’s hairdresser, Tru-Dee, sports a pelmet of industrial blonde and I suspect it’s Fronk’s handiwork because she also charges a real clip.
This is the dog’s second stylist. The first one sheared her hindquarters and undercarriage so closely it was like the canine equivalent of a Brazilian.
Like she’s only four – so neither of us were having that.
Tru-Dee, by contrast, seems to groom by Reiki – harnessing the fur’s life force without actually touching a dog.
I drop the dog off and five hours later pick her up smelling like strawberry-flavoured bubblegum, but looking just as hirsute, which always leaves me wondering if I haven’t been sold a pup.
Perhaps, my inner accountant suggested, you could save upwards of $700 a year by cutting the dog’s hair yourself.
Really, a dog’s bowl cut?
Now, that would be a shaggy dog story.
* Image from the New York School of Dog Grooming we’d go there if it weren’t so damn far away from Australia