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Positive putdown for negative hairdresser

By ERIC SHACKLE, in Sydney, Australia

This is something to think about when negative people are doing their best to rain on your parade. So remember this story the next time someone who knows nothing and cares less tries to make your life miserable.

A woman was at her hairdresser's getting her hair styled for a trip to Rome with her husband. She mentioned the trip to the hairdresser, who responded, "Rome? Why would anyone want to go there? It's crowded and dirty. You're crazy to go to Rome. So, how are you getting there?"

"We're taking Continental," was the reply. "We got a great rate!" "Continental?" exclaimed the hairdresser. "That's a terrible airline. Their planes are old, their flight attendants are ugly, and they're always late. So, where are you staying in Rome?" "We'll be at an exclusive little place over on Rome's Tiber River called Teste."

"Don't go any further. I know that place. Everybody thinks it's gonna be something special and exclusive, but it's really a dump, the worst hotel in the city! The rooms are small, the service is surly, and they're overpriced. So, whatcha' doing when you get there?"

"We're going to go to see the Vatican and we hope to see the Pope." "That's rich," laughed the hairdresser. "You and a million other people trying to see him. He'll look the size of an ant. Boy, good luck on this lousy trip of yours. You're going to need it."

A month later, the woman again came in for a hairdo. The hairdresser asked her about her trip to Rome.

"It was wonderful," explained the woman, "not only were we on time in one of Continental's brand new planes, but it was overbooked and they bumped us up to first class. The food and wine were wonderful, and I had a handsome 28-year-old steward who waited on me hand and foot. And the hotel was great! They'd just finished a $5million remodeling job and now it's a jewel, the finest hotel in the city. They, too, were overbooked, so they apologized and gave us their owner's suite at no extra charge!"

"Well," muttered the hairdresser, "that's all well and good, but I know you didn't get to see the Pope."

"Actually, we were quite lucky, because as we toured the Vatican, a Swiss Guard tapped me on the shoulder, and explained that the Pope likes to meet some of the visitors, and if I'd be so kind as to step into his private room and wait, the Pope would personally greet me. Sure enough, five minutes later, the Pope walked through the door and shook my hand! I knelt down and he spoke a few words to me."

"Oh, really! What'd he say?"

"He said, 'Where'd you get that lousy hairdo?'"

Hundreds of websites have stolen/copied that hilarious story, after changing the names of people, places, airlines, and the wording of the punch line, without any mention of its author. So have we, just now, but if the witty originator reveals his or her identity, we'll gladly make amends by telling you about it in our next edition.

In the UK, Virtual Venue, "website of Bristol and Bath's excellent magazine", began the story this way:

An elderly Liverpudlian woman was at her hairdresser's getting her hair styled prior to a trip to Rome with her husband..."We're taking British Airways."

... and ended with these lines:

He said, 'Where'd you get that f*c&k$n awful hairdo?'"
(Cheers Dawn. You win this issue's star prize of two forgettable chick-lit novels. Send us an address if you want 'em)

The Wisconsin State Reading Association added this sobering footnote to the story:

One of the lessons we are continually learning as members of WSRA is that we often have to listen to others with less experience and expertise, tell us how we should do the job we do every day better. That's fine, but we don't have sit back, be quiet and take it. We have the right to call a bad haircut, a bad haircut even if it is masked as federal policy or scientific reports. This set of materials is designed to help you to do that.


Banished to the far queue

Bill Chamberlain quoted another perfect putdown, in a story posted last month in the British daily literary webzine Open Writing:

One of the funniest incidents that I recall was being in Windsor booking office when a little lad, resplendent in Eton collar, tie and suit, rapped on the window and arrogantly demanded "A half first class ticket to Newbury, my man". Not at all nonplussed the booking clerk said "Get to the back of the queue". "But there is no queue" said the lad. To which the clerk replied, "Then wait until a queue forms, sonny".



Story first posted August 2006

Copyright © 2006

Eric Shackle

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