Wednesday, January 24, 2007

New camera!

I got a new toy yesterday. This wee beastie.

Everyone in the office is fascinated by the 10 mega pixels it has, the optical image stabilising, the 6x zoom, the easy-to-access white balance control ...etc.

All except one smartarse. I gave up a few moments of my time in the kitchen to explain the basics to him and was just at the point of summarising the accessories I might buy in the future when he revealed his ugly subtext.

"You can buy an accessory lens to make the wide end wider or a telephoto fitting to make it..."

"...more Freudian?"

I punched him in the chops.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Barbershop nihilism

I visited the oldest barber shop in Madrid this morning. It had been some time since my last visit and my hair was unkempt.

Previously, Rafael had been forthcoming in his prescription: "You need to get rid of all this," he had counseled, kneading my shaggy mane with a splayed claw, "'ve got thick, really thick, hair at the back and on the sides, and since you're bald on top it makes your head look deformed."

This time I was spared: today was not a day to waste on the fripperies of my deformities; Rafael had weightier matters on his mind. "Plastic surgery, silicon, face lifts, it's all lies. Artificial breasts aren't my thing, I like my women all natural."

In the mirror, an old man solemnly agreed. His face was like oak and his hair was the colour of dye.

"Money. If you've got money you're the smartest, best-looking, funniest man in the world."

Rafael fell silent for a moment as he trimmed the hair off the tops of my ears. Then his discourse continued, "but really, there are only two things that matter in this world: life..." The snipping stopped as Rafael lifted his gaze to look me straight in the eye through the mirror.

I heard a croak behind me: the oldest patron of the oldest barbershop in Madrid was finishing Rafael's sentence, "...and death."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Lily Munster dead

Lily Munster's dead.

I didn't realise she - or rather Yvonna de Carlo - played Moses' wife in The Ten Commandments.

My favorite bit in that film is when Moses returns from Mount Sinai, where he has seen the burning bush and spoken to God for the first time (with hindsight a pretty fundamental turning point in the history of the Israelites, Judaism and the subsequent 4,000 years of civilisation). Sephora, played by Yvonna de Carlo, falls to her husband's knees and says: "Moses, your hair!"

My thoughts go out to Grandpa, Eddie and Herman at this difficult time for them.

"Moses, your hair!"