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MAN ABOUT TOWN (FROM HOME)

ESP’s Man About Town might be stuck at home but Pep Cipriano brings us his usual take on what’s happening in and around the Boro. This week, home haircuts or a ‘mullet’ revival…

LOCKDOWN SELF-DISCOVERY

It’s been more than three months and we’re still learning about ourselves.

So many of us have picked up a new skill, tried something new or something different – and attempted something we’d never dreamed of doing like cutting our own hair or schooling our children.

But what have we learned about ourselves in isolation? What’s our good, the bad and the ugly?

There’s no doubt that we’ve all stretched the limits of our mental health and the capacity we have to deal with the surreal situation Covid-19 has placed us in.

For me, I’ve learned to count my blessings more than I ever did. Every bad situation or outcome has a silver lining and yes, it’s a cliché, but everything really does happen for a reason.

The bubble we’re all in has made me take a closer look at myself and here’s my good, the bad and the ugly.

Good:

  1. I’m grateful, thankful and don’t take my health for granted

  2. I’ve learned to cook more recipes!

  3. Patience and timing is everything

  4. Appreciation of conversation

  5. Honing of deeper empathy for others

Bad:

  1. Thinking is dangerous but visualising is bliss

  2. Motivation sometimes refuses to turn up

  3. It’s not always all about me

  4. Habit is a devil word

  5. Anxiousness about returning to ‘normal’

Ugly:

  1. Routine is both good and not so good

  2. The state of my attempted lemon drizzle cake

  3. The struggle to interact at a distance

  4. When I let frustration win

  5. The vulnerability in my values

Now’s the time to embrace and nurture the good that’s in you. Accept your ugly side – we all have it – but work on keeping it at bay. And don’t be afraid of the bad whether it be words, thoughts or actions – the most important thing is to understand how it manifests and how to prevent it.

Some of us have cracked, some of us fallen through the cracks and some of us have found a way of mending those cracks.

But the journey we’re on is a long one and I know we’ll all be stronger and smarter at the end of it. Never stop learning and keep moving forward.

MULLING OVER A MULLET


Like most of us I’ve been getting handy with clippers and trimming around my ears.

But after more than two months without a haircut I’m starting to see some tufty bits emerging from the back of my neck.

I’ve tried to trim them with clippers but almost took out my main artery. At this point, one name springs to mind: Chris Waddle.

The one-time England international footballer was probably remembered for his excellent mullet as much as his marauding runs and an unfortunate penalty miss.

His mullet inspired so many of us in the late 1980s and early 90s to grow our hair like him. It was part of a lifestyle for me back then. And if you didn’t have a mullet you weren’t trendy enough to be seen in Shanghai Sam’s on a Monday night.


So, I think it’s time for me to peel back the years (see me back in the 80s complete with mullet and… spaghetti) and give a mullet a go again. At this rate I can’t get a haircut until July at the earliest but that’s OK anyway, as for the first time since the Neanderthal age it’s acceptable to have wild hair like Chewbacca.

Watching re-runs of Miami Vice is inspiring me too. White or pastel coloured t-shirts and blazers, pleated trousers and white slip-on loafers all complement the mullet.

And then of course I’m in good company. David Beckham Bradley Cooper and Brad Pitt have all pulled off the mullet. It didn’t do David Bowie, Rod Stewart and Mick Jagger any harm either. Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing and Kiefer Sutherland in The Lost Boys worked it a treat too.

Let’s start a mullet movement! Who’s with me?

GO-KART TRACK AT THE PLOUGHMAN?

When I saw a photo of a load of real ale barrels positioned around The Ploughman beer garden with what looked like a hairpin and chicane, I immediately grabbed my driving gloves and shot over to Werrington.

I was expecting to be met with at least a dozen go-karts and an information sheet about a driver’s briefing but instead landlord Andy Simmonds handed me a litre of Dirty Tackle.

The kart-like circuit he assembled was actually a funnel for real ale lovers to line-up between, two meters apart, so they could safely purchase some of their favourite take-away beverage during lockdown.

Ever-accommodating Andy was even providing vessels to fill up with the beer of your choice and selling pints to take-away in disposable glasses.


The beer service is set to continue until The Ploughman’s existing stock runs out. You can pre-order by giving the pub a bell or check out the latest on their Facebook page.

Can we have a go-kart event when you re-open Andy?

BORED? WHY NOT SLIT YOUR EYEBROW

Yes, unbelievably, it’s still something to do presumably to look ‘cool’.

Confirmation of this popular custom facial job has been evidenced by Google which placed ‘How to slit your eyebrow’ seventh in a top 20 list of beauty searches during lockdown.

Number one was ‘How to cut men’s hair’, followed by ‘How to cut your own hair. ‘How to cut a mullet’ came in at number 13.

Now, Al Pacino had an eyebrow slit in Scarface. This is because he was an ex-convict with a repertoire of crimes to his name. How he got his scar isn’t disclosed in the film but you can bet he didn’t do it to himself with a Bic for a chat-up line opener with the ladies.

When lockdown was at its most stringent the majority of us were lounging in the garden with a chicken drumstick and a beer. What I want to know is, what are blokes telling girls (if they indeed bother to ask) about the scar and how it came about during isolation.

You can imagine the conversation going something like this…

Girl: “OMG how did you get that scar on your eyebrow babe?!”

Bloke: “Oh that? It’s nothing, just a scratch babe.

“Basically, I was chilling, minding my own business in the garden with my chicken and beer when all of a sudden out of nowhere a massive raven flew down at me and went for the chicken.

“I managed to fight it off and save my chicken leg but as it flew away, it must have clawed my eyebrow.

“There was blood everywhere but it didn’t hurt. Because of corona I couldn’t go to the walk-in to get it stitched, so I disinfected it by pouring a bottle of vodka all  over it and stitched it up myself with a sewing set I kept from a Christmas cracker.”

Girl: “Wow that’s so cool! So, you want my number?”


CAUGHT IN THE ACT! 

The Lightbox Cafe now serving coffee to go – a couple of doors down.

MY WORD(S) OF THE MONTH: SOCIAL DISTANCING

I think I could get used to being two metres apart. Here’s what we’re missing by not getting up close and personal: Night before stale garlic breath, a whiff of armpit, the scent of greasy hair, hugging a sweaty back, tuna salad lunch breath, awkward kissing on one or both cheeks, having my toe stepped on, sweaty palm handshakes, greasy faces rubbing on yours and unnecessary placing of hand on back fat and love handles.

CIAOS OUT

In a change to my usual Ciaos Out format, I want to dedicate this space to those who’ve been checking in with me during lockdown by giving me a good old-fashioned telephone call – and more recently – met me outdoors two metres apart. If you’re reading this and I’ve missed you off then I apologise for my memory also being on lockdown.

In no particular order: Gary, Tim, Dave, Rob, Stu, Ravsi, Sharon, Marie, Melissa, Butch, Dom, Gab, Trish, Valentina, Zia D, Petch, Gosia, Dan, Sue, Wayne and Suggs.

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