I remember when I was very young you used to be able to get liquorice flavoured bubble gum. Unlike ordinary gum it was black, it stained your teeth and tongue black and no self respecting parent would let their child have it. Well, Mum wouldn’t, but if you pestered hard enough and made enough of a nuisance of yourself dad might – if only to keep you quiet on the bus ride into town for swimming lessons.
I saved some for after the lesson, me and my brother had to wait in the seats while dad finished teaching his group of students who finished after us. Luckily I had my gum to keep me entertained so the time passed quickly.
At some point I became curious as to whether I could stretch it out far enough to make a black, gummy necklace. I pulled, teased, stretched and bullied my gum into what I thought would be a long enough piece, then I joined the ends together and slipped it over my head.
The problem was, my estimation of what might or might not be long enough was seriously off. I ended up with a crown of black gum around my head. I tried to take it off and start over, but quickly found that that was not an option. I had to brazen it out and hope nobody would notice – yeah right!
This is the story of how I came to have my very first (very) short haircut.