Vanity and the barber’s shop…

Oh vanity, thy name is Man,
Not always Woman, as we’re told,
You primp and preen impartially:
To save us all from looking old
(You order us to diet too,
On soup and salad, hot and cold).
How do we suffer your demands?
Well, there’s a tale that must be told…

My son went to the barber’s shop,
A Turkish place that’s all the rage;
His beard, a biblical affair,
Was long enough to suit a Mage.
The eyebrows were quite overgrown,
His hair was from another age…
He’d take the plunge and have it cut,
A brand new look to turn the page.

Next day, I saw the full effect,
He came back looking fresh and clean…
The hair was short, the beard well trimmed
But rather pink where hair had been.
He’d lost ten years, I have to say,
He almost looked, once more, a teen.
But, as he told me what they’d done,
He looked quite queasy, rather green…

They’d used a blow-torch in his ears
To singe away all lurking hair,
They’d waxed his nostrils inside out
Till not a whisker lingered there…
He’d never heard of ‘threading’
But his eyebrows are now neat and spare…
Then doused pink skin in alcohol
As well as trimming beard and hair.

Now, I might sometimes cut my hair,
Might one day wax a leg or two,
And threading’s easy with the knack,
To leave your skin all clean and new.
But blowtorching my ears? On no,
That’s something I will never do!
And as for waxing nostrils, well
You’d have to hold me down with glue!

He is not forced to suffer, no,
He does this voluntarily,
And not content with suffering…
To add insult to injury…
This salon, staffed by sadists,
Are not offering their skills for free…
After he’s toasted, waxed and plucked,
He’ll go ahead and pay their fee!

Oh, vanity, thy name is Man…
At least one of the men I know…
And though he calls it ‘grooming’,
He’s been groomed in ways I’d never go.
So if the hair upon my head
Would, like his locks, decide to grow,
I’ll stick to DIY routines
And give myself a ‘cut and blow’.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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54 Responses to Vanity and the barber’s shop…

  1. Oh my, Sue!! A blowtorch? Iโ€™d be running and screaming from there!! ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿคฃ Such a great poem! โค๏ธ

    Liked by 3 people

  2. jenanita01 says:

    Ah, but did he know that’s what they would do? I can’t imagine them advertising the torching, they’d never get any customers!


  3. Hilarious but frightening too


  4. Bladud Fleas says:

    Iโ€™m almost glad my youth is behind me. What are they like, these days! I suppose we had our funny ways too – mostly very long hair and high heel boots. ๐Ÿ˜


  5. Ennle Madresan says:

    Oh My Goodness!! I’ve heard of “threading”, though I can’t imagine why women do it…as it’s somewhat painful I’ve heard (but so is waxing, etc). I shudder to think what the cost of all your son’s “improvement” totaled. What an experience! Bless his heart โค


  6. Mary Smith says:

    I’d be very nervous about the blowtorch and there’s no way I’d let anyone inside my nostrils!


  7. Jennie says:

    A blowtorch? Iโ€™d be terrified. Yes, vanity thy name is man. This story definitely was suited to a poem. Well done, Sue.


  8. Ha! What a poem, what a tale, such a truth told.


  9. joylennick says:

    A brilliant poem, Sue, and very amusing. Blow torches indeed! Help…. xx


  10. Haha, Sue, you are right, the men do more stuff to themselves now than we do.


  11. My face now hurts from sympathetic pain.


  12. Violet Lentz says:

    What a fun write his torturous day at the barber inspired!


  13. Eliza Waters says:

    Unbelievable, what will be next?! The blow torch sounds rather dangerous!


  14. Woebegone but Hopeful says:

    Very clever and funny Sue.
    (I get taken to my wife’s hairdresser, sit down and do as I am told. It’s a lot simpler)


  15. colonialist says:

    Ouch! When I want my hairs to shed
    On my face or round my head,
    I am now quite sure that I
    Will stick to my DIY!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Funny and a bit frightening too… You captured it well, Sue! โ™ฅ


  17. Widdershins says:

    My eyes started to water as I was reading

    … When I was a rather naive young thing out alone in a big city for the first time in my life, I came across a reference to a similar form of torture. This was in the halcyon days before the AIDS epidemic took so many beautiful young men from us way too soon. Come the yearly gay mardi-gras extravaganza in Sydney, all the lads would head to the waxing clinics for what was colloquially known as a ‘crack-sack-and-back’ wax.
    Being a lifelong lesbian and, as I mentioned, innocent to the ways of the world, it took me a few discrete questions to decipher the meaning of this strange ritual, but when I did my eyes watered then too! ๐Ÿ˜€


  18. Hรฉlรจne - Willow Poetry says:

    You described it well Sue. Horrible torture. At my age, hair is scarce in particular body parts saving me from these horrific rituals. When my son gets his hair cut and beard trim he becomes a young man again. The beard makes him look much older while hiding his beautiful features.


  19. Smitha V says:

    Such a fun poem…couldn’t imagine waxing my nostrils and using a blowtorch in my ears๐Ÿ˜€. The plucking hurts enough๐Ÿ˜Š


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