Wednesday, November 04, 2009

A Comb! A Comb! My Kingdom For A Comb!

It isn’t often I go shopping for basic functional man items but whenever I do I’m always amazed at how difficult they are to find.

Take yesterday for example.

Over the weekend my eyes and intellect finally registered the fact that the comb with which I daily impose order upon my glossy barnet (admirably fulsome given my age) had seen better days. The teeth barely had 2 millimetres clearance from the years of grey scum, scurf, and abandoned follicles that had built up around the base. I swear to God there was a whole eco-system occurring in there. I think the reason I’m never plagued overmuch with nits is that they can get all the sustenance they require from my comb.

Anyway, despite using this comb quite blindly for years it finally dawned on me that maybe dragging a mouldy nit farm across my scalp every day was not doing my image as an International Man Of Mystery much good at all.

It was time to purchase a new one.

Yesterday was elected as the day to perform this task.

Now, you’d think it would be a nice, quick, easy job just buying a cheap plastic comb, wouldn’t you?

But do you think I could find one?

Plainly my consumerist instincts are not wired up correctly for menial shopping items. Computers, CDs, books, assorted gadgetry, dodgy DVDs... I can name and recommend dozens of shops for these. But where does one buy a comb?

I figured Tesco would be a good bet. I mean they sell everything else.

After 15 minutes of trudging up and down the aisles empty-handed I came to the conclusion that actually Tesco sell hundreds of items that you might need but don’t actually stock the items that you do. They’re the retail equivalent of cable TV – thousands of channels but nothing you actually want to watch.

I then tried Boots. Surely Boots would sell combs. They’re big on hair care and cosmetics after all. But no. Hair brushes. Hair nets. Hair bands and an amazing array of lip gloss. But I couldn’t see a damned man-comb anywhere.

I then got desperate. I tried all the cheap shops. I tried the hardware stores. I was even tempted to nip into Accessorize but the be-booted mini-skirted young things flitting about inside terrified me. Curse them and their freshly powdered décolletages!

Where are all the old flea markets when you need them, eh? They always sold combs. You just headed for the cheap wallet and purse store and there they’d be. All lined up and shiny. The Brylcreem freshly washed off them.

Oh yes. The markets have all been priced out of the consumer world by the likes of Tesco et al.

Well, I defy anyone to buy a nice cheap wallet at Tesco.

Anyway. Eventually I headed into Superdrug and they saved the day. Amongst the curling tongs and bobble-ended hair brushes they had a cheap unisex comb for 58 pence.

So the purchase was made and my hair, as a consequence, is extremely fly-away and glossy today.

My old comb, quite logically, is in the bin.

Along with my Tesco clubcard.


Clippy Mat said...

you know i can't remember the last time i saw a comb or even a man with a comb which may mean steve that it's time you updated your do, shaved a bit off the top and sides sort of and/or just tousled it up with a bit o' 'bed head' or something, no?
i mean has anybody, apart from news readers and simon cowell, actually combed their hair since the 70's?
just a thought. i'd hate to see you getting stuck in a style.
no need to thank me. :-)

Steve said...

Clippy Matt: you'll be telling me next not to utilize an old pudding bowl when trimming my fringe...

The bike shed said...

I don't have this problem - it's 'rise and shine' for me every morning.

The Joined up Cook said...

What's a comb?

The fuzzy remnant that crawls around the top of my head doesn't really constitute a 'barnet'

A comb would be pointless.

Seriously though; this reminds me of the mobile phone issue.

Why do we need them to do all the stuff that they do; photos. games and all sorts.

All I want to use mine for is texting and ringing thank you very much but I have to buy one that does all the other tricks.

Having said that; one day I may be thankful of the photo ability - evidence in an accident or suchlike.

Steve said...

Mark: ain't nothing wrong with dazzling the eye of the beholder...!

AWB: with you on the mobile phone thing. I have one that does photos, games and internet access and I rarely use any of it. My youngest finds the camera great fun though and I have some very amusing shots of his feet and his ears.

The Crow said...

Nit farm?!

That's it! When I get home this evening, I'm soaking every hair brush and comb I can find in bleach and the cat's flea shampoo. If that doesn't destroy any nascent nit farm (that I've never even thought about, until now - thank you), then I guess it's new brushes and combs for me, too.


Steve said...

The Crow: I tell you, they're out there now waiting to take over the entire world...

Owen said...

Maybe there's just not much demand for combs any more ? Given the number of guys I see who seem to have either shaved their heads or at least cropped their crop of hair to very short bristle length, there must be less demand, and as Economics 101 teaches, no demand, no supply... Guess you could have always boiled the old one, then dropped it in an acid vat for a short dip... then put it back into service ?

Steve said...

Owen: that's not a bad idea and I'm all for recycling... however, I suspect I would have needed to concoct a pretty potent brew to be sure of eradicating all microbial life from my old comb - a brew so so unstable it could have threatened all life on this planet. Much better to just buy a new comb, I think.

Gina said...

You're right about cheap everyday items being hard to locate. I know I've had that problem too but I am so decrepid that I can't remember what any of the items were. They weren't combs though as there is no way I would get a comb through my mop - needs to be something more substantial, like a rake really.

Glad you found one anyway. Perhaps you should rinse it occasionally eh and keep it sparkling and new and nit-free.

The Sagittarian said...

I could never part with my comb.

KAZ said...

What surprises me is that they weren't BOGOF!

Steve said...

Gina: "Perhaps you should rinse it occasionally eh and keep it sparkling and new and nit-free..." actually this wouldn't be a bad regime for my hair as well. I might give it a go...!

Amanda: best pun of the day! Definitely a cut above the rest.

Kaz: yet again my nerddon has failed me. I had to Google BOGOF. But what would I do with 2 combs anyway? I couldn't look after one properly.

French Fancy... said...

I feel your pain, my friend. I've been marching around our three (quite small) local supermarkets trying to find toothpicks for the last fortnight.

I really feel your new comb deserved a photo on here at least.

Steve said...

FF: my new comb has suddenly become rather bashful. My old comb however would like to donate some of it's teeth as stand-in toothpicks if you're at all interested...? I'm suspecting you might not be...!

Anonymous said...

I don't know why the simplest things are so elusive, I spent the day searching for icing sugar!
Maybe though, if a comb was so hard to find, it is time indeed to move on, perhaps invest in some 'product' and finagle your hair with your fingers.
I have 'sleep 'n' wear' hair though, who am I to dispense advice.

Steve said...

MissBehaving: bizarrely I can find icing sugar quite easily. Maybe I ought to do your shopping and you can do mine?

Old Cheeser said...

Funny you know, I haven't used a comb for years! But then I don't have your lustrous long locks, Steve! How about a hairbrush instead (!!)

Steve said...

OC: I don't know why but I am just idealogically opposed to using a hairbrush on my (far from) lustrous locks! I think it's a working class thing. Men use combs (if they're lucky enough to need them) or Brylcreem. Women use hairbrushes and hairspray.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Ha ha, I wrote a very similar posting two years ago on the impossiblity of finding a de-tangle comb in Boots and that they now seemed to be selling everything except that which was useful!

I have impossibly tangly hair/hair extensions incidentally and anything less than a de-tangle comb would just leave me with a lot of split ends as it broke the knots.

Steve said...

Laura: a de-tangle comb? I had no idea such things existed... which suggests I either didn't read your post or have forgotten it, both of which are unforgivable and I hereby apologise. May your hair always be silky smooth and may strangers run up to you in the street and give you flowers.