I remember it well. One day, late in the 1970s, suddenly there it was, resplendent, laid out in all its glory and slightly less purple around the edges than the advertising brochure would have you believe. Of course, I have seen many wild hairdresser nests in my life up to then, but this was – I know you will find it hard to credit – one of the few pedigree domesticated-hairstylist whelping boxes I had seen.
After the unfortunate incident with my father, Implication Trouser-Quandary, and the end of his – the first - Official Little Frigging village semi-automatic sausage sorting machine, I had been more than keen to get involved in the exciting and, sometimes, dangerously risky business of breeding domesticated hairdressers and – yes – even lawyers for the market.
Therefore, when my father’s smallholding was made available to me, I grabbed it as soon as legally possible. I was new to the role of hairstylist farmer, However, Maureen, (a short time (or two) later, to become Mrs Trouser-Quandary) of course, came from a long line of farming folk*, she took to mucking out the hairdressers like one born to it. Soon, after a few trials and tribulations, we had a thriving hairdresser farm. So then, I looked to expand in some way and therefore decided to try my hand at breeding lawyers.
However, and this may surprise you, I - like most sensible people – had an almost instinctive fear of lawyers, and they can sense it. I could feel their writs bristling whenever I approached their sties. I knew it was something I would have to overcome as soon as possible. Even now, all these years later, I can still feel vestiges of that old instinctual lawyer-dread flutter down my spine as I approach the lawyer sties. Familiarity with these creatures has eased that dread a great deal, but I believe I will never lose it altogether.
In a way, it is no bad thing, that feeling of apprehension, for – as recent lurid media stories attest – sometimes, otherwise placid-seeming, lawyers can turn rogue and attack with little or now warning, leaving their victims lying in a pool of writs and injunctions, too stunned to move to protect their bank balance from a savaging by the avaricious lawyer.
Anyway, as the sun sets over the lawyer sties once more and I begin to gird my loins for this evening’s village festivities, I can – and do – look back on my life so far with few regrets.
*A long line, but often knotted and tangled where the many relatives became very related to each other (in one case in the late 17th century a certain Mary-Jane de la Quandary was not only her own mother and sister, but became her own husband and second-cousin too, when she married).