Alex Massie

Hackette of the Week

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Let's hear it for Liz Jones - "funny, outrageous and downright rude" according to her employers at the Daily Mail - for this piece that, really, you'd think must actually have been written by Glenda Slagg. But, no, apparently it's not a parody...

I have long derided so-called 'spas', but the modern hairdressing salon is the female high-maintenance equivalent of being sent to Guantanamo Bay - torture.

The horrid black nylon gowns are just as bad as orange jumpsuits. Despite the trendy piped music, sleek interiors and 'massage' chairs (have you tried one? It is like sitting on a sack full of ferrets) the modern salon is still stuck firmly in the past.

The basins hurt your neck, the magazines are out of date and mind-numbing (salons never seem to stock newspapers) and don't even get me started when you try to book an appointment.

'When would you like to come in?' 'This Saturday at 4pm.' 'I can only fit you in next November at 1pm on a Wednesday.'

Well, why on earth did you ask, then?

The 'shampooers' - the girls and boys who terrorise your scalp - chat to each other, not noticing they're causing third-degree burns, before they whine, disinterestedly: 'Would you like some conditioner?'

Yes, of course I bloody would. And free coffee and water, and opening hours to suit a working woman, not a Fifties housewife.

Who can doubt any of this? Readers are invited to suggest other everyday items or chores that are the "equivalent of being sent to Guantanamo Bay".

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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