I am having terrible trouble with my hair at the moment. It is lank, flat and lifeless. There are split ends. Also, it doesn’t smell too good. What’s that appalling stench, my wife asked recently while sitting next to me on the sofa as we watched a rerun of the old racist editions of Midsomer Murders starring the excellent John Nettles. ‘Probably the dog, again,’ I replied — but I knew that was a lie. I knew it was my hair. It smelt like that rotten cheese Italians eat. I don’t know why, because I wash it frequently enough. Maybe, to adapt Orwell’s mordant observation, at the age of 56 everyone has hair which smells exactly as they deserve. In my case, Gorgonzola, with a subtle undertone of raw sewage.
What I needed, then, was a brilliant haircare product available from a shop called Urban Outfitters. It is called ‘Peachy Head — Peach Shampoo for Suicidal Hair.’ That would do the job. But unfortunately the product is no longer available to me, because of the furore that was occasioned. The screeching, the howl-round, the mentalisms. Suicide is not a laughing matter, you bastards! The perpetually furious internet denizens — obsessives and compulsives all — bombarded Urban Outfitters on Twitter demanding that the firm withdraw the product forthwith and also donate money to a mental health charity to atone for their sins. I assume this last broadside was a case of economic self-interest on the part of the fantastically deranged individuals who inhabit cyberspace — they will be needing that assistance one day soon. Anyway, Urban Outfitters of course caved in and pulled Peachy Head. I can no longer buy the product because of the offence caused to a handful of people who have skin as thin and fragile as the surface tension of water.
Beachy Head, in East Sussex, is a famous suicide spot, hence the punning name of the product, the peachy/beachy joke which so enraged.