Have ye noticed all these fancy barbers that have popped up all over the place?

Ye know, the places were ye can go in and play pool and drink fancy coffee and the music does be pumping out of them? You can probably get your hair cut in them too but no one ever seems to be sitting in the chairs when I walk past them.

I’ve been going to Martin’s for donkey’s years. Long before these fancy places opened.

He’s a decent skin and a bit of craic – and he cuts me hair, which I find to be a more crucial element of going to the barbers than whether they’ll give me a slice of avocado and toast while I wait.

Still and all, I was asking him if he felt the need to keep up with these fancy places when I went in to get the auld mop chopped last week.

“Ah no,” he says. “Are ye mad? I wouldn’t be bothered with all that craic.”

“I suppose ye wouldn’t know what sort of tulips you’d attract if ye started that carry on,” I says to him.

“Ye know who I’d attract Gaz?” he says to me. “Fellas with notions, that’s who. And there’s a bit too much of that sort of carry on going round these days. Sure did ye see McGregor’s da?

“I did indeed,” I says to him wearily. I’m a bit sick of talking about that crowd but sure ye can’t avoid them really, can ye?

“The young fella didn’t lick it from a stone, did he?”

“Hard to tell,” says Martin. “Like, he might have been alright until the young fella got all that money and now he’s just got serious notions. I’d say it’s far from slim fitting Hugo Boss suits he was reared.”

“Ye don’t see many taxi drivers in that sort of attire,” I replied.

“You certainly do not,” says Martin. “And that’s why I wouldn’t start doin’ all that fancy malarkey. I couldn’t be dealing with all of that carry on.”

“And if they’re all wearing slim fitting suits they’d have nowhere to put their change and they’d be giving out loads to ye,” I says to him.

“Ah there’s be all sorts of hassle like that,” he says, shaking his head with pure disgust.

“Although, you could just jack up the prices so they wouldn’t have to deal with that aspect of it,” I says.

“That’s not a bad idea,” he says, all of a sudden his face brightening up at the prospect of bringing in a bit more cash.

“Maybe that should be brought in across the board.” “What?” I says. “A notions tax?”

“Yeah,” he says. “A crisp, new twenty Euro note tax for overt displays of notions. What do ye think?”

“I think it would be worth a fortune to the exchequer,” I says to him.