Monday, 6 June 2011

How To Eliminate All Human Error

This afternoon I decided to take a walk up the road to get a new haircut.

The barber himself, the best cutter I’ve been at and who I go to often, has an enjoyable habit of letting all the hair he cuts collect around each seat. He also has a habit of going between 2 (sometimes 3) men doing a little bit on each, kicking the hair, ankle deep by afternoon time, this way and that like he were moving through a field of fresh, cottony snow.

This afternoon I sat and watched as the salt & pepper hair of the old man in the seat jumped away from his head in a blur of barber’s scissors and glided toward the floor, spiralling with slow grace like autumn leaves.

On the cute little dark tone wood coffee table, upon which sat men’s muscle magazines and the tabloids, I found a strange little self-published book entitled ‘How To Eliminate All Human Error’.  

I flicked through it and read the lengthy introduction, charting the author’s life, focusing particularly on the teenage years when he found himself 2 fights away from becoming the All Ireland flyweight champion. It was during this time, while bearing the rigid discipline required of a successful slugger, that the author made a discovery borne of such a life. He saw that a boxer must have two brains (I thought reading it: probably due to the fact that you’ll need a spare in the trunk after all the damage the primary one takes). That he must prime each one for defensive and offensive moves. Out of this duality of mind power the man discovered ‘How To Eliminate All Human Error’.

The rest of the book discussed how this was possible. Garbled and obscure language was the staple of every other sentence. Bullet points ran on for pages and pages, often repeating themselves outright or making the same point with different wording…

I was at a loss. The last quarter of the book illustrated its points using Bible quotations. These were, in relation, much easier to understand, but where at their heart just generic ideological notions, like: Eat Only Vegan, or, Always Pull The Thorn From The Lion’s Paw.

I felt the quality of the paper and greased up the laminate cover with my sweaty thumbprints.

Then it was my turn for the barber’s chair. I took a pen outta my pocket and where it said Eat Only Vegan I added an ‘s’

Eat Only Vegans 


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