Australian Conversations: smallerised

2. The Hairdressing Apprentice

Last night I went to my hairdressing salon for the obligatory coffee, magazine catch-up, champers, rice crackers and more coffee – oh, and I had a hair cut and colour too.

I also, like, had the pleasure of the final year apprentice who spent, like, over an hour putting lots of artificial colour into my hair to make it look more like my natural colour; ie, I figured that with the current metallic craze, I may as well embrace silver … or at least that’s what I prefer to call it.

She’s a gorgeous 18 year old who’s at that age where she’s insecure about asking the younger apprentices to help her, eg, “If, like, it’s okay, would you mind getting that powder? Like, if you can’t, that’s okay.” She’s also really keen to get a boyfriend, and she really enjoyed her staff Christmas party on board a charter boat, where high heels weren’t allowed. “Like, all the others were, like, ‘I don’t beLIEVE it’ and I was, like, ‘cool'”.

So I’m enjoying the banal customer patter – you know, “How was your weekend?” – when suddenly out of the blue:

Gorgeous thing: “Did you know that with that global – what’s it called? global gathering – that, like, when the temperature gets to 100 degrees we’re all going to die because, like, our body can’t live in 100 degrees?”

JB (taken aback at the sudden turn of conversation, and quite bemused): “Global warming?”

Gorgeous thing: “Global warming, that’s it [laughs] and when we get to 50 degrees, like, we’re already on the way to dying.”

JB (performing quick revision of high school science in her head on celcius, fahrenheit and human body temperature just to make sure that the champers hadn’t boggled her commonsense and she had in fact heard correctly]: “But seeing we only get to 44 degrees tops here in Perth, we’re okay.”

Gorgeous thing: “Hang on, Global Gathering was a concert [laughs again].”

JB: “It probably won’t get to 100 degrees for, I dunno, 20,000 years?”

Gorgeous thing: “Like, how will our kids and grandkids deal with that – oh, they’ll be dead then too, won’t they. Well, anyway, it really freaks me out. I said that to another client the other day, I told her I was freaked out by global warming and the temperature rising and she just said [haughtily] ‘global warming?’ and I thought, ‘picked the wrong client to bring this up with.'”

JB: “It will be okay, honest. That ‘global gathering’ though, that’s a beauty.”

Gorgeous thing: “I’m hopeless – the words just come out wrong. I went to get my ring smallened and asked for it be smallerised. Smallerised! How stupid is that? I even know that smallened is wrong but it just comes out.”

Further conversation ensued until I was relieved of a fair proportion of Alcoa’s annual aluminium production from the top of my head, at which point she pointed out, when considering toner for my hair colour, “it helps with the colour lastage.”

JB: “Lastage?”

Gorgeous thing: “See, I’ve done it again! But it will make your hair last very much better.”

Let’s hope so. I don’t want to make this global gathering stuff any worse than it already is.


  1. Fun story. What’s weird with your hairdresser is that though she doesn’t have the vocab down she has the concepts perfect even though the finer details are a bit sketchy.Jonny


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