Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

One thing that I never pay for these days is a haircut.

For years now I’ve been getting it sheared at a barber training centre in Auckland’s Central Business District. They need heads for their students to train on, so they offer a free supervised cut to anyone who’s game.

Originally they were in the Elliot Street Apartments literally next door to Matthew’s old flat, on whose floor I had slept on my first night in Auckland back in March 2004. It was a curious feeling – having my haircut whilst looking out at exactly the same view. (give or take a few feet)

Then they moved across to opposite Aotea Square, where they still are today. The thing is, I’ve moved too – all the way to Howick, but by my calculations, it’s still cheaper to catch the bus into town than to pay for a chop locally.

Having read on the website that they close at 3:30, I therefore paid my $5.40 bus fare and walked in at 2:53 to be turned away with “We close whenever we feel like it.”

My protests were met only with the suggestion that I pay for one next door.

I was fairly annoyed about that. Much of my day was now both expensive and useless, and all because I had believed something they’d put on their website specifically for me to believe.


No problem, I’d been offered another free haircut by some of my Asian students who lived in Manukau and ran an actual barber’s shop. Yet whilst I welcomed the chance to see them, it bugged me that I’d said such unpleasant words to my regular place.

Today therefore I went back to Queen Street, very early, had my hair cut by a Red Dwarf fan called Belinda, and when I left it was all smiles and politeness. Everybody had won.

And would you believe, they later corrected their website.


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