10 July 2005
One more word on the head-shaving thing: Jean reminded me that when my hairdresser sent his boy scuttling off to buy me a professional beard-clipper, he did so on condition that I wouldnít use it on my head. I gave my solemn promise: no auto-barbery for me.
I said it, I meant it; and now here I am auto-barbering, in apparent defiance of that oath. Remember, though, appearances can be deceiving. These clippers that Iím using are not those clippers that I swore upon. Those were stolen, when I was burgled during my first trip to Taiwan (they stole my beard-clippers, for Godís sake! How depraved these people are...). So I went to the hairdressing wholesaler my own self to buy a replacement; and so, by the letter of the law, I'm in the clear.
What I want to know, though, is this: this argument that saves my precious honour, "I did promise, but it wasn't these very clippers I was promising over, so it doesn't count" - is this sophistry, or casuistry, or Jesuitry? Or even pilpul? I canít quite narrow it down...
© Chaz Brenchley 2005
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.