Nuisance caller: barnets, starlets and old dogs

"Hi. I'd like to book an appointment with Nicky Clarke. Do you do hair relaxing?"

"Yes. You should come in for a consultation."

"It's not for me. It's for my poodle."

"I'll have to check. Please hold."

"I've checked and it's not advisable. You should consult your vet."

"Well, I want the best hairdresser for it. It belongs to a celebrity."

"Just hold on again. No, sorry, the chemicals are too strong."

"Well, maybe you could just dye it."

"What colour is the dog?"

"White - any party colour would be fine."

"Nicky only cuts hair."

"Fine - get someone else to colour it. Then he can cut it. It's his name we want to go for."

"I don't think we could do an animal."

"This isn't an ordinary animal. I'll bring it in, you'll see. You do Princess Di's hair, don't you?"

"Well, yes..."

"So what's the difference? Hair is hair."

"Well, there's no difference. Hang on."

"Hi, I'm the manager. Can I help?"

"I want some hairwork done on a celebrity dog."

"It's not possible. Try a vet."

"I've phoned poodle parlours. My client is a wealthy author. She insists on the Nicky Clarke effect."

"Who exactly is this client?"

"Let's say it could be Joan Collins."

"Is she going on a photoshoot with it?"

"No, to a party."

"I'll phone you back. (Later) Sorry, no go."

"This is supposed to be the salon for the stars. This dog is a star. It has been in films with Jack Nicholson, it has pooped on Joan Crawford's lawn..."

"Yes, but at the same time, we don't do dogs."

"OK. Name your price."

"One second."

"Hi, I'm Nicky and Leslie's pa. This is a specialist thing you want."

"I can assure you, this poodle is well trained. It's not going to run rampant."

"I'll speak to Leslie Clarke about it."

"Can't I speak to Nicky?"

"No. I'm sorry, the answer is no. We don't have a licence, otherwise we'd be happy to help."

"You've done lots of old dogs in the past."

"I beg your pardon?"

"I was speaking figuratively. I think you are discriminating against celebrity dogs."

"I don't feel that we are. Look, we can't help you. Goodbye."

JOHN HAINE

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