I’ll threaten him with the electric threading machine

Rick Jackson believes Big Ben's bongs should not be silenced

RICK JACKSON: Our las total eclipse was typically British – cloudy

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Next Friday the school holidays begin, marking the start of annual getaways for many families. This will unleash a frenzy of body hair removal in bathrooms across the area.

Accordingly, Boots has stocked up with no fewer than 329 different kinds of feminine hair removal products. Or, as I see it, pain in 329 flavours.

It is a sorry indicator of female masochism that a best-seller – the Rio Electric Threading Machine – closely resembles the kind of 19th century loom that decapitated child workers in northern mills.

Still, not wanting to be mistaken for a chimpanzee in a two-piece, I visited the chemist.

Whilst queuing with a two-litre vat of Immac, I overheard the following conversation:

‘Phil hit the roof last night. Guess what he found in my handbag?’

‘Not your upper lip hair remover?’

‘No! Phil knows all about my ’tache same as I know about his incontinence.’

‘What then?’

‘He only found me brunette root dye!’

‘But you’re blonde!’

‘That’s what he said.’

Queuing lady affects a masculine voice: ‘I just blew a ton getting your highlights touched up and now you’re dying your roots black?’

Further earwigging reveals that Madonna, Paltrow, MacPherson et al are all reportedly dying their roots black this summer. Not in homage to style icon Lily Savage, but to create the double bluff that their natural hair is not yet grey.

Just as I start to despair, I am reminded of my dear departed grandma and how her drawn-on eyebrows gave her a perma-startled air, plus the way her legs were rendered hairless with age.

Maybe when Madge is 80 and still dating 20-year-olds, she’ll be getting Rooney-esque weaves on her legs to suggest everything is still vigorously sprouting?

Surely, then, the five o’clock shadow encompassing much of my trusty bod is all good news?

Now that’s a double bluff we girls can buy into! And if my youthful swarthiness puts Him Indoors in mind of a chimpanzee, I’ll just threaten him with the Rio Electric Threading Machine.