Alarm bells should have rung when the hairdresser lady had trouble understanding what I said.
“How you want it?” she asked.
English is not her first language.
Not her fault.
Indeed, not a fault at all.
But not ideal when you are having your hair cut.
“Just clear of the ears,” I told her. “Just a little off.”
Then I joked: “Can you do anything about my face?… Maybe some plastic surgery?”
“No problem,” she replied, smiling reassuringly.
That is the point at which I should have realised there could be a linguistically triggered potential problem.
Now I have no hair and my ears have dropped.