Fathers and sons
Lady Bracknell has herself been aware of the existence of the sign in question for some time, but the Editor was strangely unwilling to photograph it until she was passing at a time when the shop in the window of which it is so proudly displayed was closed for the night.
Lady Bracknell feels it may be incumbent on her to clarify the nature of the retail premises in question at this juncture. It is not a slave market: it is merely a barber shop. (One which is very probably not possessed of a quartet.)
Those familiar with the modern, local patois will conclude from reading the sign that Mr and Master Brown, if visiting the establishment on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, may both be subjected to the barber's shears for a mere £9. This, one is given to understand, is something of a bargain price. (It is certainly a very great deal less costly than Lady Bracknell's own visits to the hairdresser: whether that renders the service offered a genuine bargain, however, will rather depend on the quality of the results. The Editor has yet to glimpse any pudding bowls on the premises, but this is not incontrovertible proof that none are there. They may be kept in a cupboard out of sight.)
Has the individual who commissioned the sign laboured under the delusion that the fact that "dad" and "lad" rhyme will render the message more memorable and attractive? If there is an imperative to keep to monosyllables, what is so objectionable about the word, "son"? Must Mr Brown attend with Master Brown or, if the poor man has no male progeny of his own, may he borrow a "lad" from an unsuspecting neighbour? One assumes that, for the purposes of child protection, if nothing else, the intention is that the adult and child be related. Perhaps the legend, "Father and son", was rejected on the suspicion that a 97 year-old Mr Brown senior might otherwise arrive with a £10 note and his 63 year-old son? But then, how old is a "lad"? And might that upper age limit differ according to one's place of birth?
*In order to experience the full horror of the sign, readers familiar with the charming local accent may wish to read it out loud in their best approximation of a Liverpudlian pronunciation.