Women's talk: High brow problems for Maggie
At the height of the Celtic Tiger, Maggie lost the plot altogether and arrived at the coffee shop one morning minus her eyebrows having shaved them off the night before after drinking a bottle of Merlot.
She claimed that thin brows were the height of fashion so, in their place, she had coloured in a pair of brown arches in the way a five- year-old child might join the dots and, like most five year olds, her hand was a mite shaky. As a result, one eyebrow ended up archer (if there is such a word) than the other.
This left her with a sneering look that sometimes got her barred from nightclubs by bouncers who thought she felt morally superior to them. The brows eventually grew back but in such a straggly way that Josie christened them Stumpy and Clumpy.
Last week she arrived at my door armed with scones, which she said were freshly homemade, and the news that eyebrow transplants are now all the rage.
"It's called stereo microscopic dissection and it lets the surgeon generate a hair follicle that contains the essential anatomic structures necessary for growth but it hasn't got the excess tissue that makes traditional transplants too cumbersome for the nuanced restoration of the eyebrows."
She had to repeat that sentence for us twice and, even then, I could see Patsy was struggling -- as was I.
"Where did you find out about all this transplant stuff?" Josie demanded, as she surreptitiously poked the scones to see if they were fresh.
"On the internet," Maggie replied.
"And do you know what any of it means?"
"Not really," replied Maggie.
To enlighten her, Josie logged on to YouTube so we could watch a woman called Renee Smyth having an eyebrow transplant. The video showed a donor site being prepared and we initially thought that someone was going to donate their eyebrows to Renee. Then we realised the donor site was actually the back of Renee's head. It looked as if she was having her scalp removed.
Maggie started to look queasy. The doctor then began to knit some of the hair into Renee's brow. It was like something out of a Frankenstein movie. Maggie asked me to switch it off.
"Happy to continue with Stumpy and Clumpy?" asked Josie.
"Very," replied Maggie.
The scones, by the way, were at least four days old. We could have bounced them off the wall.