These Rocket Rag episodes have been racking up and we are now on numero 15. This time is the turn of Hackney Road hoodlum Emanuele also known to locals as Mr Manoli..
ROCKET: First of all, your nickname is Manoli. Where does that come from?
MANOLI: Erm basically it’s my Greek name. Me and Yanis are big friends.
R: Should have guessed it had something to with El Greco. But you’re not from Greece yourself are you?
M: No I’m from Italy. A region called Abruzzo. From a small village.
R: So a lot of the Rocket Squad hail from Italy which isn’t necessarily a bad thing at all. Although sometimes you guys can rock a bit of a different kind of dress sense. What place is your hometown close to for readers who don’t really know Italy?
M: Well it’s not too far from Rome. Just next to Rome. I love my hometown. Miss my family, friends and of course the food. Famous for arrosticini. Lamb sticks cooked on the barbecue. Amazing.
R: So are you the resident chef then for Hackney Road?
M: Oh yeah. Basically yeah I cook a lot of barbecue for these guys in the back garden.
R: Talking of out back of the shop, not a lot of customers may realize you have a gym going on out there. We hear you guys have been hittin’ it pretty hard..
M: Yeah for sure. After work as soon as the last customer has left for the day and we swept the floors. Outside to hit those weights.
R: So who is the meanest lifter at Hackney Road?
M: Probably Will (Rocket prospect barber). And then Adi. Really strong. And The President Chris.
R: So we’ve talked about your hometown and a bit about this shop. Obviously lucky to work at a place that is part barbershop / part gymnasium. Next question for you. What do you think it is that makes the Rocket customers different from other places you’ve worked?
M: Rocket customers I reckon appreciate the good vibes here. It’s a pretty cool barbershop. So they fit right in.
R: So Bon Jovi just told me that he is from Rome and your town is like 3 hours drive away up a mountain. What you got to say about that?
M: OK maybe not right next to Rome. But still only couple of hours drive. Great place.
R: Haha cool. So you’re in London now and often you hear people saying it is their favourite city in the world when it is hot. But it will be winter soon enough. You gonna be heading back to your beloved Italy?
M: No I mean I’m happy here. Winter, summer. All good. Maybe go back for a visit. For the lamb sticks.
R: Do you guys do a secret Santa here at the shop? You have that in Italy?
R: So you get to pick another barbers name out of a hat and then buy them a gift you think they’d like. So what would you get Bon Jovi?
M: Oh OK. I’d get him a weird hat.
M: Leg of pork.
R: And Chris?
M: Bottle of limoncello.
R: What about Mika?
M: Big dildo.
M: Tattoo cream.
R: And last one: Adi?
M: Nice blow up doll for Adi.
R: OK Mr Manoli. In advance we will say Buon Natale.
M: Buon Natale.
There we have it. Another Rocket Rag. Another Rocket Barber.
Next episode will be on the way real soon..