How I got my Flattop by A Recruit
A few years ago I actually went into my Barber shop with the intention of getting a flattop brush-cut, but as they were busy. I left. In other words, I chickened out. I've been daring myself to get a flattop brush-cut since then.
I used to have a brush-cut when I was three or four years old. My father had one at that time before he started to go bald. So I had one. Then Dad began to lose his hair and discontinued the practice and so I grew my hair back too.
When I was in high school I actually had long hair. It covered my ears and collar. It was the 70's after all. Then after high school, I got my hair progressively cut short over the years, but I always had a part in my hair. Still I yearned to get a flattop but could never muster up the courage to actually get one.
On top of that my wife hated my current hair style and tried to get me to change it. "It's so seventies." She said. I told her that I would be making a big change soon. "Be patient," I suggested.
Then one day a good friend of mine, a man of infinite jest, and an ex RCMP officer, came into work with a new flattop and I told him he looked really good with it. He seemed pleased by my compliment. Then I mentioned to him that I wanted to get one. He smiled when I said this and told me it would be great to have another flattoper at work. He then recommended that I go and see his barber Gerry who, as it turned out, I also went to. He even offered to go with me. I declined his invitation to hand-hold because I felt it was something I had to do alone.
So the next weekend I went to get my monthly hair cut as usual, only not as usual. I was resolved to get a flattop once and for all.
All the way to the mall, where my barber is, I was wrestling with the idea of actually going through with it. However some sort of mental change had taken place in me and I was determined that this was going to be the time. It was scary, but it was now or never!
I was nervous as I sat waiting. Time crawled. I tried to read the magazines in the barber shop but I couldn't concentrate. Then it was my turn. I got up and sat in Gerry's chair.
Even at the last second, as I was sat in the barber's chair and Gerry placed the blue nylon smock around my neck, I considered chickening out as I had done on previous occasions. Then Gerry asked me off handedly, "Short on the back and sides as usual?" This was the Moment and ignoring my nerves I turned to him and said timidly, "Actually I was thinking of a crewcut, but I don't know if my hair grows in the right way." Gerry paused and developed a serious look on his face then turned to me and said, "A crewcut is rounded on top. A brush cut is flat."
Gerry's question confused me. I had not thought about the name of the kind of hair cut I wanted. I thought a crewcut was a crewcut. Obviously I was wrong.
"Oh... Flat on top." I replied. My response seemed to satisfy Gerry. He nodded, turned the chair into position, took up his electric clippers and started working on the back of my head as if to say; "Nothing unusual going on here. Just doing what the client wants."
Part of me was waiting for Gerry to protest the idea. But he didn't. I thought Gerry might him and haw about the change and try to persuade me otherwise. He didn't. He was very casual, as if to emphasize that this was nothing unusual for him. A little voice in my head said "What am I doing!" and conversely, "Finally!"
As Gerry started on the back of my head, I could feel the cold tines of the razor cutting close against my scalp. I could see the cut hair falling on the blue nylon smock and then falling to the floor. The effortless sound the razor made as it carved through my hair sounded like a quiet roar that vibrated through my skull. Then Gerry started cutting on the sides of my head, trimming my hair far shorter than I have ever had it before. If I remember correctly I was trembling occasionally.
Gerry may have felt my apprehension, for I think barbers can tell what's going through a client's mind by their posture and body language. He may have been purposely blasé in order to try and calm me. If he did sense this, it helped a lot. His matter-of-fact-ness and calm demeanor made things a lot easier for me. He really is a great barber.
After Gerry had finished cutting the hair on the sides of my head, I looked in the mirror at the blur opposite (I didn't have my glasses on). Yet I could see, even with my retarded vision, that a big change had taken place.
Then Gerry spritzed some water on my hair and applied some Brylcream to my remaining top hair and then began to blow-dry it back into a suitable shape. I still couldn't believe I was doing this. It was bizarre, yet very exciting. Even erotic! Then, taking his razor in his hand, Gerry began to cut my top hair. He then ran the clippers across the top of my head shearing off any remnants of my old self.
After he had finished, he turned the chair around and handed me my glasses. I put them on and was stunned at what I saw. I was so different from the old me. Quite frankly it wasn't what I was expecting. At this point Gerry said "It's not too late to go back, besides I don't want to make you look too tough."
I looked at the result in the mirror and realized that if I had gone this far I'd have to continue or this desire to get a flattop would haunt me, besides, looking tough was part of the whole idea. I told him to continue. He took my glasses away, turned the chair around and started cutting again.
Then a rather talkative man waiting for a hair cut called out, "What kind of hair cut is that?" Gerry said "It's an Arnie Schwartzenager cut." I said "No! It's an Apollo astronaut cut." Gerry seemed to like that description and being a science buff like myself said "You mean like Neil Armstrong?" I said "Yeah, like Armstrong or Collins or Buzz Aldrin before he lost his hair." My description seemed to galvanize Gerry as if he understood, finally, what I was looking for, and he began to cut my top hair "down to the wood" as a friend of mine would say later.
I sat stock-still as he ran the razor straight across my the top of my head with laser like accuracy, shearing off my hair. He then tweaked the sides of my head and the corners, as well as the top. Then he took out his scissors and snipped individual errant hairs that were sticking up too high. He applied a little hair spray to the front, handed me my glasses and turned me to face the mirror. The "new, new me" stared back. It was exactly what I wanted. My hair was absolutely flat on top. I looked a cop, or a 60's astronaut. I loved it. The hair on the crown of my head was less than an eighth of an inch in length. My front hair an inch or so. I had a mean landing strip. The sides tapered in to the top on about a 5° angle. I said "Wow! That's the style perfectly."
I smiled. I had actually achieved the unthinkable. I had a real flattop!
He then asked me if I wanted to have my mustache trimmed. I said "Yeah, what the hell."
Usually I like to trim the 'stache myself as Gerry sometimes gets over zealous. But I was in a good mood so I told Gerry to have a bash at it. After he had finished the 'stache trim, Gerry then handed me my glasses and said "How's that." I looked and said "That's great!" for indeed Gerry had trimmed it very well. He then gave me the usual vibro-massage on my neck and back that I always enjoy. While doing this Gerry said, "I'm always worried about taking too much off. I might loose a good customer to a bad hair cut. This is a big change for you." I told him that he should have no worries about that. This was my decision, but appreciated his comments.
Gerry then took out his scissors again and trimmed the few stray hairs that eluded him previously, and vacuumed my neck and the top of my head, then he said to me, "You know, you're just a decent guy. Your just a big kid at heart, like me. Has anyone ever told you that?"
I was a little taken aback by his question, and I said "As a matter of fact, yes." And with that Gerry took off the smock and shook it with a flourish. He said "I figured as much."
I tipped him very well as usual, thanked him, and bid him a hearty goodbye.
As I left the mall, I felt as if people were staring at me and I kind of liked the attention. I realized that this was a paranoid observation as none of the people I came across had ever seen me before. To them, my flattop was normal. Though I admit it was a pretty radical haircut, yet short hair and flattops are fairly common these days.
When I got home I opened the door and the wife looked at me and practically screamed "You did it! It looks great! It's like I have a new husband!"
She gave my head a rub and said she liked the feel. I must admit I liked the feel of my head being rubbed. Then she gave me a great big passionate kiss and I was aroused. I told her to hold that thought while I checked out what I had done and went into the bathroom to have a look in the mirror and I was shocked and pleased to see what I had done.
There was a different man looking back at me and I liked what I saw. This was no "Kids game" hair cut. This was a hair cut with extreme "attitude". I ran my hand through what remained of my hair and it felt like velour upholstery. I liked the new me.
Needless to say the wife and I played cops and robbers that night.
That Sunday we went up to my brother's house for a family dinner. I wore a baseball cap as is my wont.
As I went into the house, and I noticed my brother had shaved of his Stanley Cup Play-off beard, leaving his mustache. I said to him "I've lost some hair too." and with a flourish took off my baseball cap revealing my brush-cut.
He stared, then smiled and said "That's great!" My brother then dragged me into the kitchen to show my sister in law. She looked at me and she said she liked it.
So far so good. Actually I was flabbergasted. I thought they would freak out and hate it. The real test would be when I went into work the next day.
It took a lot of grit to go into work that Monday. But as I walked into the office everyone was busy and didn't notice my new flattop. I must admit I felt a little hurt. So I went to my office area and fired up my computer. I read my E-Mail, then I went out to the general office area. I stood in front of my secretary and said "Well?" She turned and looked at me and her eyes went wide. "Wow!" she said. "That's great! You look just like my son!" The other people in the office then came to look at my new haircut. All of them really liked my new cut. My old RCMP buddy was especially pleased and gave my velour textured head a rub. "It looks good on you kid."
So that's my flattop story.
I hope that this story will inspire other potential flattop wannabees into getting a flattop. I know they will feel as good about getting a flattop as I do about having one. Sure, keeping a good flattop can be labor intensive, but it's a labor of love.