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What a Pal by Dave


Being a teenager, I want to look like the other guys in my sophomore class, including the longer hair. My hair is blonde, slightly curly, and extremely thick. Mother always said I had enough hair for three people. She also said that women would kill for hair like mine. Mother and dad were on the opposite ends of the question about how long I could have my hair. Of course mother liked my hair long. Dad on the other hand thought all men, including teenagers should have short hair.

Dad works for the Federal Government and is gone for long periods of time. My father’s one big fault is his temper. I learned a long time ago, to avoid him when I saw the signs of his temper flaring up. Any little thing will ‘set’ him off if he was having a bad day.

Unknown to me, dad returned home after being gone for almost 3 months. When I arrived home from soccer practice, I was ready for the shower. You can imagine what I looked like. Well! Dad caught sight of me and that was all that was necessary for dad to lose his cool. Before even saying hello to me, he began ranting and raving about how I looked. Mother tried to explain I had just come home from soccer practice, but that fell on deaf ears. I was ordered to get cleaned up immediately, which was my intention before dad let his temper get the best of him.

I got cleaned up and thought about my hair. There wasn’t a thing I could do about it. I washed it and dried it and made it look really neat. When I was called for supper, I wasn’t ready for what followed. Dad looked at me and said, “Sit! You can’t come to the table looking like that.” I knew better than to try and out maneuver him when he was in this state of mind.

I sat down and waited for my father to simmer down. I figured the longer he was out of sight, the better off I would be when he returned. Well! It didn’t work this time. When dad returned, he held a pair of mother’s sewing scissors. I knew then I was in for it. Dad was direct. He picked up a long lock of my hair and sliced through it like it was melted butter. I must say he was really upset about something for in no time I had my hands full of hair. Sometimes it felt like he was going really close to the scalp. In no time, I was told to get up and clean up the mess. I could tell there wasn’t much hair left on my head.

After cleaning up the hair, I was asked to sit for supper. It was all I could do to keep from showing any tears. I knew then, that I couldn’t wait until I finished high school. I felt sorry for mother, but then she was able to handle dad on a one to one basis, but if I was involved, it was a different story. After supper, I did the dishes and cleaned up the entire kitchen, which was my daily responsibility. Then I was told to go to my room.

When I went to my room, I took a look at what dad had done. Tears rolled down my cheeks. It was worse than I could ever imagine. I couldn’t go to school tomorrow looking like this. What was I to do? I knew I would not be wise on my part to skip school. Then I had an idea. I called my barber at his home. I explained what had happened and wanted to know if he would come in a little early so I could get things sorted out before school. Mort is a great guy. When I finished, Mort said, “Of course Dave. Meet me at the shop at 7:30. I can get you in and out in time for school.

The next morning, I was up early and ready for school. It was terrible having to look at my hair, or what was left of it while shaving. I knew I had to eat breakfast or that would set dad off again. When I finished, I told the folks I had to leave early for school. Thank goodness neither of them questioned me.

Off I went. Mort was at the shop waiting for me when I arrived. Immediately I thanked him for doing me this big favor. He told me to sit down and the cape went on and then Mort said, “Boy! I’m afraid it is going to be difficult to give you a haircut without going really short.” “How short, is short?” I asked.

Mort smiled and said, “I’m afraid it is going to be really short. If you were in the Marines, it would be called an induction cut. In laymen’s terms, clipper shaved.” “What is clipper shaved?” was my question. “Well! It’s as short as I can cut it with clippers. The next step would be I use a razor.”

I couldn’t waste time thinking about the inevitable. I said, “Mort! Do what you think best.” Mort patted me on the shoulder and said, “This won’t hurt. In fact you might find you will like the cut when I get finished. I realize it won’t be like the rest of your classmates, but you will be the first to be in style. Short hair is coming back and you will be ahead of the trend.” I think Mort was trying to make me feel good about the cut I was about to receive.

The clippers came alive and before I knew it, the clippers were racing across my head. Also before I knew it, I was enjoying the feeling. I can’t say I could see much hair falling since there wasn’t that much to cut. When Mort finished, I was turned to the mirror. It was a shock to see my head with just a ‘hint’ of hair on it. Since my hair was blonde, light blonde at that, I looked like I was bald. Mort took off the cape and I paid him and gave him a very good tip for coming out early just for me. Mort didn’t want to take any money for his service, but I wouldn’t hear of it.

As I was leaving, I reached up and felt my head. It felt like I had coarse sandpaper up there. Mort said, “Dave! Do you have soccer practice today after school? I told him I didn’t. He said, “Stop by after school and I will finish the cut if you want me to.” “What is there to finished?” I asked. Mort smiled and said, “We’ll make it shine.” I rushed off to school and my best friend in the world, Pete, was waiting for me. He was shocked to see me without any hair. Of course his obvious question was why and when! I told him what happened. Then he wanted to know how I got it cut so soon and I told him about my call to Mort. Pete goes to Mort, so he knew what kind of a guy he was.

At lunch, I met up with Pete and I told him I was thinking of going back to Mort right after school and let him finish the cut. “What is there to finish,” asked Pete. I told him I was thinking of having Mort shave the rest off. Pete smiled and said, “I want to go with you. I have to see this….if you don’t mind!” I laughed and said, “I don’t mind at all. It will be good to have someone along for support.”

I didn’t know it at the time, but Pete called his folks. When we arrived at Mort’s, Mort was finishing up a head shave. By the uniform, I could tell he was a state policeman. He sure did look sharp with the head shave. I mean it had a shine that would rival the sun.

When the officer left, I jumped into the chair and said, “Mort! I’m taking you up on your offer! Make it shine.” I couldn’t wait to see what I looked like without any hair at all. I found my heart racing at the thought of a razor gliding over my head, leaving a bright shine in its path. It wasn’t long before the second shave began. This time Mort was shaving me in the opposite direction and I really enjoyed the feeling. I loved the part where Mort would rub his hand around on my head, trying to find anything that he might have missed. In no time Mort had put on some baby oil and rubbed and rubbed my head, it felt so good, then I was brought back to reality when Mort put some kind of gel on my head that caused the head to feel really cool. He rubbed the gel around and then let me sit there for a time.

When the cape was removed, I was turned to face the mirror and I couldn’t believe the shine that Mort was able to give me. I loved it. Man! Did I ever glow. I couldn’t wait to get out in the sun and see how it shined then.

I got up to pay Mort and he refused. He said he enjoyed finishing up the cut and that I should consider keeping my head shaved since the style suited me. Before I realized it, Pete was in the chair and said, “Mort! I want mine just like Dave’s.

I loved to watch as Pete’s hair was removed from his head and it was falling to the floor like leaves falling from a tree. In no time, Pete was shining as well. Being that his hair was dark, he had a shadow on his head, but the shine came through.

As Pete and I were walking home, I met up with my dad. He came looking for me. I had called home and told mother that I was stopping off at Mort’s but I guess she didn’t tell dad. I could tell that dad was upset. He wanted to know why I hadn’t called home and I said I had. He then smiled and said, “That’s one fine haircut you have there son! And you too Pete. I must say they are fine haircuts.” Dad walked back home with us and Pete was on his way. He lived only one block beyond where I lived.

When I got inside, Dad said, “Son! I want you to keep that haircut. You look great with it.” I knew then that I would be stuck with this style, but I also knew I was already hooked and would keep it.

The next day at school, I had a number of male friends stop me in the hall and said how much they liked the cut on me. They weren’t inclined to race right out and get their heads shaved, but I know it is a matter of time before a lot of them will be shining too.

Here it is a year later and I have kept the head smooth and shining. There isn’t any cut I would want to try now. I have found the ultimate haircut for me. I would like to thank Dad for his part in me getting the baldy but I don’t want to get him ‘started’ again. He has been really civil to me this past year and I want to keep it that way. Dad works for the Federal Government and is gone for long periods of time. My father’s one big fault is his temper. I learned a long time ago, to avoid him when I saw the signs of his temper flaring up. Any little thing will ‘set’ him off if he was having a bad day.



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