Short as you Can by stillcropped
Short As You Can
Over the years I had got my hair cut progressively shorter and the summer before had it shorn to a No1 all over, now I had decided I was the getting the ultimate a ‘0'.
I had it cut to a No4 three weeks before so that I would get the full effect. The barbers I had selected I had visited maybe 3 or 4 times over the past years and knew that it was small, busy and had one female barber in her forties and on one other occasion , on a Saturday a younger girl in her twenties had also helped out.
As I approached the shop my heart was beating fast, from the outside you couldn't see how many were in so when you opened the door that was you committed. I pushed open the door and heard the radio playing, I saw that lady owner was cutting an elderly gentleman's hair but she caught my eye in the mirror and nodded a welcome stating ‘Have a seat I won't keep you long' I looked at the bench behind the door and saw a man in his thirties reading a paper, he glanced up as I sat down. He addressed the barber as ‘Linda' as he commented on an article in the local paper and then the Three of them continued a conversation about one of their neighbours. As Linda continued to trim the almost white hair from her customer the conversation continued non-stop ,until she dusted his neck and held up a mirror so he could see the back commenting that that was him tidied up for another few weeks. As she removed the cape the other guy stood up and took a note out of his pocket, thanked Linda and helped, who I assumed to be his Father out towards the door as Linda swept the white hair clippings into a dust pan. My mouth was dry as I now realised that I was next, Linda then dusted off the chair smiled at me and motioned for me to sit down, as she tightened the cape around me she asked "You've been here before haven't you?” As I nodded my agreement she then asked "So what are we doing then?”
I swallowed hard the blood pulsing through my ears "Ehm Shav….. Eh Skinhead please,”
She placed her hand on top of my head "Skinner eh, all off, to the wood?”
I felt myself relaxing slightly as she had taken control and I meekly nodded and managed a weak "Yes,short as you can”
Linda unhooked the clippers and sprayed a few drops of oil on them, switching them off and on a few times to disperse the lubricant, then as she pushed my head forward and placed the clippers at the base of my neck I heard the ‘Click and BBZZZZ' and felt the vibration on my scalp "So is this to see you through the summer?”
"Well maybe my hair grows quick so I'll see”
The clippers were being pushed up the back of my head and I arched my head back to meet them only for Linda to hold my head in place. I felt them being re-positioned on my hair line then the BZZZZ BBBRRRRR as the teeth entered my hair, she continued the conversation as she ran the clippers up the back of my head "Well this should last you a good few weeks”
As she released her grip on my head I raised my head up and looked into the mirror and my reflection was the same as it had been moments earlier but not for long. Linda stretched her right hand over the top of my head and placed the clippers on my hairline, in what seemed like slow motion I watched as the clippers mowed a 2 inch wide path straight down the centre of my head leaving white scalp behind , pass two and my hair was rolling down my right shoulder over and over the buzzing clippers criss-crossed my scalp shearing off any hairs in their path I heard Linda's voice but it seemed far, far, away " It's always a wee bit of a shock when it first comes off, but you'll soon get used to it”
I came back to earth "Yen, yen it is well ehm short!” I laughed
She laughed back "Skinheads normally are! Now what do you want me to do with the sideburns?”
"Ehm I'm not sure what do you suggest?”
She stopped my shearing and looked at me in the mirror "Well if you're going to grow a beard I'd take them off and then it will all come in at the same rate”
This was something that I hadn't really thought of that with virtually no head hair and clean shaven 3 inch long sideburns would look out of place "Yes, in for a penny and all that, take them off”
What happened next surprised me she placed the clippers above my sideburn on the right and ran them up the side of my head then behind the ear removing all my hair and then repeated the process on the left side leaving me with an overall shadow of hair and sideburns intact, she then switched the clippers off and replaced them on the hook. She then went into the back shop and came back with another smaller set of clippers which she plugged in. "Bend your head just slightly forward please”
I did as requested and heard a high pitched BBZZZZ as the clippers came to life their teeth felt sharp against my skin as she outlined my neckline, they then nibbled up behind my right ear and as they reached the top of my ear she placed the teeth against my scalp leaving a thin white line about ½ inch above my sideburn. She once again placed her hand on top of my head "Down a bit further this time” As I lowered my chin I once again felt the high-pitched clippers on my hairline then she pushed them up the back of my head again I arched my head back to meet them and this time she allowed this to happen and I watched as the clippers met the crown of my head and then continued straight down to my forehead. I let out a gasp as the path they had just been on was now skin, unbelievably the ‘Skinhead' which she had just given me with the normal clippers now stood out from the now shaved furrow on my head. "These boys take no prisoners Eh?” Linda remarked proud of her handiwork.
I found myself gibbering "It's just that I wasn't expecting any more, I mean I didn't think that, well it was already shorter than I had anticipated”
She again laughed " Everybody's the same the first time they meet the ‘Balders' but they live by their name they shave you as near bald as you'll get without using a razor, now watch this” She placed the clippers at the base of my right sideburn in one stroke they removed all semblance of hair I watched as they met the white , what I had assumed to be guideline, then it disappeared as she continued their journey all the way up and over the side of my head until they met the centre bald strip. She quickly removed all the bristles around my temple and shaved back to the crown. The left side got the same treatment then another half a dozen passes up the back of my head and finally they were switched off.
Linda smiled as she picked up the hand mirror and held it so that I could see the back "Not that there's much to see! Happy with that?”
I stammered "Well I'm not unhappy, but just a bit shocked, I mean I knew it was going to be short I mean I expected a zero but this is, well, shaved!”
"Listen, you told me your hair grows fast so in 2 or 3 days it will be a zero. I knew that if I'd shown or asked you if you wanted the balding clippers you would have said no. When you decided to lose your sideburns I just decided not to give you the option. I hope that you're not too upset or offended I want to see you back here”
I was now coming to terms with it "No you're OK and right, it took me all my nerve to ask for the skinhead, given the option I wouldn't have gone this far. I mean it is basically a heads have I think you conned me into it but, well it's growing on me!”
She laughed "Here's a bet for you. I bet one day you will come in here with a reasonable amount of hair, maybe as much as today and say ‘Linda, Balders all over pleases' Because they are addictive!”
With that I thanked her, paid her and left, as I was leaving a youth of about 18 came in to be greeted by Linda "Hello Charlie, you brave enough for the Balders?” I left before I heard his reply.