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The Holiday by Snipped Sam
I would like to take the readers back to the 1970s, a time when there was no internet, no mobile phones .Long hair for males was widely frowned upon, and it was a time when it was considered by some that National Service and birching should be restored for the youth of the day..
I was very much looking forward to the walking holiday which my uncle and aunt had invited me to join them on, I had always loved the Lake District and they were excellent company,, although I was fully aware that they expected me to always be on my best behaviour on these holidays .It had been a few months since I had last seen them and I had grown my hair much longer than I usually had it, having just turned fifteen I felt really grown up.
We arrived at the guest house which we had stayed in two years before; I remembered Mr and Mrs Rainbird who were the proprietors, they greeted us and showed us to our rooms, this time a had my own single room just opposite my uncle and aunt .Mr Rainbird spoke to Uncle David quietly and my Uncle David told me that he wanted to see us both downstairs. We went down to the lounge were Mr Rainbird was waiting. He advised my uncle that he regretted having to raise the issue of the appearance and dress codes for the guest house; however my hair was a totally unacceptable length Uncle David said that he had a few concerns about the length of my hair when they met me to come away on holiday. He also added that it was not this length when they last saw me. Mr Rainbird advised that the Barbers would be open until five o'clock and perhaps it would be better to get me there sooner rather than later and have my hair taken care of. Uncle David agreed and a few minutes later I was being taken to the barbers' I had asked Uncle David to let me go on my own but he said he was not leaving it to chance.
On the way there Uncle David told me to be on my best behaviour, He reminded me that I may be fifteen but if I did not cooperate and behave politely I would be dealt with there and then in the barbers shop. Uncle David was a school master and was no stranger to disciplining bad boys' .He had once spanked me very hard when I was younger for disobeying him during a holiday so I knew this was no idle threat.
We arrived at the barbers and there was just an elderly man in the chair, Uncle David and I sat down to wait. The barber spoke to us and was also clearly expecting us, so Mr Rainbird had telephoned ahead. After what seemed ages the man was finished and once he had been brushed down and had paid for his haircut, I was called to the barber's chair.
"Sit right back in the chair and look straight ahead lad”
The gown was soon round me and I was all tucked in and ready,
"So Mr Rainbird is very keen for this young lad to have some serious barbering done”
"I have to say that I am in full agreement with him, I do not approve of this new look my young nephew has adopted”
"Very pleased to hear that sir, I would like to cut his hair very short so it's close to his head, and then shave the back of his head and the sides very short with the clippers.”
"His aunt and I plan to do a lot of walking with him this week, so that sound to me to be the ideal haircut for him. It will be neat and tidy if it's hot and easy to dry if it rains.”
"There young lad, that's all decided, all you have to do is sit there quietly and do as you are told, I will take care of everything”
Soon he was cutting away, loud snips and lots of hair falling away; it went on for ages I was beginning to look very different. My Uncle David and the barber chatted away like they were old friends. The barber was probably in his early sixties, not very tall He was smartly dressed, certainly very friendly and chatty with my uncle; however with me he was stern. He then took some thinning scissors and thinned my hair all over; it was very uncomfortable as he tugged at my hair. He then brushed me down,
‘Well my lad, you are looking much more neat and tidy now aren't you` I nodded `yes sir, a lot better`
`Right lad you need to bend your head right down for me, it's time for the most important part of your haircut`
I bent my head down for him `you can do better than that lad, I need to be able to get at you with my clippers, a touch further lad ,that's better .Now make sure you keep your head very still for me, otherwise I will have to ask your Uncle to hold your head down for me.
"Remember what I said about cooperating Mark, make sure you keep your head still for your barber, you really don't want me to come and hold your head for you, because I'm sure you don't want the barber to see you getting a really good spanking "
My heart sank as he took the clippers from the hook, he turned them on and began to run them up the back of my head, up and up he went, he then tilted my head and did above my ears. Then came a vigorous brush down, he stood back and surveyed his work ` a touch more of the back I think` and he took a different pair of clippers and clipped at the back again. Once he had finished he gave me a good brush down and combed my hair precisely in place, he then applied some sweet smelling hair cream and powdered my neck.
When I came of the chair I put my hand on the back of my neck it felt so bare
As I ran my hand up it felt rough and bristly
My uncle paid for my haircut and thanked the barber for an excellent job, he remarked that it looked like I would be requiring a firmer hand than usual this holiday, but a nice short haircut was a good start. He then said that he wished he also had needed a haircut as he was just the sort of barber he liked to visit, however as our holiday was to be for ten days he would be coming for a haircut before we left.
"Yes sir, I think you will be ready for a haircut by then, was it perhaps a week ago since your last haircut”
"Indeed it was, I am impressed”
"Perhaps sir may allow me to go a touch shorter at the back and a little less sideburn”
"I shall look forward to it, but I will be giving you a free hand following your excellent handling of Marks little hair problem”
"thank you sir but I only did what needed to be done, I understand that the lad is at an awkward age and is feeling his feet, he wants to be grown up, but he is still at an age where he is overruled regarding the length of his hair "The best way I have found is the no nonsense, do as you are told approach”
"You are absolutely right, Mark knew exactly where he stood with you, and I'm quite sure that deep down who knows that the right thing has been done here this afternoon, he is a good lad really”
"I'm sure he is sir, seems to me like he is a very nice lad,”
"But let's not get too sentimental, when I come here to see you before we go back, he is going to need a haircut too "
"You can rely on me sir to get the job done"