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Coda: Conversations Dec 1979 Pt. 2 by Archon 2
Author's note: Please note that this story may offend those who have or have had a 'horseshoe flattop.' Personally, I don't like the extreme haircuts like horseshoes and other variants, but if others like them and wear them, then that's fine with me. As you might tell, I'm a fan of haircuts that are tapered, which too me are much more aesthetically pleasing when the top is longer than the sides. Thanks again for reading my stories.
"Hey guys,” said Mike, as he acknowledged Dave and Steve, "can you pass me a Pepsi, please. And no need to get up when I come in; even if those high and tights are making you think you're Marines now, I'm not an officer.”
Steve handed him a Coke, explaining that "sorry dude, I drank the last one,” as he sat back down and began to rub the back of his head, which had been clipper-shaved again last week when Mike treated all of them to their second high and tight. "Thanks for taking us out again, Mike. We just got up and took off our beanies because, you know, it's haircut time!”
Dave handed the copy of the school newspaper to Mike, who took it and asked, "So this is it? I'll read it in a bit. Look at you, Dave, the subject of two newspaper articles…over a haircut!”
"Make sure that you do,” said Dave as he sat down near the displayed tools. "So we're going to do this, right? And who's first?”
"Well me, of course,” Steve said excitedly, "especially since you don't think I'll do it. And of course, I want my two best buds to do it.”
Both brothers started to laugh, then Mike commented, "Ok Steve, we'll both give you a haircut, first Dave and then me. This is sure a lot different when you gave up your ‘Stevie Crew.'”
Steve had given up his ‘Stevie Crew' two weeks ago, or rather his father had given him permission to get a high and tight, though at the time Steve was still under a ‘punishment haircut' term till his grades improved—which was simply for him to not get any grade below a "C”. Steve had almost done that with his first high school report card, receiving 2 A's, 3 B's and one D grade. But those grades were good enough to convince his father to ‘reward' Steve with allowing him to get a high and tight; actually, it was a very big reward, since he and Steve's mother didn't exactly think a teenager in high school should get a high and tight, so he reserved the right to make Steve go back to his very short crewcut. And his father still had some leverage, for though Steve really wanted to get a high and tight so that he looked like his best friends Dave and Mike, it was just a passing fancy, just something to do once. Steve's big goal was to finally get out from under his father's haircut rules. He wanted to have the choice to grow his hair out long. But for now, it was a thrill to get a high and tight. Dave was excited as well, though not so much about getting a high and tight (he still thought they looked somewhat silly and were far too severe), but that he had earned—yes, earned—the right from Mike to wear a high and tight. And his first report card just almost got him a reprieve from his haircut deal; unfortunately, he had received one C grade, so he was still subject to his father's wishes about his haircuts, which then meant that his brother was still in charge. So Mike could either make Dave keep shaving his head, or allow him to graduate to a high and tight. Dave had thought his C grade had sealed his fate; and though he didn't get teased about his bald head—he was actually cool now—he wanted something different, a little hair to comb. He had actually discussed that with Mike, noting that he understood why his peers spent so much time in front of the mirror, they wanted their hair to look good, and it was a good feeling to comb your hair into place so that it looked how you wanted it to look. Mike had told him that he had done his time even if it had only been about two and a half months, since in boot camp you only got your head clipper shaved every week, but Dave had shaved his head every day, so he earned his high and tight already. And the even better news was that Mike was allowing Dave to stop shaving his head—if he wanted to—for the three weeks before he would take him to get his first high and tight, just before Thanksgiving! That's right, no ‘in-between' haircuts where he would let the top grow and get the sides taken down. ‘Full transformation,' Mike had called it, no getting ‘almost high and tights,' and hopefully, in three weeks Dave's hair would be long enough on the top to be flat topped. If it wasn't, the barber would have to bevel the top sides in severely, and he'd end up with a high and tight horseshoe flattop; but hopefully, their Thanksgiving family photo would show both older boys with true Marine high and tight flattops, with the youngest, Matt, aspiring to a high and tight as well, but looking just as pleased with his short boxy flattop.
"Yeah, I still miss the ‘Stevie Crew,” said Steve, who was now rubbing the top of his head, feeling the short bristles surrounding the even shorter hair of his ‘landing strip,' then remarking, "and I'll miss ‘Stevie Shoe'…but I was the one who got us the interview, along with our rocking new high and tights, ‘the shoes'”
At that, all of them laughed. "Yes, it certainly was all because of you, Steve.” "I agree with Mike,” said Dave. "Who would have thought something like that would happen. I mean, I've had two haircuts in one day, both at home in the space of maybe nine hours, but what happened that day…well, it defies imagination.”
That day was beautifully sunny and quite warm for the season. The DLI barbershop was not that busy, as most soldiers had gone home already for Thanksgiving. So Mike, Dave and Steve didn't have to wait long…or more exactly, Mike and Dave didn't wait long to get a chair, as there were two waiting for them already. As they sat down, Mike gave the instructions to the barbers, "high and tight flattops, with the top as wide as possible, though the landing strips should be skinned, if possible…Dave's hair is still kind of short, so do your best.” With that, the barbers had gone to work, and in no time both brothers had their sides and back skinned high, though not over the crown. Then Mike's barber took the top down as short as it could go and gave him an outline shave. Dave's barber, however, had tried to use some wax and brushing, but to no avail, so he just started at the high crown area and used the old clipper over comb method to make the first horizontal flat cut across Dave's head. And then he worked forwards and back from that line, carving out the most impossibly short flattop which he expertly tied into the sides with just a slight bevel. Though not as ‘boxy' as Mikes, both brothers looked remarkably similar now, and both were standing in front of the mirror by the waiting area, with Mike rubbing Dave's landing strip as they both admired each other's haircut. Mike had then turned to Steve and said "Your turn,” which was met by Steve announcing that he had "decided not to get one.” So Mike paid for the two haircuts as Dave insisted on paying for the tips. Then they left to walk down to the wharf area below. As they walked downhill, they came to the tourist areas where their haircuts—especially Dave's haircut—elicited many of the usual comments such as ‘wow, nice haircuts,' and ‘looking sharp for Thanksgiving,' and ‘wow, those are some haircuts.' Dave also noticed the interested look on some teens with long hair—where before Dave would have thought they were wondering how to tease him, or hoping that their parents weren't thinking of making them get a haircut like his—now Dave actually thought they were interested in how they might look with his haircut! Steve noticed as well, and though neither Mike nor Dave had given him any grief about not getting a high and tight, he suddenly said "I know what you're thinking, I couldn't give up my ‘Stevie Crew' because I'm a chicken…just wanted to think about it more.” "We didn't say anything” was their reply. But Steve, who had weighed the possibility of his father perhaps ordering him to keep his high and tight—which was just a one-time thing he was doing out of curiosity and because he wanted to look like Mike and Dave for some reason—until he earned better grades, suddenly stopped and said "hey guys, can we go back to the barbershop? I'm ready now.” So the three had reversed their direction and went back to the barbershop. When they got inside, Steve took off his coat and immediately jumped into the first chair, pointed to Mike and Dave, and instructed the barber to give him a "shorter version of their haircuts,” to which the barber asked, "You mean a horseshoe with the crown shaved as tight as the sides?” "Exactly,” replied Steve, who then proudly asked the barber to make sure he was facing the mirror as much as possible so that he could watch. And boy did he watch, as the barber skinned him first in the back, with each swipe not stopping at the crown, but with the clippers going up and over the crown area to just short of that high point that sticks out the most on the landing strip. Then Steve watched with amazement as the barber deftly and quickly took off the sides down to stubble as well. Then the barber used applied some wax to Steve's remaining hair on the top, and got it to stand up straight so that he could expertly free-hand a gloriously short flat top, revealing a wide landing strip that made Steve grin broadly as he bent his head down to look at it. Then the barber blended in the sides and the crown area expertly. Lastly, the barber took the edger to the sides and back, and into the crown area. When he was done, Steve now had the shortest horseshoe flattop seen on a teen his age…well, at least until Dave and Mike hopped into the empty chairs and had their already short flattops cut into horseshoes. The barbers didn't want to be paid for Mike and Dave, so Mike only paid for Steve's ‘Stevie Shoe' as he now called it, and as they left the barbershop, they were all rubbing their heads and laughing. With all three of them sporting such a radical haircut, they were noticed by everyone…and as they were sitting outside a restaurant enjoying their lunch, a reporter introduced himself and asked if he could feature them in a story.
"Yeah, we all got ‘Stevie Shoe,' agreed Mike. "We must have stood out there at the wharf, all three of us with our shaved sides and back, with our horseshoes on top…good thing we had our pictures taken not too long after we got them. Where's the article?”
"It's inside,” replied Dave…we have several copies, and the picture is good. Too bad we didn't get another picture, all three of us last week, when we got it cut again. Mine looks a little better, since the top front finally was long enough to stand up straight. It looks better, you know, the contrast of there being some hair at the very front, and then the sides being shaved.”
Probably, their decision to have their horseshoes shaved—the sides and back along with crown area—led them to rethink their haircuts. Mike, who was a Marine, wasn't really that gung-ho about high and tights—and this shaved horseshoe, well, it didn't look good to him, and it certainly didn't look good on Dave or Steve. Mike actually preferred the Medium regulation standard haircut, or something classic like a short crewcut or even the short butch with flattop that he wore as a senior in high school. For that matter, he really liked boxy flattops. So when they got home from the barbershop, and as they were standing in front of the mirror looking at their shaved horseshoes, all three of them decided that they just might have gone a bit too far. "Well, I hope that when my dad sees this he doesn't find out that I think this haircut would be the worst punishment haircut,” remarked Steve, who was genuinely concerned now that his worst fear might come true, his father would make him wear one from now on. Both Mike and Dave shared his sentiment, and it was Mike who suggested that they get together next Saturday to ‘fix this and put Steve out of his misery', but in the meantime, to wear their shoes proudly…and that they just might change their minds on Saturday.
"Ok, thanks…I'll take a copy of the article, as I gave mine away to a friend. And I'll read the school paper in a bit.” Then shifting a bit and looking at the others, he asked "are we going to do it?”
End of Part 2