Snowpocalypse Now by Jack Frostay
By Jack Frostay
It was the storm of the century. Over two feet of snow had fallen in an area where that just didn`t happen. Danny`s college was
closed and he was pretty much up to date on his studies. Danny was a kind hearted soul and one of his problems was that people said he was too nice. He could never disappoint anybody. So, Danny decided that he would offer to help some of his older neighbors clean their snow. Danny had only moved into the neighborhood at the beginning of the semester, a few weeks back, so he didn`t know the neighbors too well. His landlord told him, though, that the couple down the street couldn`t really scrape that kind of snow on their own. Danny put on a couple layers of clothes and got that goofy knit hat that tied under his chin. He hated the hat because it made his head really hot and he ended up with terrible hat hair.
He rang the door bell of the tidy looking bungalow and waited. A sweet looking old lady came to the door. "Hello ma`am, would you like me to shovel your walk and driveway for you?" "Why that is very kind young man, my Harry shouldn`t exert himself that way, but I am sorry to say we cannot afford to pay you." "Oh no ma`am, I don`t want any pay. I`m a college student and my needs are small as far as money goes. I don`t have a lot of extra but I am ok." Betty Williams thanked Danny profusely and told him to let her know when he was done so that she could give him a warm drink and a chance to dry off. As Danny started shoveling, Betty said to her husband: "Harry, what a nice young man, we should do something kind for him in return." Harry agreed, "this getting old isn`t for sissies, is it, sweetie. Time was, I would have us shoveled out and the shop opened by now. If I still had the shop, I could repay that young man for his kindness. In fact, maybe that is what we can do."
Two hours later, a cold, sweaty Danny knocked at the door of the Williams` home. "Oh Danny, come in, I`ve fixed something for you and my husband wants to thank you too. Danny came in and took his outer clothes. He glanced at himself in the mirror and thought "good grief, my hair looks awful. Danny sat down and Betty brought him a cup of hot chocolate and some delicious looking scones, hot from the oven. As he ate and drank, he started to feel a bit drowsy. Harry, said to him, "Danny, I wish I could give you a few dollars for spending money, but we are on a pretty tight budget. I can offer you something though." "Well thank you sir, but that is not necessary," Danny replied. "It would make me feel like I wasn`t so old and useless," said Harry. "OK sir, what is it that you want to do for me." "Well son, I`ve been a barber for nigh on to 40 years. I can tell that you take good care of your hair, but it could use a good cutting." Danny tried to think quick. He did not want a haircut from this old guy. He liked his hair on the long side. He loved the feel of it on cold days and he liked to flick his bangs over to the side when he was trying to impress a girl. But, then again, he didn`t want to hurt this old guy`s feelings. Maybe he could just control things and get a bit of a trim and leave it at that.
"Well, I guess I could use a trim, but no buzz cuts for me, please." "Don`t worry, Danny, I`ll have you looking good." By now, Betty had laid out Harry`s tools next to the kitchen table and had set a captain`s chair next to them. As Danny sat down in the chair he mentioned, "boy, I am feeling tired, I guess that snow took it out of me." Betty smiled and said, well Danny, I added a bit of "creme de chocolate" to that drink. My daughter brought it back from the Islands. We don`t really drink anymore, so we thought you would enjoy it. I know how you college men are." Harry said, "ok young man, lets get started. I`ll comb this out and get you cleaned up." Danny, started to say something about `not to short,` but found himself drifting off in the glow of the alcohol and the warmth of the room. Suddenly, Danny felt a nudge on his shoulder and a familiar voice calling his name. "Danny, you kind of zoned out on us. Are you ready to see your haircut?" Danny was suddenly very awake, he looked around and could see no hair on the floor and just a bit on the cape, yet his head felt strangely lighter. "Come along mother, bring that mirror over," Harry called to Betty. Harry handed the mirror to Danny. Looking back at himself, Danny saw a young man with very short hair, not quite long enough to comb on the sides and just laying down on top. His once mighty bangs had been cut back to barely an inch and there appeared to be some sort of product, keeping his hair neatly in place. His sideburns had been trimmed up to the middle of his ears. Harry said, "I know you didn`t want a buzz, so I gave you a nice tapered cut. It will grow in nicely for you and, if you like, I can trim it up for you at no charge."
Danny was, again, speechless. He hated the way he looked. His ears stuck out, his forehead shined and when he got a look a the back, holy cow, there were inches of skin creeping up the back of his neck. He was about to say thanks but no thanks, when Betty said "Harry, I have not seen you so happy since the grandkids moved to Connecticut and you had nobody`s hair to cut." Harry replied, "you`re right my sweet, I sure do miss practicing my craft." Danny, being Danny, couldn`t break the old guy`s heart. So, he put on a brave smile and said, "well sir, this is quite a haircut. Thank you. I guess you`re my new barber. I`ll check in with you the next time I need a trim." Danny figured that he would avoid the Williamses and grow his hair back. With that, he excused himself and went home.
A few days later, Danny received a phone call from his landlord. "Danny, I heard from Mr. Wlliams that you had cleaned his walk and driveway for him. They are the nicest folks I know. In fact, Betty used to watch me after school when my folks were working late. Harry used to cut my hair for free back when money was tight." "Oh it was no biggie," Danny said, wanting to get this conversation over. "Danny, you don`t understand, I haven`t heard Harry sound this happy in a couple years. I`m going to make you a deal, you get your haircut from Harry every month and pay your rent to him, and I will take fifty bucks a month off your rent." This would be a huge savings for Danny and would mean he could cut back on his part time job and study more. And so, Danny the Dude became Danny the Dork, all because he couldn`t say no.