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Just Like Dave's by Bald Surfer


Dave and I have been best friends since we were five years old. We did everything together. When Dave got interested in comic books, I started collecting them. When I went out for the football team, so did Dave. And in sophomore year of high school, we both decided to let our somewhat shaggy hair grow long. We didn't even get a trim for almost 8 months. Finally, we went to our barber, Fred (of course we had the same barber!), and got our hair trimmed. After the trim it was all an even length, not quite yet down to our shoulders. After that, we'd get a trim every few month, just to clean up the ends. It looked great all one length, hanging loose or tied back in a pony tail. My long hair was blond, and the sun bleached it nearly white. Dave's was really dark brown. But otherwise, our hair was identical.

We were both so proud of our growing manes. Most guys in our school wore their short - lots and lots of buzz cuts. So our long, shiny hair set us apart. By graduation, we both had hair that hung below our shoulder blades. That summer, we both needed to save up some money for college and we got jobs painting houses. Every day, there we were, on ladders, baking in the sun, trying to keep paint from getting in our tied back pony tails. Every night, I'd work to remove the paint that did splatter onto my mane.

Then, one morning, Dave showed up at the job site with his hair cut. It wasn't THAT short but the top and sides were chopped to only 4 or 5 inches. The back was barely down to his collar. I stared in disbelief. I don't know what was more shocking - that Dave had cut all his hair off, or that he did it on his own, without telling me. I asked him what happened.

"I was just sick and tired of sweating under all that hair, and trying to scrub paint out of it. I just wanted to get rid of it. And I knew you'd try to talk me out of it. So I just went to Fred and got it done. And to tell you the truth, I really like the way it looks."

I couldn't argue that point. The short hair looked really good. With short hair, you could see his face better. He kept his sideburns down to the bottom of his ear. He looked more adult. Like a man, not a boy. But I just wasn't ready to part with my long hair. I loved the way it looked. I loved the way it felt. So it seemed that Dave and I would have that as a difference between us. All our friends told Dave how great he looked, and asked when it would be my turn. But I wasn't interested. Dave started getting a lot more attention from girls, but I still held my ground.

A few weeks later, we were painting a house and it was a really windy. No matter how hard we tried, paint kept blowing back at us, and by the end of the day, our faces, hair and clothes were spattered with blue paint. DI went home, cleaned my hands and face and then started trying to get all the paint out of my hair, but it was a long difficult process and I was getting fed up. Maybe Dave had the right idea all along. He probably had all the paint off his short hair by now. Maybe it was time for me to take the plunge.

I drove over to Fred's Barber Shop. It was nearly closing time when I got there and the shop was empty. My heart was thumping and my stomach was rumbling as Fred ushered me into the chair. Was I really going to let Fred chop off so much of my hair? Would I really look as good as Dave did with only 5 inches of hair? As I was trying to get up the nerve to tell Fred what to do, he said "You just missed your buddy, Dave. It sure is odd to see you two with such different haircuts after all these years."

I figured that Dave liked his cool new haircut so much that he was keeping it that way, so I took a deep breath and said "Yeah, I think his new look is pretty cool. I think I'm finally ready to do it too. So cut mine just like Dave's." Even Fred looked surprised at my decision, but now that I said it out loud, I was kind of excited. So when Fred asked if I was sure, I said "Absolutely" and Fred said ok, and turned me away from the mirror and said "Let's get going, then."

I closed my eyes, trembling as I waited for the first snip of the scissors that would mean no turning back. But instead, I heard the whir of clippers and before I could say a word, Fred had run them down the center of my head and I saw over 18 inches of hair falling over my cape. "What the hell are did you do, Fred? You just buzzed off a chunk of my hair! I wanted it like Dave!" Fred seemed surprised at my anger. "But I told you Dave was just here. He had so much paint in his hair we decided to buzz it all off to a number 1. I thought you knew that."

I was shaking. I reached up and touched the buzzed stripe. It was barely stubble! I thought I was going to have a haircut, but I never thought I'd be almost bald! Fred was sorry, but thought I knew what I was asking for. And he told me there was nothing else to do now but finish the job. I knew he was right, and told him to just get it over with. To be honest, it took all my strength to keep from crying as he ran the clippers over my entire head I watched all my hair pile up on the cape and floor. After it was all gone, he put hot shaving cream on my neck, over my ears and at the base of my sideburns and shaved it away with a straight razor. When he finally turned me around, I didn't even recognize the guy in the mirror. My blond stubble was barely visible. I looked bald! But the odd thing was, I really liked it. I kind of looked like a marine. A real badass. And as I rubbed my hand over my head, I loved the electric feel of the coarse stubble. Fred apologized again, but I told him it was OK.

I drove straight to Dave's house. He came to the door and screamed in surprise! "Dude - I can't believe you did it too!" He was standing there, his dark hair reduced to stubble too. With dark hair, he didn't look as bald as me, but still, he looked so different than just a few hours ago. I told him the story and he laughed uncontrollably. I told him that even though it was an accident, I really liked it and thought I might keep it this way. Dave said he like it on both of us. So every few weeks, I still go back to Fred and tell him "Cut it just like Dave's".



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