Mr Higgins Part 1 by Stillcropped
Mr Higgins .part 1.
I was 13 when we moved to a different part of the country as my Father's career blossomed I had successfully passed the entrance exam (and my parents had been approved) and I was about to start a new fee-paying grammar school. We had been given instructions about the entry procedure including where to buy my uniform and bizarrely where to get my haircut! Up until then I had always accompanied my Mother every 6 weeks and had the ends of my longish fair hair trimmed at her salon as she was pampered , now things were about to change.
As soon as I saw the revolving barber's pole and heard the tiny bell ring as we opened the door my stomach began to churn. The sign simply said 'Barber', as we entered I sensed a feeling of trepidation from my Mother as she gave a nervous cough to attract the attention of whoever it was shuffling about in the back shop. Moments later he appeared a giant of a man with a pencil thin moustache and slicked back jet black hair
'eh m Mr Higgins?' My Mother asked.
A thin smile appeared for a second from the barber then his eyes narrowed as he looked me up and down 'First year at Bart's is it ?'
A sigh of relief from my Mother as she gushed ''Yes he is. I'm glad we found you as you see he could do with a trim before term starts'
His reply was firm and a little abrupt ' I don't do "trims" he will get a suitable cut in accordance with school rules' then he turned to me and ordered ' in the chair and no nonsense '
As I hesitated my mother mouthed a 'go on' to me and reluctantly I stepped onto the footplate and I heard my mother ' ehm Mr Higgins not too short please he has my sisters wedding to go to on Saturday week and...'
I saw his face turn stern as he turned to face her 'madam, I have been cutting the heads of the boys at St Bart's for over thirty years , that is why Mr Gibson recommends that new boys come here, obviously you have taken his advice as your son is now in my care. Do you wish me to cut this mop to school standards or not?' '
Ye yes please I'm sorry it's just that he's never been to a barber's before and I...'
His raised hand and stopped her 'madam kindly either sit down and do not interfere or come back in fifteen minutes and the boy will be ready'
I was relieved as she sat down biting her bottom lip. Then he addressed me ' now boy I want no nonsense from you or you'll be on a report to Mr Gibson. This mop needs to be licked into shape' and he combed all my hair straight down , my fringe covering my eyes the sides below my ears and back over my collar.
I looked straight into the mirror through my long locks and saw the sharp point of the scissors rest against the middle of my forehead ,then the shtick! As the blades closed and a huge lock of my fair hair slid onto my lap, open ,close three times and the scissors had left me with a short blunt fringe a full two inches above my eyebrows for the first time in years 'head still ' he ordered and continued to shear a line level with my fringe all around my head sending cascades of my fair locks to the floor and into my lap , when he completed his way around my head I was left with a high thick bowl cut level with my temple.
Next he parted my hair on the right creating a sharp score then proceeded to remove great clumps of my hair scissor over comb with a set of thinning scissors, I was amazed at how fast he worked and how much hair I was losing in such a short space of time. For a moment he moved behind me and I saw my Mother forcing a re-assuring smile at me via the mirror but I knew she was as horrified as me, at the devastation being inflicted on my hair.
Then the voice ' head down boy, chin to chest ' and a firm hand pushed my head down in preparation for his clippers the noise of their motor filling the shop, having never experienced the clippers before my reflex reaction to them touching my hairline was to arch my head back which was met by a firm push from Mr Higgins to hold my head in place as time and time again he ploughed the noisy machine up the back of my head to the bowl line he had previously created.
He released his grip then bent my head towards my right shoulder I watched him drive the beasts high up the side of my head mercilessly mowing any hairs in their path to stubble, the left side soon got the same treatment then he switched the beasts off.
He produced a pair of 6 inch shears from his breast pocket and annoyingly rapidly opened and closed them in mid air close to my scalp before combing out a lock of hair and shearing it off. After a few minutes of this he stopped and then took a good dollop of white hair cream and vigorously rubbed it all over my scalp then using his comb parted what remained of my hair in a laser straight line and slicked it down.
As he uncapped me he turned to my Mother saying ' there you are ,one St Bart's new start , you'll have no complaints from Mr Gibson with this one '
as I got up I could see the look of horror on my Mother's face at the brutal ultra short back and sides I had been given, and the strain in her voice as she said 'Thank you it's very ehmm smart' as she opened her purse to pay Mr Higgins stopped her 'no need Madam , first two are paid for by the school' then he turned to me handing me a small jar of the white hair cream ' brush,dustpan ,bin sweep this mess up then be on your way. I'll see you on Friday' and he disappeared into the back shop.