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The 5th Grade Flattop In 1977 by John Nelson


I was always very nervous about getting haircuts. I liked long hair and I thought my ears were funny looking. They are kind of bent down a little at the tips. As long as I could remember my ears never showed. This was a trip to the barber shop in 1977. In the late seventies almost no one had a flattop and long hair was in big time. I always would put off haircuts whenever possible. This particular trip to the barber was no exception, it had been months and months. My hair was down to my mouth in front and well over both ears. I went to the barbers with my mom and brother usually. This particular time my brother was busy and my mom took only me. It was the usual barber shop of three to four older to middle age barbers. A real barber shop. Every time my mom would say he likes it over the ears and longer. This time she said the same thing but things turned out very different! It was a hot day as I remember and my mom left the barber shop to go get a cold drink after she gave him the directions to just trim a little and leave it over the ears. Well the minute she left he got the clippers out and said something fast like it's too hot to have all this hair. Before I could say anything I felt the cold clippers cutting away the hair around my right ear. It was too late the buzzing had started and the hair was falling in my lap. I said what are you doing! It was hopeless and too late. I just sat there thinking what it happen at school tomorrow?? Hair was falling and falling in my lap and on the floor. What I didn't ever realize was I was now getting a zero sides and back flattop. When I tried to turn around to look in the mirror all I saw was my two ears completely exposed and I was bald on the sides. It was about this time my mom came back. She looked shocked but just laughed and said what happened. The barber said I was so hot out and all. So he continued to buzz and buzz. The top was nearly gone too just a little bit spiked with grease in front. I thought oh my ears totally exposed and I'm almost bald. This was 1977 so no one had this look. The next day going to school was horrible! I thought about a hood or hat but sooner or later people would see it. So I just braved it out. At the bus stop everyone kept saying what happened! Kids wanted to rub it. All day it was like this. My heart was beating fast all morning that first day. Then the next two days got easier and easier. No one said my ears looked funny at all. Some people even said they liked it because it felt cool to touch. After that I let it grow for awhile. Then it started sticking out weird and people told me shave it again it's getting too long. About 2 months later I went back with my mom to the barber shop and got another flattop. After that in 6th grade, junior high and high school I always kept my hair clipper short. I was easier and felt better. I didn't even care any more about my funny ears. A strange chance mistake turned out ok.



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