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Michael's Choose Your Own Adventure by Bob
Note: This is a choose your own adventure story. When you get there, choice 1e is just a preview of the next story because I knew that I could expand it.
My name is Michael, and I have decided to give you control of my life for today. First, I'll give you a little background. I am a junior in high school with dirty blonde hair down below my eyes, collar, and ears. I haven't seen my ears in ages. My parents are very close to making me get a haircut, so just about any scenario will trigger a haircut. Now let's get on with the story.
I woke up at 6:54 on Saturday to the sound of my dad yelling for me to come downstairs. If you want me to go downstairs , scroll to CHOICE 1, and if you want me to ignore him, scroll to CHOICE 2.
I walked down our flight of stairs and see my father. I said...
"What the hell do you want dad, I'm trying to sleep!" Go to choice 1a
"Yes sir, you called?" Go to choice 1b (below 1c)
He replied, "Well, I was going to be nice about it, but I have had enough of your sass. We are going to the barbershop and giving you a proper haircut right now!"
"But come on, dad! I'm sixteen, and this is my life. I get to do what I want to do. That's how it works, old man.
"THAT IS IT!! I AM DRIVING YOU STRAIGHT THERE AND YOU ARE GETTING THE CRUELEST HAIRCUT POSSIBLE!!"
Run go to Conclusion 1a
Comply, go to Choice 1c
While running, I got hit by a bus and never got up. I know that for the open-casket, they cut my hair into a short back and sides that was not buzzed but gelled using brylcreem with a hard part. The funeral was pretty touching. My father wrote an obituary.
We passed by three barbershops that hadn't opened yet until we arrived at Joe's Barbershop at 7:47, and no one was there except for a barber.
The barber said, "Welcome to Joe's shop, I'm Joe. How can I help you today?"
My dad replied, "This little devil talked back to me, and now he is getting punished. I'll give you a choice, Michael: you can let me or the barber choose your haircut."
Dad's haircut, go to Conclusion 1c
Barber's Choice, go to Conclusion 1c2
"I choose yours."
"Ok, Joe, can you cut my son's hair just like mine?"
"Sure can," Joe replied.
My heart sank. My dad's haircut was completely shaved on the back and sides, and gelled forward into a small spike, a half an inch up.
The barber pulled out his clippers and goes all around the side of my head without a guard. I'm not gonna lie, the minute my skin was exposed may have been the best moment of my life. I had this haircut as a little kid, but I didn't remember it feeling this good. Joe got out a razor and shaving cream. He puts the cool shaving cream around my head and shaved it smooth with the razor .Everything was still on top but not for long. I'd like to add how firm Joe was. He pushed and twisted my head to get the perfect vantage points. He made me so hard. Joe gets out the scissors and cuts my hair to my dad's length. He pulls out a tube and squeezes a huge glob (one fourth of his hand) of dark blue gel and rubs it in his hands. He firmly subs it forward through my hair and spikes the front really well. When I saw my reflection, I saw my hairstyle that was almost whitewalled and spiky.
It looked wet and intimidating. I loved it. I started respecting my mom and dad and never yelled at them again. I gelled everyday for the rest of my life, and I got my haircut every two weeks with my dad. Putting in the gel everyday felt good and never got old. I spread it to my friends too. They seemed to enjoy it and became obedient too. I joined the army and had a nice life. You should also try it.
"I guess it's barber's choice."
The barber whispered something to my father and my father seemed to approve.
Joe got out materials that I cannot see, but it sounded metallic. The minute that the metal clippers touched my head, I should have known. Joe was slowly shaving my head bald. After buzzing it all, Joe put shaving cream all over my stubble and used a razor to shave it smooth. However, the feeling of the air on my head was pretty good.
"Michael, you will continue to shave your head until I say so. You have been unusually disrespectful, and we had to show you discipline."
"Any complaining will lead to more time on your punishment."
It actually looked pretty good on me. Of course, when I went to school the next day, people made fun of me, asking if I had cancer. People stopped poking fun after my scalp tanned and all of my skin matched. I ended up staying bald until my second semester senior year. After a month of growing my hair out, I decided to remain bald. I liked it, and I joined the marines later. It was pretty nice.
"Good morning Mike. Sorry to call you so early on a weekend, but I wanted to go ahead and tell you that you need a haircut today," my dad said.
"That's cool. I really need one. My hair is getting pretty long. What do you want me to get?"
"I think you're old enough to pick out your own style. Make sure it's short though."
"Yes, sir. Thank you."
He finally understood that I am independent enough to make my own choices. I won't let him down. I will...
Eat breakfast; I'm starving! Go to conclusion 1d
Go straight to the barber, go to choice 1e
I walked into the kitchen at 7:02, and I saw my mom cooking a good breakfast.
After conversation that makes no difference to the story, she said, "What are you planning on doing today?"
"I'm probably going to go get a haircut. Any requests?"
"You know I've always wanted to see you in a short quiff with a one on sides and back."
"How could I forget?"
I drive over to the nearest barbershop at 8:32, and ask for exactly what my mother said: a short quiff buzzed to a one on the sides and back. The barber got out his clippers and started chopping away at the sides. He wet the hair on top and blow dried it out. He used a light hairspray to keep it in place. It really wasn't exhilarating, but it was a major change and looked good nonetheless.
Throughout senior year, my hair length fluctuated: sometimes it was medium, others it was a short quiff, and a lot of the time, it passed my shoulders. My haircuts always felt empty, and they were missing something. I went on in life without the thrill of a drastically short haircut.
Choice 1e (WARNING THIS IS JUST A PREVIEW OF THE NEXT STORY)
I decided to go straight to the barber, but since it was so early, I would walk there. I walked out the door at 7:43.
It was quiet in my neighborhood; I lived on a street where few cars went down, so I was surprised to see one I didn't recognize. It was a large SUV. It was going fast in my direction, hurdling to a stop once it got beside me. I was paralyzed with fear when a syringe stabbed me in the neck and a sack fell over my head. Strong arms threw me into the trunk.
As the world seemed to be fading, I heard a man's voice saying, "This is a perfect specimen for Hair Experiment 084."
I woke up in a chair in an empty room with a door that seemed to be unlocked. I...
obviously take the chance to escape. Go to conclusion 1e1
wait because this seems like a trap. Go to conclusion 1e2
I fit in a quick prayer before bolting out of the room down the hall. I took random turns, and suddenly an alarm went off, and I saw a man with a flattop at the end of the hallway. I turned around to see another one of those guards running towards me. I'm stuck. They carried me to the original room where a handsome, brown eyed man with black hair in a wet, short flattop.
Into a walkie-talkie, he said, "Mark 084 as hostile."
His voice matched the one from the car ride. I thought it was him until I heard the voice in the walkie-talkie reply, "Roger." It had the same voice. GO TO Conclusion 1e (Preview of next story)
I waited in the room for who knows how long, but I looked through the door for a while and guards with dark flattops pacing through the halls until a man walked in.
He said, "Hello, welcome to our lab of sorts."
It was weird; his voice matched the one that grabbed me into the car. GO TO Conclusion 1e (Preview of next story)
Conclusion 1e (Preview of next story)
Now that I thought back, the guards looked the same as him, but this was probably a mistake. I had just woken up, so my sight must have been a little fuzzy, but still, it felt odd and creepy. Now that I got a closer look, I could see that his flattop was shaved on the side with just a shadow of black growing in. It was longer than a lot of flattops on top, but was still less than an inch. No scalp was exposed, and the top looked wet with product.
"Should I call you 084, or should I call you Michael Clark?"
"How do you know my--?"
"SILENCE! You will know everything when the time is right. For now, tell me how you feel."
"Why should I tell you anything?" I reply bitterly.
"Mr. Clark, I hold your life in my hands, so you should do as I say and answer my questions, but I can give you some background. I am Dr. Noah Williams, but please, call me 0. Tell me how you feel in detail don't leave anything out at all."
I guessed since he knew about me and had control, I might as well tell the truth. I said, "Fine I guess, but I think I'm still a little a tired."
"The guards I saw looked the exact same as you, but other than that, I think I'm good."
"Oh that is no coincidence; that will be you soon enough although you might not be quite fit to be a guard. I guess the transformation will tell."
My heart pounded.
(Authorial note: I decided to make this a full length story, so look forward to that.)
I pretended not to hear him. My dad decided to let me get some rest in and to text me what he wanted to say. I needed sleep.
I woke up to a text from my dad that said, "Get rid of that mop Michael. Don't care how, but I expect it gone after work."
It was 11:23
I guess I'll...
Go to the barber (Choice 2a)
Hang out with Jackson and worry about it later (Choice2b)
I got dressed and headed downstairs, mind set on getting a haircut. I drove around trying to find a new barbershop because what's the fun in going somewhere old? I wanted to find an exciting place. Somewhere small, creepy, crazy. Or maybe I just wanted a nice afternoon. An old-fashioned barber would be nice. A short back and sides like a kid from the 60s sounded relaxing. Maybe with a modern skin-fade?
As I was daydreaming, I was shaken awake with the realization that I was driving on the wrong side of the road. I quickly swerved to the proper side of the street. One should not daydream while driving, but right when I woke up, something caught my eye. I saw a spinning red and blue pole and decided to...
enter. (Conclusion 2c)
find a more exciting place. (Choice 2d)
I drove to Jackson's house and hung out with him for a few hours. Jackson had red-blonde hair. It was what some would call strawberry-blonde, but let's not go into the specifics. It was gelled into a short faux hawk, no taller than an inch and a half before he got it cut. In seventh grade, the first time he walked into school with his hair cut like that, people were shocked. If it had been anyone else, he would have been made fun of, but the short look seemed natural on him. I have to admit that it looked pretty good. Jackson had been trying to convince me to cut mine like that for ages. He said that he could cut it himself, but I didn't really trust him enough to cut anything more complicated than a buzz.
While we were watching T.V., my phone vibrated. It was my dad asking if I had gotten a haircut yet. Sh** I had forgotten.
"UGH!!" I groaned.
"What's up, man?" he was from Atlanta, so his accent differed from the ones we were used to in the North.
"My dad's making me cut my hair today. Knowing him, it probably has to be short."
"I think I could help you out."
"I guess I have no other choice. Fine, cut my hair."
"Sweet. Go to the small patch of grass out back. I'll be there in five"
"If that's what y'all call a backyard here, sure." He just had to get in a smart-ass comment, didn't he? I'm sure down south, in the suburbs of Atlanta, the backyards are huge rainforests filled with cattle and sheep and moonshine or something. Don't judge me I've never been there (Author's note: I live in a southern state; I know that there aren't jungles filled with cows and moonshine. It's just a joke on how other people might view the South).
I went to his "small patch of grass out back" and waited. After precisely five minutes (I was timing), he returned with all of the materials. I saw clippers, Manly Man gel, razors, even a cape. I guess I was getting the full experience.
Jackson said, "I was curious and payed my barber to teach me how to cut hair, so I cut my brothers' hair, and he cuts my hair. The point being that I am certainly qualified to cut your hair like mine if you are comfortable. I'll leave it up to you."
wouldn't trust you to give me anything more complicated than a buzzcut." (conclusion 2e)
trust you, man. Give me what you have." (conclusion 2f)
I entered, and the only thing that caught my eye was the barber chair, and the small man with a greying short back and sides haircut, shiny as ever. The moment I saw it, I knew what I wanted. It was 11:48
"Good morning, young man. What can I do for you? A haircut I assume." He chuckled, "What kind of haircut are we getting today?" Before you get any ideas, he wasn't really creepy; he was just like a friendly old man who wants company, not a pedophile who wants to abduct nine year olds.
"Good morning, sir. Could I get a short back and sides like you?"
"That'll be a one on sides, about an inch on top with a hard part. Which direction do you want the part?"
"Slicked to the side and back with gel?"
The barber prepared his tools. He put a guard on the clippers and turned them on. He pushed my head down surprisingly firmly and sheared the sides of my head down to stubble. It felt lighter in a good way, but even after the pressure relented, I did not have good visual on a mirror. He used scissors to slowly snip the top down to one inch. He used a razor to carve a line down my head, To end it off, he put gel on half of his hand and rubbed it into my my head. He combed it to the right, but backward a little. He turned me toward the mirror, and I was shocked. It looked better than I imagined. He slicked it back into a kind of pompadour, but it was short enough to not be tall. It looked glossy like the hood of a car. It felt stiff and professional.
"Do you like it?" the Barber asked.
"Yes, of course! It looks great. Thank you very much Mr. uhh--"
"Just call me Ronald."
"That'll be $15, and I'll throw in that gel, but for that great deal, I want a promise."
"Come back every few weeks to fix it up."
"I will, thanks again."
I exited the store, gel in hand ready to finish up my day. My hair glistened onwards. Of course, I kept it for awhile, but it grew out eventually. Every time it grew out, however, I would turn back to the short back and sides even after my favorite barber, Ronald, died. It was hard to find another quaint barbershop, but I made do.
I kept going and came across a man with a sign that said, "Haircut for Help."
You only live once. I got out of the car and dropped a 20 inside the hat.
With a raspy voice, the homeless man said, "Thank you for your donation. You know, I used to be able to cut a mean flattop, but I was run out of my barbershop after all of these salons opened. They took everything: my shop, my house, my money. If only I had tools. Then I could start making my way back somewhere, but my only talent is cutting hair. It really isn't bad sleeping out here, but I wish I had a shop."
After the monologue from the homeless barber, I said, "It may not be much, but I think I could find some tools for you"
"Really? That'd mean the world to me. The name's Ralph."
"Michael. Wait here, and I'll get you some barber tools and food."
I'd been saving money to buy myself something, but he needed it more. I used a large portion of my savings to buy him a good amount of food, clean clothes a blanket, and Manly Man deluxe barber kit. I could hold out on a video game or something like that. I also cleaned him up and got him a job at a fast-food restaurant until he could find somewhere else. My parents' lonely friend let him crash at his house. This all took about a week.
"Oh thanks, Michael. I thought I was to spend my whole life on the street. You have helped me turn my life around. The least I could do is give you a haircut. What'll it be?"
"I'm thinking something short and stern."
"How about a flattop with a landing strip?"
We went over to the bathroom, and he got out the kit. He pulled in a chair and put a cape around me. He set up his clippers and got out a razor. He started with the sides and back, pushing the vibrating clippers along the side of my head. Then, he spread shaving cream around my head and dragged a razor across it. Then, he cut the top shorter, and wet it. He used a hairdryer and hairspray to make it stand flat. Next, he used clippers over a comb to make the top flat, and he used a razor to shave a landing strip.
After looking in the mirror, I decided that it was probably the best looking, flattest flattop I had ever laid my eyes upon. I thanked Ralph for his work and continued to see him as a barber and help fix his life. I went to college, and I got a business degree and a license for cosmetology. This took a long time, but I could finally open a shop with Ralph, and we would no longer be friends but work partners. We lived our lives happily in the shop, introducing new tactics to attract a young crowd while remaining a traditional barbershop. Helping a poor man was the most important thing I had ever done.
"Ok, then, one buzz cut coming up."
"Thanks for understanding."
"What guard do you want?"
"How about a two all over."
He turned on his clippers, put on a guard, and pressed it against my head. It tingled like a head massage. He went through my bangs to my nape, and around the sides. He kept this up until the whole head was level. He rubbed it and then passed me a hand mirror. It looked pretty good. He even let me give him one after ten minutes of convincing.
We buzzed each other's heads until we graduated. Jackson joined the air force, but I wanted to continue my education. Years later, we met again and continued our tradition bringing our kids into it too.
"That means a lot, I won't let you down, Michael. I'll give you a one on the sides and spiked about .75" on top. One faux hawk coming up."
He started by using the clippers with no guard on the side. Some barbers blend the sides with the top, but the sharp contrast helps Jackson's faux hawk look so good. As the hair fell, I kept wondering what it would look like spiked up. He used the scissors on the top. Next, he squeezed a glob of gel onto his hand from a tube. He rubbed it in his hands and then vigorously put it in my hair, making messy spikes toward the front and center. He handed me a hand mirror My dirty blonde hair was reduced to a shadow on the sides and looked soaking wet on top. It looked almost as good as the strawberry blonde boy who cut it. I had a crush on Jackson.
The next day at school, I got the same looks that Jackson got, but a few jeers like "The military called and they want their hair back." That one was probably the best of them, so I wasn't very offended. I couldn't get my mind off Jackson. I didn't really think he was straight, but who knew. I thought "You only live once."
I said during lunch, "Jackson, can we talk alone outside?"
We left and I made sure no one was watching when I kissed him. He kissed back and I started rubbing his hair. This was the beginning of a lifelong partnership. Needless to say, we gave each other faux hawks and put globs of gel into each other's hair each morning.
Thus ends your control of my life. It was a fun day with many possibilities, but as all great things in life do, this concludes. After spending the day as Michael Clark, decide which outcome you want for yourself, and always look both ways before crossing the street.