Bag Check by Clipperaddict
Bag Check – A sequel to Double Duty
After 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, I was now gainfully employed working two jobs; as a TSA agent from 5:30 am to 9:30 am, and as a barber in the airport barbershop from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. I enjoyed both jobs immensely, and from time to time there was opportunity to combine both.
It had been a relatively slow morning at the security checkpoint. Passenger volume was light even for a Wednesday. I had let a couple of my guys sign out early when I heard "Bag check please." Everyone else was busy, so I walked over to the X-ray machine and grabbed the carry-on suitcase to be examined. "Whose bag is this?" I inquired. "It’s mine" responded a young man with a dark grown out crewcut, and long Elvis sideburns. "Step over here please sir while I check out your bag." I instructed, and he complied. The bag was pretty heavy for a carry-on. After opening it, I leant forward to inspect the contents, and the young man uttered "Wow, that’s a landing strip!" His comment caught me a little off guard and I looked up blushing slightly. "You’re familiar with flattop terminology?" I asked pointedly. He stammered a little as it was his turn to be embarrassed. I could see the color coming to his cheeks too. "Eh, yes sir, I have a couple of friends that wear them. I, eh think they look very, eh, distinguished.". As he spoke, I thought he looked familiar, and then it dawned on me: it was Dan from the private, ‘I love the flattop haircut’ Facebook group of which I am a member. I joined a couple of years ago when I was still in the Marine Corps. I enjoy the group, but fly under the radar by not posting or commenting. Dan however was a regular contributor.
"Excuse me sir, could I see your id?" I asked and he handed me his driver’s license confirming it was indeed the same young man. "Thank you!" I said, returning his license, and continued to check out his bag; deliberately leaning even further forward so he could get a full view of my shaved high and tight horseshoe flat which I had just freshened up before coming to work. I could sense he was enjoying the show. Under some clothes there was a cardboard box with ‘Extra Virgin Olive Oil’ written on the side. "Is this what it says it is?" I inquired. "Yes sir, I work for an Olive Oil Company, and was at a convention here in Dallas. These are samples of our latest offerings. Is there a problem?" he asked. "Afraid so," I replied, "The bottles are more than 3 fl oz and Olive Oil is a liquid. You’re not allowed to carry on liquids in quantities larger than 3 fl oz. You’re going to have to check this bag or discard the olive oil." He looked panicked. "Oh crap! By the time I check it, I’ll probably miss my flight. Darn.". I felt sorry for him and offered to let him skip the line if he wanted to go back to the counter to check the bag. He was very grateful, and scurried off to check his bag.
I was just about to clock out and head to the barber shop when Dan returned minus his bag. I was standing at the podium just past the conveyor belt. As he came past I asked him if he’d been able to check his bag. "Yes," he replied, "Although they had to put me on a later flight as it was too tight to make the one I was scheduled on. So I now I have 3 hours to kill." I couldn’t believe my ears, and looking at his grown out crewcut there was one very obvious way to help him pass the time. "I’m sorry. That sucks. Wish I could help you out. . . . Wait I have an idea. How about a free haircut?". The confused look on his face was comical. "What did you say?". I laughed. "Sorry, I should explain. I’m about to clock out here and head to my other job. I work as a barber at the airport Barber Shop at Gate C17. I don’t officially start till 10:00 am so I could fit you in for free before my start time. Ted won’t mind if I even take a little longer. What do you think? Looks like you need squared away." Dan’s eyes grew wide as he took in everything I had said. "Well, you up for it?" I asked. He tried to speak, but couldn’t quite get the words out, so he simply nodded.
After clocking out, Dan followed me to the shop. I held the door open for him and told him to take a seat in the first barber chair. "Hey Ted, this my friend Dan. He’s having to take a later flight, so I offered to help him pass some time by giving him a free haircut. Is that OK?". Ted looked puzzled, but shrugged his shoulders saying it was fine with him. I told Dan to relax while I went back to change into my barber smock.
When I returned I grabbed my white cotton cape and whisked it around in front of Dan, pulling it tight around his neck. I turned the chair to the mirror and stood behind him running my hand across the top of his head. Ted decided to go grab a coffee. Things were working out even better than I hoped. "So Dan, is today the day?" I asked making direct contact with his eyes in the mirror. Again, he was caught off guard. "The day for what?" he asked somewhat flustered. "For your shaved, high and tight, tilted forward, jarhead horseshoe flattop, " I stated firmly (more in the form of a statement than a question). "Just like the ones you admire on Facebook," I continued, "I’m sure Andre would want me to give you one, and Rob." His mouth dropped open and his eyes grew even bigger. "What? How do you know? Is this a setup?" he spluttered. "Relax, it’s not a setup. I happen to be a member of that group too. I thought I recognized you at the checkpoint. That’s why I asked for your id." I said laughing. He thought for a moment, and then began to laugh. "WOW! It’s a small world. I’ve never seen you on there." I explained I don’t like to post, but I enjoy his comments and the pics he posts. "How about we take some pics of your transformation for the group?" I probed, not letting him off the hook. We stared at each other for what seemed like ages, but was probably only 30 seconds. Who would blink first? Dan was outclassed, and deep down one of his deepest held fantasies was actually happening. There was no contest. "Let’s do it!" he said reaching in to his pocket for his phone. He gave it to me and I twirled him round slowly getting the before video, then twirled him a second time to get pictures from every angle.
"Do you want to watch?" I asked. He nodded, so I turned the chair to face the mirror. I massaged his shoulders and neck for a couple of minutes then brushed my hand across the top of his head. "Ready to become a Jarhead Marine son?" I barked. "Sir, yes sir. OOragh!" came the textbook reply, which was my cue to grab the Oster 76s and comb. The comb went in at his forehead, and the clippers ran over the comb sending 3/8 inch of dark hair to his lap. I positioned the clippers on top of the freshly shorn front pointed towards the crown. Moving back the clippers went from half an inch above the scalp to touching it, pressing harder and harder as they went, all the way to the crown. I pushed Dan’s head forward so he could see the first pass of the landing strip. He gasped as he took it in. "No turning back now buddy." I said stating the obvious, "You’re going to make me look like a hippy.’ I added for effect. He squirmed a little in the chair before settling back. His hair was perfect for a shoe; already standing erect without any product. All the same I took my time carefully crafting the shortest most perfect deck on top. The "long" hair at the front was almost half an inch. Every other hair was shorter, and the landing strip got progressively wider as it went back, following the contour of his head. Pushing his head forward, I began to peel the back. Steady, firm pass after steady firm pass saw the thick dark hair falling in clumps on the crisp white cape. Then it came time to take the sideburns. I tilted his head further to the side than I needed, and planted my free hand firmly on top of the fresh strip. I could tell Dan enjoyed the firm approach. I paused the clippers at the base of the first sideburn then smoothly took them up all the way to the temple. Simultaneously we both took a deep breath and let out deep satisfying sighs. It was good to know he was enjoying this haircut as much as I was.
After removing the other sideburn, I put the Osters down and grabbed my foil electric razor. I began with the sides running the razor all over, in different directions, and nice and high. Making sure there was no trace of the Elvis sideburns. Then the back; up and down, side to side, and up to the crown. As the razor passed over Dan’s crown and on to the landing strip he closed his eyes, licked his lips and let out a soft groan. This was my cue to press the razor even more firmly as I shaved the landing strip. I had planned on leaving more than an inch of hair at the front hairline, but then I remembered the picture Andre had posted of his latest self cut shoe. Dan’s would be the same; with a radical, tilted forward landing strip. There was no objection coming from the chair. When I turned off the razor, Dan opened his eyes and stared at himself in the mirror. Slowly he tilted his head forward with his hand coming out from under the cape to stroke the landing strip. "Oh my God! That’s so awesome." He whispered. "We’re not done yet my friend." I told him as I slapped a big handful of hot lather on top of his head and round the sides and back. After stropping the new blade of my straight razor, I began on top scraping the landing strip clean. The foil razor had done a great job, but the razor was still able to remove a miniscule amount of stubble. My finger followed the razor to test for absolute smoothness. After 10 minutes of scraping, my fingers could no longer find any resistance on the strip, sides and back. A quick rub with a hot towel was followed by an icy cold towel, a splash of bay rum and a dusting of clubman talcum powder. My hands enveloped the back and sides of his head so we could both feel just how smooth the whitewalls were. Piece de resistance was running hand along the ultra smooth landing strip.
The cape was removed, and I grabbed Dan’s phone again to take the after video and pictures. "Oh WOW!" Dan exclaimed, "I’m so glad I had to check my bag". He got up, out of the chair and wrapped his arms around me. "Thank you sir!", he whispered in my ear. "You’re most welcome recruit. Hope to see you back in the chair soon." I replied. Boy, I love my jobs.