Sir by snipped sam
As I glanced around the barbers shop it all seemed very old fashioned which of course it was compared with where I had recently gone my haircut. It was the late 1970s and longer hair was extremely fashionable. Compared to a lot of lads my age my hair was not excessively long but fell over my collar and covered my ears and was luckily as I thought, was thick blond hair.
I was out for the day exploring a new town as I liked to do occasionally during the school holidays, and I had been engaged in conversation by the barber when he saw me looking at some copies of antique posters in his shop window.
“I have been here over 35 year’s young man, so I have seen a lot of changes in my time”
“I expect that you have”
“Not in favour of some of the hairstyles you young men have at the moment”
“I didn’t think you would to be honest,”
“How old are you young man?”
“So fifteen then and still at school “
“What does your headmaster say about your hair?”
“Not much, well I know he doesn’t approve of it, but it’s not as long as some of the others”
“What do you think about your hair young man?”
“Very fashionable “
“I suppose you could say it was fashionable, but you seem to me to be such a nice young man and in some ways rather sensible for your age, I really have to say that the length that your hair is does not suit you at all.”
“It took quite a long time to grow it to this length, and I do have it regularly trimmed to keep it tidy”
“Oh yes, I can see that it’s not untidy as such and that you look after it ,but I also think that deep down you know that this is not entirely the ideal length for a lad of your age “
“I really do look after it “was my reply to this as I did not wish to comment further.
“I see that you do not deny about knowing your hair is not the ideal length for a lad of your age”
I shook my head not wanting to commit to an answer,. As much as I liked my thick blond hair the way it was, strangely there was something rather exciting about a shorter haircut being done by this barber.
What I liked about him was that he was immaculately presented with a white shirt and conventional tie underneath his white barber’s jacket, his hair was white, perfectly groomed and cut very short. Whilst he was very friendly towards me, he had made it very clear that he did not approve of the length my hair was, but his manner in this was perfectly reasonable. Whilst at that age I thought I knew everything, deep down I knew that he came from a generation where hair my length was not acceptable ,which the conventional and sensible part of me did not entirely disagree with, the other part of me had no intention of admitting that
I felt rather awkward and uncomfortable with this situation, I knew that I wanted the barber to take charge of the situation and cut my hair, but to me this seemed very unlikely to happen.
“Well thank-you very much for showing me the posters, they were really interesting”
“A pleasure young man and it also gave you the opportunity to see inside a traditional barbers shop as well “
“Yes, thanks for that too “
“Probably not as interesting as the posters”
“No, not as interesting as the posters,”
He smiled and closed the large file with the posters and put them back in the drawer and closed it,, he turned and looked at me and the smile changed to a more serious look, he walked to the peg where the white nylon cape was hanging,
“Haircut time for you young man, I think don’t you?”
He said as he took the gown off the peg
“What sort of haircut will it be?”
“Probably better not to worry too much about that my lad, with over 35 years of experience I know exactly what needs to be done. So .sit yourself in the chair “
My heart was beating really fast as I sat in the chair, with one flick the gown was round me and he tucked it in snugly, he then combed my hair, he reached over to the shelf and selected a pair of long pointed scissors, he started to cut my hair at the back of my head.
“Not so bad once you are in the chair is it lad? “
“no, but I am a bit surprised how quickly it happened, one minute we were chatting and the next I’m having my haircut “
“Best way lad, get you in the chair without you thinking about it too much”
“Yes, what would have happened if I had said no when you said haircut time”
“I don’t suppose you would have hung around very long lad, but I decided it was a good idea to try the haircut time approach, especially as I had noticed you keep looking at the barber’s chair during our earlier conversation”
“I didn’t realise I was “
“it was the first thing you looked at when you walked in, and your eyes kept going back to it”
“I had a feeling that I could be going in the chair”
“Well that where you have ended up, I also noticed that once you were in the chair you were checking out my clippers”
“Well it’s a bit unusual to see five sets of clippers hanging on hooks”
“I have to select the ones that I need for the job, so I like to have a choice, it’s not so unusual lad, it’s just you are not so familiar with a traditional barbers like this one.
“I guess so “
“But you don’t need to worry about the clippers lad”
“You mean I don’t have to have them”
“No lad, of course you are having them, but I will have bent your head right down before I take them from the hook, so you’ll be all lined up ready for me”
“I haven’t been clipped since I was a small kid”
“About time you were clipped again then young man”
“You know what needs to be done”
“Indeed I do young man and there will be no leniency on this occasion, you are having the back and sides done very short”
“Well it will grow again”
“Do I sense a touch of insolence from you “
“No I just meant it won’t be that short forever ...I just meant with you saying that you are going to do it really short”
“Best just to except that it’s going to be really short “
“I am trying to and I wasn’t being insolent”
“Just one thing missing from that sentence lad, do you know what that is? “
“I’m not sure “
“I think perhaps you should be calling me sir “
“Very good Sir “
“Sounds so much better”
“Funny the chap who usually cuts my hair sometimes call me young sir”
“Well my lad I am not the chap who usually cuts your hair am I”
“No sir “
I looked back at myself in the mirror, whilst we had been talking; sir had cut off lots and lots of hair, the hair that had covered my ears had gone, there was no sign of my over the collar hair, but a large quantity of hair sat on the white nylon cape”
Sir took a pair of thinning scissors from the side, and extensive attack on my hair began, he stopped regularly to remove the hair from the teeth of the thinners,
After a long period of this he gave me an all over brush down. He then smoothed the white cotton cape on my shoulders and then placed his hand on the back of my head and slowly but firmly bent my head down, it felt uncomfortable to have my head so far down.
“You must keep your head very still for me, do not worry about what I am doing, I am expert at this”
I heard him take the clippers from the hook, he turned them on and they had a very loud buzz, the cold metal touched my neck, and up they went, this went on for ages, he adjusted my head as he required it to be, during this whilst he was rather stern he also gave me a couple of reassuring words, that I was doing well in keeping my head still etc.
Once he had finished and shaved my neck with the razor, he showed me the back of my head with the mirror; I was shocked how short it was but could see that he had done a very good haircut.
When I paid for my haircut he charged me rather heavily, quite a bit more than was on his price list, but I guess sir figured the amount of hair he had cut off warranted this price. I guessed that when I next visited sir I would see how much he charged me.