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Matching Horseshoe Flattops by GreaserGreg


I had met Joe when he moved to town about three months ago from rural Illinois. He was a young kid just out of the police academy and at 22, he had thick light brown hair than hung down to his eyebrows that he brushed to the side. He was a big guy too, about 6`5` and around 250lbs with a meaty chest. We both worked together on the police force. Soon after his initial training, Joe and I were partnered together to patrol the streets of San Diego. Now, I have always had an interest in short hair and being on the force sure affords me a great opportunity to check out some great cuts. However, for the last year, I`ve grown it out to a regular old businessman`s cut with a decent taper to appease my fiance for our wedding at the end of the summer. I was getting bored with the regular haircut and couldn`t wait to go back to something shorter.

On one uncharacteristically humid and slow day, Joe and I were sitting in our patrol car, waiting for a call, when I decided to ask Joe about his hair. It looked like he didn`t have it cut since moving to town.

`Sarge is going to call you out on that hair bud. You better beat him to the punch,` I said.

Joe was jolted from staring out the window. `Yeah, I know, I know. I`ve been looking for a place actually but I just don`t want to get butchered.`

`I could recommend a place to you. Besides, you`d look great butchered.`

Joe ran his fingers through his hair, `Nah. I don`t think so. I love my hair. It`s not like you should talk anyway, hippie.`

I then realized that Joe had no idea I usually had very short hair, so I sensed an opportunity here.

`You`re right. You`re right,` I rebutted, `But I`ll make you a deal. You go short and I`ll go short. It`s getting too hot for this s**t anyway.` I decided to throw caution to the wind and back out on my deal to grow my hair for the wedding.

`Eh, I don`t know,` Joe said.

`How about we make a bet. Let`s guess how many we pull over from now to the end of the shift. Loser has to go under the clippers,` I offered.

`I dunno,` Joe seemed very hesitant but was weighing the offer in his head.

`Come on,` I said almost pleading. `I say 12.`

`Twelve? Are you kidding? There`s only 3 hours left on our shift!`

`Care to make a wager out of it?` I knew by my overshot, I could more easily get him into the bet.

`You got it man! You are going to lose big! I say four. It`s slow as hell today.

`You`re on,` I declared and with that we shook hands.

Almost immediately, a sports car sped past the stop sign in front of us and Joe gunned the patrol car to pull the middle-aged guy over. A couple more blown stop signs, illegal turns, and speeders quickly ran up the tally with only a few minutes left in our shift.

`Where are we at?` Joe asked worried.

`Well by my count we`re at seven. You`re still ahead. That means you get to choose my cut.` I proudly declared.

`I know just the thing!` Joe exalted. `My brother`s a trooper and he gets the most extreme cut I`ve ever seen. And that`s what you`re getting.`

Curious, I asked him for a clue.

`Let`s just say.... you`ll flat out love it!`

Instantly, I loved where he was taking this. Just then, a car drove past us and did a highly questionable rolling stop.

`Ahem!` I coughed. `Step on it, partner! That`s a ticket.`

`Shiiiiiiit.` Joe looked at the clock, only 5 minutes left to go in our shift. Reluctantly, Joe pulled out and flashed his lights.

After the driver got her ticket, our shift had ended and at final tally, the count stood at eight. We hadn`t accounted for a tie. Joe drove back to the station as we packed up our stuff and walked back to our cars.

`Well, I guess there`s only one thing to do,` I said.

`No cuts?` Joe wondered aloud.

`Nah, we both need haircuts, so let`s just do it. We both lose. Hop in,` I ushered Joe to the passenger side of my car and opened the door for him. He gulped and got in.

I drove a little ways out of town, close the a Marine base where I knew the shops were always good. I don`t think Joe knew what kind of area we were in.

We both walked into the shop and was disappointed to see it was empty. I wanted Joe to have an audience for his sheering.

The lone barber emerged from the back of the shop.

`Hello gentleman. Who`s up first?` The barber asked.

I nudged Joe to take the chair first and he begrudgingly got up.

As the barber caped him, he asked, `How`ll it be today son?`

Before Joe could speak, I offered up for him. `He wants a horseshoe flat, shaved sides and back and take the deck down real close. Slant the top so he`s got a long and wide landing strip. And why don`t we make it a recon.`

Joe glared at me, surprised at the haircutting vocabulary I possessed.

`Is that what you want son?` The barber turned to Joe and asked.

I jumped in once again, `we lost a bet and the loser was to get `shoed.`

`Well a bet is a bet, son,` the barber said as he picked up the Oster`s and went into Joe`s hairy skull.

Joe could barely utter a word as he sat there wide-eyed and sweating.

The barber made a bare line above the temple, quickly tapering the long strands into bare white skin. Soon, the hair on Joe`s sides and back formed a thick carper on his caped shoulders and lap. The result was a near shaved bowlcut. The still long top cascaded into the skinned sides like some mid-90`s skater punk.

`Leave it just like that,` I joked. Joe just glared. I was enjoying staring at his cut the whole time.

The barber swung Joe`s chair around to face the mirror. Joe went completely flush. `F***!` He blurted out. The barber lifted up Joe`s bangs and quickly hacked them off with his shears. He repeated this motion until the top of his head was all chopped up in a haphazard manner. Next, got out the pink Krewcomb and rubbed the stick all over Joe`s head, combing it up with a thick brush. He meticulously brushed the hair up and into place for several minutes until each hair was standing up and seperated. The hair was still an inch on top and looked rather comical. The barber then grabbed the Oster`s and positioned himself right behind Joe and stared him in the mirror.

`No turning back now, son,` the barber declared as he plowed the clippers straight back and down the center of his skull. He had only left a small amount of hair at the front, receeding down to the skin at the crown. This would be the shortest flattop possible. Joe audibly gulped once again.

The barber slowly repeated this process freehand all over the top until the bare horseshoe gleemed in the overhead lights. The clippers were turned off and more Krewcomb was applied. This time the brushing was much less as there was only minimal fringe to brush.

Joe looked like he was ready to get up and end this humiliation when the barber pushed down his shoulder. `One last thing, son.`

The loud whir of the lather machine filled the empty shop as the barber then took the hot lather and generously spread it all over the sides and back and over the crown. Joe just closed his eyes either in great pleasure or comfort or resignation. The barber gently scraped away the last vestiges of stubble, leaving a smooth glassy surface. After wiping away the last bits of shaving cream, the barber splashed some aftershave on his hands and patted the shaved portions. Joe winced as it clearly stung.

`One recon horseshoe down,` he said as he wisked the cape off and allowed Joe to stand, `And one to go.`

`Wow,` I exclaimed, `I can`t believe how sharp that looks. I wouldn`t want to f*** with Officer Sellers!`

Joe just smirked and patted the top of his flattop, marveling at the shortness and flatness. `It actually isn`t bad but I`l enjoy seeing yours mowed down. Hold that thought though, I need to hit the restroom.`

�Joe excused himself to the restroom as I confidently hopped into the chair. The barber caped me and began to reach for the Osters when I grabbed his arm. `Wait one second. Let`s just do a little trim. I just wanted to trick the kid into getting that mop mowed down. Besides, my fiance will probably kill me cuz the wedding is just a week away.`

The barber resigned to this message. `Ok. He did need to chopped down but then again, so do you.` He then grabbed the scissors and water bottle and started wetting my hair. He`d gather a bunch of hair and gingerly snip away 1/2` at a time, nothing major. After a couple minutes, the top was nearly trimmed down when Joe came out of the bathroom with a grin plastered from year to year.

`I f***ing LOVE this hair....Wait a minute,` Joe halted as he say my trim well under way. `You lost that bet too. You agreed to this!`

`Sorry partner. I got a wedding next week. Besides, this was all just to man you up a bit. I say we did a job well done.`

`No way! We aren`t leaving here until we have matching haircuts!` With that Joe strided up to the barber chair and towered over the middle aged barber. `Is that clear!?`

The barber, a bit intimidated, glanced at me in the eye through the mirror and gave a slight shrug. With that, he picked up the clippers and quickly came in at my head.

`A bet is a bet,` he said as he took a huge quick swath from nape to crown, bare bladed.

`Oh well,` I resigned, `Guess I have to get it now.` Secretly, I was pleased. My fiance would have to deal with the extreme recon horseshoe.

The barber made short work of my well coiffed mane, making mine to match Joe`s. Joe sat on the bench and kept constantly fingering the top of his flat, remarking on its feel. `I can not get over this. I never thought I`d ever go this short. In fact, I think it`s shorter than my brothers.`

In no time, the flat was cut and with a little aftershave, I got up from the chair and joined my partner as we took in our newly reconned selves in the mirror.

I went over to the barber to pay for both of our cuts. We both thanked him and went for the door.

`Have a good one gentleman. Let`s see you back here soon!`

Joe surprised me when he said, `Don`t you worry, we`ll be back in six days. After all, we have to get polished up for the wedding!`

Joe and I did indeed go back six days later and every week after that for many years. We both eventually got new partners and each time, we`d both have a new guy to take to the shop to get peeled.



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