My Little Brother, The Brat by Dave
I have a little brother who likes to get me into trouble as often as he can. In the eyes of my parents, Brad, my little brother, can do nothing wrong. I, on the other hand, can do nothing right. Brad delights when he comes up with something that gets me into trouble. I don’t even have to be around and I get blamed. All Brad has to do is to open his mouth, and there I am, in deep trouble.
Take for instance today. I was to take Brad to the barber for a haircut. Mother was about to give me the money for his haircut and mine along with a tip. Brad wanted to carry the money, so mother gave in to him. I didn’t see any problem with it, so I went along with it.
When we arrived at the barbershop, Jason was the only barber working at the time. Brad and I sat down to wait. The guy in the chair was just about finished. His haircut was something I had never seen before. His entire head was shaved clean. I could tell he had a lot of hair to begin with buy the amount on his lap. I thought to myself, ‘I would never get a haircut like that.’
As soon as the guy got up, Brad took the seat. Jason put the cape on Brad and then took payment from the bald guy. Just as Jason came back to Brad, a new barber appeared. He motioned for me to take the chair. For some reason, I didn’t feel right about the whole situation. The guy was about 6’ 4”, strongly built. I could tell from the tattoo on his left arm that he had been in the Marines. Jason wore a white barber coat and Ted, the new barber wore nothing much a leather vest. He wore blue jeans and cowboy boots with very high heels.
Just as I was looking at other tattoos on Ted’s arms, he yelled, “Recruit get you butt in this chair and now.” I got up and went to the chair. As Ted was putting the cape on me, he asked me how I wanted it cut. Now my hair was down over my shoulders and I liked it that way. My hair is moderately curly so I loved to keep it long since the girls loved to run their fingers through it. It felt so good when they made a big fuss over it. I told Ted I wanted a very light trim….just enough off to get rid of the split ends.
What Ted said next, caught me off guard. He said, “Who’s paying for this haircut?” I was about to tell him that Brad had the money, when Brad said, “I’m paying.” “Is that true,” asked Ted. I told him it was. “Well then! Since you aren’t paying for the haircut, you don’t have anything to say about it. In fact, this young man will get to pick you cut, since he is having to pay for it. Now a real man would pay for his own cut.” Ted didn’ t give me a chance to explain things. I could feel my heart beginning to beat faster and faster.
Ted picked up the clippers and with a clack, they came alive. Now I was really worried. Just as the clippers came alive, Ted said, “Since you, son, are paying for his haircut, you get to select how it is to be cut.” Brad smiled and said, “Shave it all off.” Before I could react, Ted had my head held in a grip, I couldn’t break and began plowing the clippers straight back through my hair. I tried to fight the clippers, but between Ted’s grip and the clippers, I didn’t stand a chance. I could hear Brad laughing. He was having Jason cut his hair in a long Dutch Boy cut. Even at his age, it looked stupid.
Once Ted got the entire top of my head clipped and half of my right side, I decided it was no reason to resist now. My beautiful hair was falling all over the place and Ted made sure that I saw each clump of hair he had cut off. “No man should allow himself to grow hair this long. I sure am doing something about it,” spoke Ted. I could feel tears coming but I was determined not to let anyone see how hurt I was. In no time, the clippers were silent and I could hear the lather machine churning out the hot lather. I tried to get up, but Ted was ready for me. He said, “Son! This razor I’m going to use is extremely sharp. I would hate to cause you to lose any blood, so if I were you, I would sit really still.” In no time, Ted had shaved my head three times. Ted said he wanted to make sure he hadn’t missed anything.
When I was turned to the mirror, I saw myself for the first time being bald. Ted had gotten a brilliant shine on my head. I hated what I saw. Brad was sitting there laughing. I could have killed him right then and there. I got up and was about to sit down when something occurred to me. Jason had walked over to congratulate Ted on the job well done. When that happened, I picked up the clippers near Brad, turned them on and pushed them right back across the top of Brad’s head. Brad yelled out, “What did you do? I’m going to tell mom and dad when I get home.” He reached up and felt his head and found the area I had just cleaned of hair. He began to cry. Ted looked at me and I said, “I am older so I get to tell him what haircut he should have.” I sat down and watched as Jason completed what I started. Brad looked much better once he received a buzzcut.
When Jason was finished, I said, “Brad! Don’t you want your head shaved like mine?” Brad looked at me and said, “NO!” Brad pulled out the money mother had given him and paid for our cuts. I am determined to spend the money I earned from my job to pay for my haircuts from then on.
On our way home, I told Brad, “If you say anything to mom and dad, I will make sure you will be shaved bald from now on. I’m tired of you running and telling them everything and they believe you even if you are at fault. This going to stop right now.” Brad looked at me and said, “I’m going to tell and you will be in big trouble.” “And you will be bald before the night is over. Remember we share a room and there isn’t anywhere you can go that I won’t find you.”
When we got home, Mother was shocked when she saw my bald head. She said, “I thought you loved your long hair.” Before I could answer, Brad spoke up and said, “He caused me to get this haircut.” Mother looked at me and said, “We’ll deal with that when your dad gets home.” I then said, “I liked my long hair, but since you gave Brad the money for our haircuts, my barber let Brad chose my haircut. This is what Brad wanted and I was forced to get it.” Mother smiled and then said, “You know David, you do look really hot with the bald head.” I wouldn’t admit it, but I was beginning to like the bald head just a little. No doubt I would totally accept it in due time. I did say, “Brad opted not to have his head shaved, but I am sure he will change his mind and then he will tell you and dad that I forced him into it. I just wanted to warn you ahead of time. I am not blind as to what you and dad are doing - accepting Brad’s statements as fact when they aren’t true.”
Here I am a junior in high school and my brat of a brother, is dictating my life. He is in the eight grade. As I said before, he delights in getting me in trouble. When the head shaving began, I was determined to change things around and put the shoe on the other foot. I am determined to be in control for two years at least.
When dad got home, he saw my bald head. He came up to me and said, “Son! I ’m Proud of you! You look so handsome and masculine with the bald head. I don’t want to know what changed your mind, but I am so happy. I know you love it.” He came to me and shook my hand and then surprised me by giving me a big hug. We went into the house and Brad came a running to dad and began spouting off a long line about how I got his hair cut so short. Dad stopped Brad and said, “Son! I see you are wanting to look grown up by getting your hair cut short. It looks good on you. I hope you maintain that look. The girls are going to go wild over you. Mark my word!” Dad hugged Brad and gave him a good rub on his buzzed head. I have to admit that Brad did really look sharp with the buzzcut.
Brad didn’t say a word from that point on. Later that evening, while Brad was playing games on the computer, dad said, “Dave! I know what has been going on here with Brad and his wild stories. I decided today that it was going to end. I talked with your mother and she realized what harm had come to you and what harm we were doing to Brad by letting him get away with it. I’m sorry I didn’t stop it a long time ago. I’ll try and make it up to you.” I then told dad what I told Ben what would happen to him, if he came home and began telling what had happened in the barbershop. Dad grinned and said, “I bet he will look neat with a bald head.”
That evening, the folks announced that they would be going out to a neighbor ’s for a card party. If an emergency came up, I could call them. I looked over at Brad and I could see the smile erased from his face. I looked at dad and he began to smile. Then I really felt strange, when I looked at dad again, and he nodded his head. He didn’t say anything.
An hour after the folks left, I had everything ready in the bathroom. Brad was headed to his room and had to pass our bathroom. As he passed, I reached out and pulled him in. He saw everything ready and tried to get away. I told him, “You days of control has come to an end. Either you sit down on that chair and let me shave your head, or I will tie you up and you won’t have any choice. It’s up to you.” Brad looked up at me and said, “Dave, I’m sorry. I won’t ever tattle again. Please don’t shave my head.” I looked at him and said, “What kind of a man would I be, if you couldn’t count on my word? SIT!”
Brad made like he was going to sit, but tried to run off. I grabbed him and he landed in the chair and I got the rope out and tied him up. When I got finished, he couldn’t move anything but his head. I then covered his head with lather…..taking me some time, but I finally said, “Either stop moving your head or I will shave it without lather. It’s up to you. And …Oh! Yes! There may be some bleeding if you should move your head around. What’ s it going to be?” Brad looked up at me, liked a whipped dog, and said, “Ok! I deserve this. You are right, you have to keep your word.”
Brad sat there while I removed what little hair he had on his head. When I finished, I gave him a good shine. When I released him, I said, “I bet the folks will think you liked my bald head so much you got me to shave yours.” Brad smiled and said, “Thanks! This feels great, doesn’t it?” I just smiled and shook my head yes! He didn’t know how good I felt right then. All of the times Brad made a fool out of me went away as I shaved his head.
I cleaned everything up and before dad and mom got home, Brad was in bed sleeping. I waited up for the folks to return. Dad looked at me with a question in his eyes! I nodded my head and dad smiled.
The next morning, when breakfast was ready, Brad came down and mother’s mouth dropped open. I looked at Brad and Brad said, “Hi Mom! How do you like it? I liked Dave’s bald head so much, that I asked him to shave mine. I love it.” Dad congratulated Brad and gave him a hug. He whispered, “Do you feel better?” Brad looked up into dad’s eyes and he knew his days of control had come to an end. He said, “I sure do. I’ll try to make it up to Dave.” Dad again whispered “Thank you!” Mother wanted to know what dad and Brad were whispering about. Dad looked up and said, “It’s men talk.” Brad smiled and said, “Right mom. Man talk.” Mother shook her head and said, “Men! You are all alike.” I grinned as did dad.
From that day on, everything went smoothly. I was smart enough not to try and push my luck as the saying goes. Not once did Brad step out of line after that shaving. In fact, we made a pack - Brad said, “Dave! I’ll keep my head shaved as long as you do yours.” I said, “Deal!” I knew I wasn’t going to grow hair again. I really loved the bald head. My best friends joined me and in no time a number of my male classmates were sporting the bald look.
Here I am a junior in college and still shaving. I didn’t really expect Brad to keep his end of the bargain, but he has. I did ask him if he had thought about growing his hair out for his senior year and he said, “Heck no! I love it shaved!” He still thanks me for shaving his head that evening in the bathroom. I still remember it and love reliving it in my mind. Come to think of it, I really did enjoy the first head shave that Ted gave me that faithful day. I would never admit it, of course.
I have gone back to Ted’s and had him shave me when I got lazy. As far as I am concerned, I will remain bald for the remainder of my life. It is still so comfortable and every day brings me new surprises and enjoyments.
Oh! Yes! Dad’s hair began to thin on top. When I was home during a break, dad asked me to go with him to the barbershop. Jason was busy and Ted had dad take a seat. He said, “And how are we going to cut this hair today?” Dad smiled and said, “Just like Dave’s there. Make sure you don’t miss anything.” In no time dad was rubbing his shining head and said, “Son! You have something here and you have been keeping it to yourself all these years.” I laughed and said, “No I haven’t. I let Brad in on it.” As we were coming home, dad said, “I sure am glad to have had the opportunity to get things straight around the household. Brad is a much better person for it. I think he realizes it too.”