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Never let your best friend cut your hair by Carstairs


It almost seems like it was fate that Jack and I would be best friends. We were born 12 days apart (he's older) and we've lived down the street from each other all our lives. Since we could walk, we've been inseparable. And it continued through high school. Same class schedule every year. Sharing a locker. Of course, some things did change in high school. Jack's always been the athletic one of the two of us, and even though I tried out for the teams, he's the one who made football and basketball and baseball. Still, I'd train with him on weekend and off season. We spent many a Friday or Saturday night on double dates. We even planned to attend the same college and be roommates in the fall.

The summer after our senior year, we went into business for ourselves mowing lawns. Summer gets really hot here and you'd be surprised at how easy it is to talk neighbors into letting you mow their lawn. It was hard work, but we were going to make good money at it. Some toward our school bills and some for spending money this next year.

It was three weeks since we'd graduated, and late Saturday afternoon found us where we'd been on Saturday afternoons during the summer for years, at Jack's pool. We'd spent a little while in the water, but we were beat from the day's work and were lying on deck chairs.

Jack turned and looked at me. "I can see why so many people are willing to pay us to take care of their lawns for them. It's hard work."

I didn't even bother to move my head. "You can say that again."

"I can see why so many people…."

I turned and stuck my tongue out at Jack. He'd always had a sense of humor like that. "Hot, too. I really need to get this mop cut." I'd always kept my hair on the long side. Half my ears covered and hanging down my neck. The top was a giant bush. Still, I was long over due for a cut, and this hair just wasn't going to hack it this summer. "Should have gone today before I came over here. My barber always closes so early on Saturday."

"I could do it for you."

I turned to stare at Jack. "You know how to do that?"

"How hard could it be? Mom cuts Dad's hair. Mine, too. It always looks sharp." He did have a point there. I guess it was just a basic businessman's cut, but it always looked great. Next to him I felt downright shaggy half the time. And the girls in school had always flocked to him right after his cut.

I hesitated. "You sure you know what you're doing?"

"Of course. Tell you what," he said, when I still couldn't decide. "I'll let you cut mine when I'm done. Payback."

Now I knew he had to be crazy. I knew nothing about cutting hair. Still, how bad could it be? "Let's do it."

Jack went into his house and was back in a minute with a box. He set a chair and table up next to an outdoor outlet on the patio and began taking out the clippers and scissors. While he did that, I wandered over and sat in the chair.

"What do you want to me to do?"

"Give me the Davis family special."

Jack was a little shocked. I'd never had my hair as short as his. But he didn't ask again, just started in with the scissors. While he snipped, we chatted. I think I surprised him when I didn't even flinch when we pulled out the clippers and started trimming the sides. He seemed to go over his work quite a lot. Finally he stopped.

"This is much harder then it looks. Take a look and tell me what you think."

He handed me a small mirror. I was surprised at the amount of hair I still had left considering how much was clinging to my chest, back, and still damp swim trunks. Not to mention the patio. Still, I had a nice part right in the middle and the hair blended into the sides. I started to move my head around. That's when I started to notice the problems.

My left side blended in at least an inch higher then it did on the right. And I was noticing places where the longer hair was rather uneven.

"I'm really sorry," Jack said as I kept looking in the mirror. "I really thought I could do a better job then this. What do you want me to do? Keep trying to even it out? Stop now? In a couple weeks it'll look much better."

Suddenly, I just didn't care any more. It's not like I was attached to my hair or anything. "Give me the scissors. Let's see what I can do."

Jack passed them to me. Still looking in the mirror, I raised them to my head. I slid them down next to my head and clipped off the right bang. Jack had a shocked look on my face as I reached over and did the same to the left side. I then took a couple more good hunks from the top of my head for good measure. Then I set the scissors down. "Ok, fix that."

Jack kinda swallowed. "I'm going to have to buzz you down."

I just shrugged my shoulders. "Whatever it takes to fix this mess I made."

Hearing the casual tone in my voice, Jack seemed to recover. "I'm not sure how short you cut it there. What size blade should I try first?"

I turned the mirror as best I could. "It's gonna have to be short whatever it is. I sure did a good job getting it short," I laughed.

Jack pulled a couple plastic guards out of the box. "#1? #2?"

"Don't worry about it. Just use the bare blades."

"Ok," Jack said and flipped them back on. Hair flew everywhere as he ran them over my head. In just a few minutes, he turned them off. The mirror showed that I was ready for boot camp, if I'd signed up to join the military. I ran my hand over my head. It felt weird, but wonderful at the same time. There was a slight breeze blowing that I had never noticed, but now every hair on my head was telling me about it. I could understand why animals used hair as feelers.

I stood up. "Still want a hair cut from me?"

Jack sat down and grabbed the mirror and scissors.

"Hey, I'm more then willing to try my hand at your normal cut."

"You think I want to let you have all the fun?" He slid the scissors right down the middle of his head, taking several chunks of hair out as he went along. "Fix this up, please."

I was all too happy to oblige. I ran the clippers over every square inch of his head, making his hair as short as mine. In no time at all, there was hardly any hair on either of our heads, but plenty on our bodies and the patio.

Jack went through the same thing I did, staring at the mirror and rubbing his head. He had a grin on his face. "Why didn't I do this sooner?"

"I feel the same way. Now to get this hair off me." I started brushing the remains of our hair off my chest and what I could reach of my back.

"Don't bother. I've got a better idea." He disappeared around the side of the house. When he called out for me, I followed him. As I rounded the corner, I was hit with a blast of water from the garden hose.

"Why you little…." Somehow, my threats never seem to scare anyone, especially when I'm too busy laughing. The water was ice cold but it did wash the hair off me. Naturally, as soon as Jack tried to set it down, I turned it on him.

Laughing, we cleaned up the equipment and swept up our hair. Then we jumped back in the pool and enjoyed more water.

Over the next week, I noticed how much cooler I was mowing lawns. It took a day or two to get used to it, but I really liked it.

Next Saturday, Jack had the clippers out on the patio when I arrived at his house. We've kept our clipper shaves all summer. We leave for college next week. We haven't discussed what we'll do when we arrive on campus, but I wouldn't mind if we keep it this short.

Maybe, looking back on this, I should change the title. To something like "Never Let Your Best Friend Cut Your Hair Unless You Don't Care How It Turns Out." Nah, too long. I'll just leave it as it is and let you figure that part out for yourself.



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