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Mind what you say by Cleanshaven


David’s parents both worked and it had pretty much been his oldest brother Joe, four years old, who had kept him out of trouble. Edward, his next oldest brother, was the smart one, never in trouble, honor student, soccer player, mostly did his best to get David to do things. David was almost a year behind in school because his birthday was one day over for starting school the year he was six. As the baby he was also kind of spoiled and he did get away with a lot.

David was fourteen going on fifteen the year he started the 9th grade in high school. Puberty had set in and he seemed to be growing taller every day. All summer Joe had worked with him to keep him active and out of doors doing anything besides sitting on the couch and playing with his playstation. Joe was going off to college though and he had a part time job. Edward wasn’t interested in anything but his friends.

Joe was soon gone to college and it was time for the haircut before the first day of school for David and Edward. Edward wasn’t a problem, he was getting a short preppy cut. David on the other hand hadn’t had a haircut since before school had let out way back in may. He had a full head of hair that hung down over his ears and onto his shirt collar in back. Joe had tried to talk him into getting a haircut before he’d left for college, but David had scooted off to a friends house. Now he was out of luck, it was Saturday morning and his mom had said he was to have a haircut before he went to school. Of course it was dad who took him and not to the unisex place that would just trim his hair but to the barbershop down town where his dad went.

It was one of those old fashioned men’s barbershops, a throwback to the fifties. Many of the customers were the firemen, police and sheriff’s deputies that got short military style haircuts, with some keeping it all buzzed down. On the wall were a couple of posters of hairstyles from the fifties and a wall of military men who’d stopped in to get their haircuts. The six chairs were all occupied so they had to sit and wait their turn. Edward sat there looking at the paper that had been in his chair. David looked around in horror as he saw everyone getting their hair cut short. He gave his dad a pleading sort of look, but his dad was talking to the man who had come in behind them about the upcoming football season and their favorite college teams. The longer he sat there the antsier he became. Probably the only thing that kept him from getting up and leaving was his dad was between him and the door and he’d already once told him to stop fidgeting. Edward just grinned at David with a knowing look.

Edward was first up and he just needed his haircut neatened up; a trim and edging around. David had a deep sigh when the young looking barber brushed his chair off and looking at him said, next man up. His dad nudged him and the barber said, must be you young man. Reluctantly David got up and went to the chair. About the only thing he was thankful for was that he didn’t need a booster seat any more. His last spurt of growth saw that he was going to be taller than his older brother or his dad. He was a bit leaner though, sparse, his grandpa said. Must take after his mom’s side of the family.

The barber’s name was George and he tried to make a little talk while he set David up. David sat there, not in a sulk, but quiet. When the cape was snugged in place around David’s neck, George asked how he was getting it cut. His dad then spoke up, that number four on the poster should do. That number four was a fifties school boy haircut. Short on the sides, tapered to the top with a definite part and about 2 ½ to three inches on top combed over to one side. George went right to it, using the comb and scissors to take most of the length off before going to the clippers over the comb to finish shaping it up. The sideburns were maybe a half inch down in front of his ears. When George had it pretty much done except for finishing around the neck with his edging clippers, he turned the chair around so David could see how it looked. Not that it really mattered, he had the haircut his dad had appointed.

God! He looked almost like Edward with his college preppy style. His dad had gotten the chair next to him to get his own hair cut and he heard David’s comment about ‘he didn’t know why they just didn’t cut it all off’. His dad held his hand up to have his barber pause his own haircut. He was about tired of David’s attitude. He said to George - see that young man going out the door? Yes sir, give him one just like that. Just like that, George asked. Just exactly like that. Yes sir. George turned the chair back to the front and grabbed up another set of clippers.

George put a half inch guard over the clipper blades and began right in front taking the top down. It only took a few minutes before George paused the clippers long enough to remove the guard and begin on the sides. Six ought clipper blades took the sides and back, including those half inch long sideburns, down to skin. George had left a little transition from the skinned sides to the top, enough so there wasn’t a line around his head. David sat there stunned. He had only caught a glimpse of the ‘young man going out the door’ his dad had referred to, but he knew that he was being scalped. George was firm but not rough when he positioned David’s head looking forward and not tilted to either side. Then, just using his comb and the clippers, George free-handed a short flat top. When he was satisfied, George laid the clippers aside and carefully loosened the cape and removed the strip of tissue paper from around David’s neck. The cape had been folded carefully down into David’s lap so that all that hair didn’t get on his clothes. A small towel was tucked into his tee shirt collar before George picked up the clippers and first cleaned off what little hair had escaped under the tissue. David sat there almost in tears now when George put away the clippers and took a warm damp towel and cleaned off his head, rinsing the towel under hot water a couple of times. Then there was a whirring noise, almost like a blender, before David felt the warm lather being smeared around the sides and back of his head. If his dad saw it, he didn’t say anything. All lathered up, George stropped his straight razor on the leather strap hanging from the side of his chair before he pulled the skin taught and began scraping away the lather and the shadow of hair that lay under it. George was good at it and in a few minutes it was all done. The warm damp towel again to take off the little bits of lather that remained and it was done. George hadn’t used crew wax, he thought the flat top looked better sort of laying forward a bit.

After he removed the cape from David’s lap, George turned him towards the big plate glass window so he see the haircut. David’s eyes went wide as he saw his reflection. His dad was finished and standing there behind the barber. His dad said to George, he’ll be in every couple of weeks. From now on David get’s his hair cut just like this. There wasn’t a peep out of David as he got down from the chair. George kind of rubbed it in when he grinned and said he’d see David in two weeks.



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