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Air Clipper by Pharaoh
The touchdown was smooth.
Warrick was landing at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport at Mascot. Looking out the window he glimpsed a reflection of himself in the safety glass. Long hair. Well thank goodness it would soon be short.
Warrick and his mate Gordon were on their way to Bali for their first holiday apart from their families. They had both been to school together, and finished their exams – well - and then back to their home towns, Orange and Tamworth. These provincial centres are away from the ocean, but Waz and Gordy had become surfing fanatics while they were living in Sydney.
They had said goodbye at the end of the school year, probably not to see each other for quite awhile. Then Gordon rang Warrick.
“How’d you like to go surfing in Bali?”
“Yeah! Fat chance. Can’t afford it. The oldies haven’t got the money, with this drought. Even if they would let me go.”
“Look man, I’ve just won a holiday for two in Bali, all expenses, at the local radio station. Do you want to come?”
“Is this for real Gordy. You wouldn’t kid about something so serious?”
“Genuine freebee. Fly out on Friday.”
“I’ll ring you back.”
Gordon’s mum and dad had insisted that he have a break, at least for part of the long summer break, before working in the family timber mill until university started. The Bali thing was good timing. He’d be home before Christmas. He was none too sure that mum and dad would OK an ‘away alone’ overseas, but he wouldn’t know until he asked. He explained about the freebee. Well, alright, provided you keep away from sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. And be careful going through customs. And Behave Yourself.
So here he was landing at Mascot to meet Gordon and transfer to the QANTAS flight to Denpasar.
“Where’ll we meet?” Gordon asked Warrick.
“How about the DownTown Duty Free? I’m getting a digital camera for Christmas and I’ll save the folks a heap with out duty.” They were both familiar with the airport.
“Good idea. But get there well before time. I want to get a haircut before I get on the flight to Bali.”
“Me too. I can’t have mine done here. You know my sister Raenelle styles it at her shop. Man, I’m sick of it. This style sucks, and it’s too long in this weather – and the surf in Bali.”
“Have we always got to do things the same? It’s weird. I don’t want mine cut here at home either. Tell you about it when I see ‘ya.”
“Is there a barber, no, not a hairdresser, a barber, at the international terminal? I’m not sure.”
“I checked it out. There’s a new joint called – wait for it – “’air Clipper’ – get it? ‘hair’ without the ‘h’.
“Sure I get it. We’ll have tons of time. I got about three hours delay before the flight to Bali.”
“I’m about the same.”
“See you at the duty free.”
The two surfing mates met, bought the Pentax DigiZoom Optio S5i camera for Waz and a Panasonic Electric Wet&Dry razor for Gordy, and a few duty free presents for family and friends, and wandered off to find “’air Clipper”, a sparkling space age salon with a couple of chairs, but only one barber, youngish, well groomed, with a barber coat looking like something form a sci-fi movie. There was already a customer in the chair. The barbering has only just started. The two guys sat down to wait, Gordon perusing a new guide book on Bali, while Warrick picked a hairdressing magazine “My Barber”.
He knew he wanted a much shorter haircut and rid himself of the dreaded Metro his sister had designed and bullied him into wearing. The only time it was cut was when he was home for the school holidays. It had to go. Not only did he dislike the Metro style, but it took an age to keep on place, nearly a half an hour with the blow dryer every time he shampooed, and gallons of hairspray – no gel or moose. He found a style in the pages of “My Barber” which looked what he was thinking about and showed it to Gordon.
What do you think of this style?”
“Don’t ask me, man. I’m going bald.”
“How come? You’ve got as much hair as me. Are you losing it?”
“That’s why I’m here. To lose it.”
“Oh! You mean get a haircut – “
“All cut. I’m having the lot cut off! BBC.”
“Bald by Choice??? Not British TV?”
“That takes some guts. I couldn’t do that. No way. I’d never have my head shaved. How could you do that if you don’t have to. Man that’s heavy. You’re not serious are you? You’re not really going to ask the barber to shave all your hair off? Bald?”
“Certainly am. Now you know why I didn’t want to have it cut at home. This is the beginning if a new adventure – holiday in Bali on our own and a freshly shaved head. ”
“Next.” The barber looked at both the guys. Gordy waved Warrick into the chair.
This was good for Warrick. The time had come have his detested style cut shorter and much more middle-of-the-road. He stepped up into the chair and settled. The barber carefully wrapped tissue around his neck, followed by the barber cloak. “A Metro a? So what do you want young man? Just scissors around the edges. At least I know you don’t want it all shaved off.”
“You’re right there. No baldie for me. But I don’t want this Metro either. I hate it. Here’s what I want.” He showed the picture in the magazine to the barber.
“You sure? That’s a new magazine. Those styles are repro-retros - late 1950s CollegeCut. Richie Cunningham in Happy Days. Not a bad cut though. This what you want? Straight part, tapered medium back, short on top?”
“What do you think? Seems cool to me. Sure better than this damn Metro. Yeah. Let’s go for it. Could I have it square cut at the back. You know, a really straight line.”
“Sure. But I think it should be tapered medium high. But I’ll do the block cut first. One Happy Days Richie Cunningham coming up. Back to the future.” He fitted the #4 comb to the clippers and ran them up Warrick’s neck, and then the sides. After a deal of fine clipping, scissoring, razor chamfering and a low blunt line on the neck, Warrick felt like a new person – and he liked it. The top was short – just long enough to part comfortably with a small quiff away from the front of the part. Itself, the part was straight and defined, much higher than the low messy false part of the Metro. Sideburns were sliced off to zero and edges shaved in a clean line. Overall the haircut had a superbly ordered appearance. Though it might be the 50s but it was light years better than the awful Metro. How did he ever get talked into it and then keep it for a year – the Metro, that is?
The amount of hair he lost was amazing.
The clipper cutting was amazing.
The real barbering was amazing.
The short hair was amazing.
The style of the CollegeCut was amazing.
“Yeah. That’s some haircut. What do you think Gordy?”
“Don’t ask me. I’m going bald. OK. It looks excellent if you have to have hair. But you’re right Mister Barber. It would look better with a medium taper.”
“Square or tapered?” asked the barber to Warrick as he held the hand mirror to the back of the customer’s head.
“I like the square. Nice sharp shaved line. Never had that before. But I’ve got to admit it doesn’t look as good as the “My Barber” magazine picture. Alright. Taper it out.”
Warrick felt heaps better without all the long carefully groomed semi-casual Metro. The CollegeCut was definitely him. He promised himself silently that he would have it cut every two weeks – at the barber – no matter what his sister said. He loved her dearly, but as far as he was concerned she had ‘styled’ his hair for the last time, and she should stick to women’s hairdressing.
He vacated the chair for Gordon and paid the barber. Gordon settled.
“Did I hear you say you wanted a baldie?” the barber asked.
“You heard correct Mister Barber. All off. Shaved.”
“Right. Clipper shaved or razor shaved?”
“Razor. All over. Close as you can get it. Smooth bald.”
“You can’t be serious Gordy. Why not have it cut like mine? This is pretty short - and hot,” advised Warrick.
“No. I’ve been waiting for this for years; and a holiday in Bali is a good time to go bald. I just don’t to have hair anymore. Ever. This will be the first bald day for the rest of my life. Shaved every day,” asserted Gordon. “Go ahead Mister Barber. Start the process. Make me a baldie.”
“I’m going to watch this,” advised Warrick standing close to the chair where his friend was about to lose all his hair.
“No problem. Just don’t get in the way though,” Mister Barber instructed. With that be began to plough the clippers into Gordy’s hair. There was no fineness with this cut, just straight to the scalp. Within about five minutes Gordon was reduced to fine stubble all over his head. He certainly enjoyed the operation. Warrick was fascinated.
“Do you do many baldies Mister Barber? You have ‘headshaves’ on you window,” asked Waz.
“You’d be surprised how many guys want all their hair off before they get on – or off – a plane. I do at least a dozen a week. In fact this is my third today, and I must say it’s looking good.”
“What about the guys who are shaved? Do they tell you it is just for one time - ?” began Gordy.
“Quite a lot tell me that will now stay bald for life. Like you. I’d say about 66% or more. Plane trips seem to start a new beginning,” Mister Barber assured the boys.
“What do they have? Full hair or going bald naturally?” Waz was getting into this bald thing.
“About half and half.”
“You’re now really going to stay bald for the rest of your life Gordy? Shave your head every day? That’s just a gag – isn’t it?” enquired Gordy’s mate Waz.
By this time the cream had been applied to Gordon’s head and the barber was plying the razor over the customer’s neck, sides and top.
“I’m serious. This is it why I bought the wet and dry razor. I’ve been researching on the InterNet for months.”
So Gordon was now Bald! Rubbing his head all over he was like a kid with a new toy.
“You happy? Asked Mister Barber
“What’s happy? Man I’m intergalactic ecstatic. I’m Bald! Forever.”
After shining and polishing Gordon was out of the chair and paying the Master Shaver. There was a noise at the chair even though there were no other customers in the shop. Both looked around. Warrick was back in the chair.
“Take it all off. Bald,” instructed Waz.
“Fair go. You’ve just had the best CollegeCut I’ve ever done.”
“Yeah well. I know it looks really excellent. But I want a bald head like Gordy. You shouldn’t have had you head balded in front of me. How was I to know that I was going to need a baldie too.”
“Yeah. Right on. Get it right off,” Gordon prompted his mate.
“You’re serious? You now want your head shaved smooth like your friend here?” asked the haircutter.
“Sure do Mister Barber. I’ve had one long-to-short haircut today. Might all well go all the way. ShavenHead please.”
The barber required no more prompting. Again DigiPix were taken before the operation.
If Warrick was pleasured with having his hair cut from the Metro to the CollegeCut, it was a much greater buzz to be buzzed – and shaved.
Then he too was bald.
Mister Barber would not accept payment for the second barbering. Waz was the hundredth headshave since the shop had opened. On top of that he also received a complimentary 100th prize – an exact same Panasonic Wet&Dry razor that Gordon had bought at the duty free.
As the guys walked through the airport concourse they couldn’t help stealing glimpsed of themselves in the boutique windows of their gleaming shaved bald heads.
The Bali surfing (and cultural) holiday was a huge success. Each day the guys shaved their heads anew. With the tropical suntan the look was amazing. But of course, they both had to face their families and friends.
On the plane home Warrick went into the plane toilet to give himself a fresh shave, even though he didn’t need it.
He was amazed at his new look.
He was amazed that the dreaded Metro was gone – completely.
He was amazed how much he enjoyed shaving his head.
He was amazed that he knew absolutely this was a lifetime deal.
He was amazed how good it looked on him.
He was amazed how much he really, genuinely, liked it.
He was amazed how much he needed it.
He was amazed he was BALD!