1988 Stories - Awaiting Approval:Stories 0; Comments 0.
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Johnny hits a double by Deke Cutter


Johnny got out of the shower, dried off, shaved, and combed his hair. His hair was at the maximum length the old man would tolerate. His ears were completely covered, his hair was just below his collar and fell dangerously close to his eyes. It was a rich dark brown and dried with lovely waves. His mom had warned him last night that he should get a trim or she couldn't prevent his father's wrath. So bright and early on Saturday morning Jeff headed to White's Barbershop, knowing that his trusted barber Jana would be opening for Mr. White that morning. Jana knew the drill and would trim just enough to allow his mom to keep dad from going crazy. White's was a great place, 5 young barbers who could all do great long and short cuts and Mr. White. He was a master barber but could cut old school too. He was the one that Johnny's dad trusted to keep his short back and sides tight.

Jana was ready for Johnny and quickly went to work snipping and shaping Johnny's hair. In about 20 minutes, she had Johnny trimmed and ready for he and his mom to outwit dad again. After Johnny paid Jana, she went to the back room of the shop, just as Mr. White entered the front door, chatting on his ancient flip phone: "yes sir Mr. Gullotti, Johnny is here right now, looks like he will be my first cut of the day." Johnny felt a cold sweat drip down his back. Why was his father calling Mr. White? Then he remembered, his sister had let it slip that Johnny was getting his haircut early Saturday and had promised to take her to the mall when he got home.

Johnny tried to tough it out as Mr. White closed his phone. "Too late Mr. White, Jana just finished with me." Barney White got a twinkle in his eye and said that she had indeed finished with Johnny.

"Sorry Johnny, your dad just informed me that if Jana had not cut your hair to his standards, I was to finish the job. So, hop up in the chair boy and lets get this over with. Johnny was stunned, too stunned to speak or think. He sat down in Mr. White's big old fashioned chair. Slowly he gathered the wits to speak.

"Please Mr. White, not too short. My mom, she likes my hair..." White cut him off right there, in mid sentence. "Don't even go there, my boy. Your dad says he is taking control and teaching you some respect. Apparently, you've back-sassed him once too often." Johnny knew then and there that he was in for it. His father had really blown up about Johnny's "smart mouth" twice this week and warned of dire consequences.

The barber caped him up and commenced the haircut. "Hmmm, Jana did a nice job, he noted, its a pity to destroy her work." This gave Johnny a moment of hope, but the n the Osters came to life and he felt the bite of the clipper rising up the side of his head. Mr. White was cutting his hair very close to the scalp. He looked down and saw long clumps of his beautiful locks slide onto the cape. Mr. White quickly took both sides down. Then he gently pushed Johnny's head forward and began the process of tapering the back, very high and very tight. As Johnny looked in the mirror, he could see the damage done, with just the long hair on top of his head left. He started to calculate how long it would take to grow his crowning glory back. Just then the clippers went silent and the assault began on the top of his head. Mr. White combed the long hair up and cut all but about two inches off. Combing and clipping, combing and clipping. Finally, he took out the dreaded thinning shears. He saw the abject look of defeat on Johnny's face and said "sorry son, your father's orders." With that the barber went to work relentlessly reducing the bulk of Johnny's hair until it lay flat and lifeless.

The finishing up with shaving cream, a razor, clippers for blending, and a good dollop of gel worked into to the little bit of hair that was left. The hair was parted on the left, but the bangs were combed down and then trimmed straight across his forehead high above his brows. Johnny looked at himself and felt that he looked closed to 12 than to his 17 years. "Well Johnny, what do you think?" Johnny looked at barber, misery etched in his face and said "well, I guess I won't need a haircut much before Christmas. School starts next week so this should see me through the semester, if I can live through the ribbing I'm gonna take."

Mr. White looked at Johnny with compassion and said "young fellow, you'd better get used to looking just as you do today. Your dad says that you and he will be coming in together every three weeks from now until you leave for college next year." As Johnny walked toward the car to drive home he felt like all the eyes of the passing shoppers were on his brutal "little boy cut." One of his smart aleck classmates called out, "nice scalping Gullotti, you look like a plucked chicken." It was going to be a long year.



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