After Saggin' Boy's Haircut by Deke Cutter
This is my imagined follow up to "Saggin’ Boy" by Annonymous. I hope that author doesn’t object.
Saggin’ Boy, we’ll call him Ron, ran toward the bus stop, hoping to catch a bus to take him home from his humiliating high and tight haircut. He had planned to hangout in front of the old-fashioned barbershop teasing all the customers and the barbers with his long hair and sagging jeans. Then two Marines had forced him into the barbershop and held him down while the barber gave him a no-nonsense high and tight haircut. With his short haircut and his trousers pulled up to his waist, he looked like a slightly geeky middle school student instead of the High School Junior he was to be in September.
"Under 16s fare is one-dollar, young fellow," the bus driver said to him. He cringed but didn’t correct the driver. Ron heard two old ladies sitting near the driver whisper about what a nice clean-cut young man he seemed to be. He felt his face redden as he took his seat. When the bus got to his stop, he ran all the way home, hoping that nobody he knew would see him. He ran right to his room, changed out of his underpants that he had soiled during the haircut, and looked at himself in the mirror. The tears came again! He had nothing but stubble on the sides and back of his head. Barely half an inch of hair at the very front where his long lowing bangs used to hang below his mouth. It would take him years to grow it back.
"Ron," he heard his mother call, "are you coming down to dinner?"
He walked into the kitchen and his parents surprise was palpable. "Is that you? I didn’t know you were getting a haircut!" His father said.
"Oh sweetie, you look adorable" his mother said.
"I have been trying to get you to trim that mess for a year, why now", asked his dad.
Ron didn’t know what to do or what to say, so he thought he would try a version of the truth. "Well, I heard there was a cool new coffee shop over on the other side of town. As I was passing this barber shop, these two Marines stopped me and forced me to get this haircut."
"Well, I am going over there to talk to that barber tomorrow," said his father.
This gave Ron some hope that his father was going to get him some justice.
"I want to thank him for cleaning you up and find out if he knows those Marines so I can thank them too. I think we’ve found your new barber son." The next day Ron did not go out of the house. When his father returned from work, he looked angry. "Well Ron, I got the whole story from your barber." It seems that you have been acting like an ill-mannered hooligan. I noticed that there was a hardware store two doors down from the barber shop." Handing him a bag, "go change into these clothes." You have an interview." Ron came downstairs in a pair of chinos and short sleeved button-down blue shirt. His father called him over and had a small brush in one hand and a tube of some waxy substance in the other. "Good old Butch Wax," said his father, brushing Ron’s little tuft of hair to attention.
On their way to the interview at the hardware store, his father laid down the law to Ron. You will be a gentleman, you will act enthusiastic. Is that understood?" Ron indicated that he did. You will be a regular customer at the barber shop. You will tell the barber "same as last time."
Two weeks later, Ron’s life had changed greatly. Gone were his saggin’ jeans and fancy shirts. His wardrobe was very modest, his trousers no longer sagged. He was a model employee at the hardware store. His cool friends had all dropped him when he no longer looked like them or had time to hang out. And, two weeks later, he was in the chair resignedly asking the barber for "the same as last time," as the two Marines looked on. The barber completed the haircut with some butch wax, stating, per your dad’s request. When the haircut was finished. Ron thanked the barber for his haircut. The Marines looked at him and in unison said "and?" To which Ron sighed and responded, "I love short hair." Ron was not looking forward to returning to school, but he had another month and two more haircuts before classes started.
And so, Saggin’ Boy’s worst day had changed his life.