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Life Behind the Chair: Clipping a Cop by Kaleb McKinley
The police cruiser pulled up just as I was about to turn off the barber pole. This caused me to pause for a moment while I watched the officer key up his radio microphone. No doubt, he was radioing his location back to dispatch. I stood there alone wondering if he was coming into the shop or if he was simply parked there to do paperwork. My question was answered in a heartbeat as the driver side door opened and out stepped the uniformed cop, a little over six feet tall and hot from his head to his boots.
He walked in and nodded. His voice was clear and a bit deep. "Am I too late or do you have time for one more?”, he asked as he pointed to the barber chair. "I just got off my shift and I didn't realize it was this late.” My voice stumbled just a bit as I said, ‘It's never too late for you guys. Have a seat.”
He took off his hat, hung it on the hat rack and settled into the old Koken barber chair with black leather seat and back. His manly hands covered the chrome caps on the armrests. He planted his size 12 black side zip tactical police boots firmly on the footrest. I had never seen this cop before and I'm pretty familiar with the male members of the police force. While we have some studs in the department, this guy was by far the best looking. He was about 30 years old, his hair was dark brown and, at one time, had been clipped into a short business cut. Now, it was a bit shaggy in the back. It was by no means long, just a little longer than officers here normally wear their hair. The name on his tag read "Hammond”.
I quickly wrapped a towel around his neck and tucked it into his collar. I shook the cape and whisked it around my customer, securing it tightly around his neck. Officer Hammond spoke up and said, "Clean up the back and sides, please. I've been working a lot lately and haven't had time to come in. The guys on force say you're the man”. Whoa. High praise from some of my favorite people. "I'll get you fixed up. Just sit back and relax”, I said. I proceeded to tell him about my 50% discount on all services for police, military and fire department personnel. The entire time I talked with him I was getting my clippers ready along with my other necessary haircutting tools. He also seemed to be loosening up a little. Most cops come in tense almost like they are constantly expecting confrontation.
He made pleasant conversation and, of course, I engaged him in that conversation. When I couldn't take it anymore, which was approximately sixty seconds, I firmly placed my left hand on the top of his head and shoved it down, putting his chin against his chest. My shop has double mirrors. One behind the backbar and one across the shop. I saw his slightly surprised reaction to my sudden command of his head. Clicking the clippers on, I ran them up the back of his neck and continued to the crown. The cop was suddenly silent. I imagine that he might have been having second thoughts about his decision to get a haircut in this barber shop. His dark hair fell on the cape and the very short clippings showered my barber's jacket.
I released his head from my grip just long enough to turn the chair so I could access the right side. Re-establishing my palm grip on the officer, I shoved his head to the left and launched the second phase of this cop hair assault. I pushed the clippers against his skin and shoved up. He squirmed as I moved the clippers a little faster than the blades could handle. Within moments, the right side of Officer Hammond's head was nearly bare, much like the back. The left side met the same fate. I grabbed my horsehair duster, I brushed away little hair clippings that were clinging to his neck, ears and face. He sat quietly staring at his reflection in the mirror across the room. I wonder what was going through his mind. As I changed the attachment on my clippers and picked up a comb so I could work on the top, I watched his black cop boots nervously fidget with the footrest. Suddenly, the silent stud cop spoke in a quiet tone. "Please not too short on top, if you don't mind.” I grabbed the lever and lowered the height of the chair so I could easily continue the cut. With a flip of the switch, the angry clippers buzzed rather violently almost as though they were excited to shear the cop. He watched as his request was silently denied and his top was now only slightly longer than the sides and back. I unsnapped the cape and spread the traditional white towel with the blue stripe across his shoulders. It was time for the neck shave and nearly couldn't contain my excitement as I pressed the button on my old silver lather machine to dispense a mound of hot, thick lather. As I spread it across the officer's neck and up the hairline over his ears, he let out a low moan and goose bumps formed along the side of his neck. His eyes were fixed on his handsome reflection, taking in his new look. It was time to shave his neck and now the officer's head offer no resistance and he voluntarily lowered it so my razor and I could do our work. The scraping sounds in the otherwise quiet shop proved arousing for barber and client. His moans were a little more audible now. Soon, as I wiped away the excess lather, we both admired his new cut.. All he said was "Thank you, sir. It looks good.” By this time, I was brushing off the cape and straightening his collar. He began to move forward as though he were about to get up from the chair. I placed my hands on the cop's shoulders and pushed him back into the chair. In an authoritative tone, I said, "We're not quite done, officer.” He looked surprised as I loosely refastened the cape. What in the world could be left? What else could the barber need to do? Officer Hammond's thoughts were racing . He's already clipped the hell out of me. He shaved my neck. What the hell does he want to do to me? The haircut is over. In some shops, the haircut would be over, but in Kaleb's Barber Shop, a cop with stubble is no where near done. The face shave is next.