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Conversation in a B Yard Oct 78 Pt.2 by Archon 2
Author's Note: This is a continuation from Part 1, and recounts the events at the Military Base Fair. Also, the main character's name in this entire series is Dave. Unfortunately, in my outlines that I worked from, the character's full name was supposed to be "David Douglas Farnsworth," with some calling him Dave, and some others calling him Doug. However, for simplicity's sake I chose to refer to him as just Dave...and didn't change the instances where he was referred to as Doug. Sorry for the mistakes! I'm hoping that the webmaster can upload an edited copy later. In the meantime, enjoy part 2.
"Ok,” Steve said…”like you, I'm all ears. What was this question that the barber asked your father?”
"First, remember that yesterday my hair was actually still pretty short, as it had been only a week since my last cut—way shorter than anyone else.”
"Yeah,” Steve chimed in agreement.
"So the first thing out of the barber's mouth—as he was draping me on the chair—was ‘wow, this kid has a great haircut already.'”
"That's a question?” asked Steve.
"No, the question was next: ‘how long has he had a short haircut?'”
"Huh? What's so bad about that question?”
"It was the conversation afterwards, remember!” Absently looking away, Dave continued his story. "Can you imagine it, me all draped up in the chair, in front of all these other teens who were eagerly watching, and snickering at me…while the barber and my father were having a discussion about MY haircut?”
"Yeah, that had to be hard on you,” Steve offered.
Dave continued his story:
"My dad: ‘let's just say he's always gone to the barbershop, and never had long hair.'”
"The Barber: ‘so has it always been this short?'”
"Dad: ‘just recently, but he's usually had crewcuts.'”
"Barber: ‘so he's used to short hair!'”
"And then, then”...Dave said, breaking off from his narrative, "then the barber looked towards the long-haired boys and told them that ‘you should wear a short haircut like his all the time…don't you want to look as clean-cut and handsome as he does?'”
"Yikes, I guess there was lots of snickering from them.”
"I'm sure there was,” Dave said in a soft, fading voice that showed how affected he was at that point. "But by that time,” he continued, "I was desperately trying to pretend that I wasn't the main attraction at that point.” "My little brother Matt was probably laughing as well, knowing he didn't have to get a haircut” he mused, as Steve started to laugh at his story.
"Anyway, it got worse!”
"How?” Steve managed to blurt out during his laugh attack.
"Well if that wasn't bad enough, now there was an audience that was listening to the whole exchange.” And then Dave continued, "And now the really humiliating part.”
"Barber: ‘He's not giving up much to earn his free ride tickets, since his hair is so short already.'”
"Dad: ‘He's never actually had an induction cut.'”
"Barber: ‘How long ago was his last haircut?'”
"Dad: ‘Actually, just a week ago, right Dave?'” Breaking off again from his narrative, Dave explained that "My dad had to ask me again, because I had basically zoned out, hoping that I was invisible…so when he asked me again, as I was answering I looked out into the crowd and saw that they were still listening, and I just said ‘yes sir' as quietly as I could.”
"Barber: ‘from the looks of it, he's no stranger to the shortest clipper blades.'”
"Dad: ‘he actually likes it…he rubs his head quite a bit. And my other son tells me that Dave is always messing with his hair in the bathroom.'”
"NO WAY! Interjected Steve, "he actually said that?”
"Yes he did…and wow, thanks for not laughing like the crowd did when they heard it.”
"It's not news to me…you admiring yourself in front of the mirror” responded Steve, who then proceeded to laugh even more.
"Shut up and let me finish!”
"Barber: ‘We decided on the #1 clipper blade for this booth, as we figured it would be plenty short enough for the boys and young men who came to get their haircut. They'd be just as shocked at losing all their hair, just like the young recruits are when they get their first induction cut. A #1 blade induction cut is not going to make much difference, except for his hair on the top. Tell you what, why don't I use my shortest clipper blade that I have here today, which is probably what is used on him anyway…and make him earn his free tickets—in fact, I'll give your son 200 tickets if you say yes.'”
"Dad” ‘go ahead, it will be a good experience for him, and he'll set an example for others.'”
"Barber to the crowd: ‘how about it, double the tickets to this young man for being brave enough to let me give him the shortest induction cut possible?'”
"Crowd: ‘go ahead, shave him,' and ‘I bet he'll be rubbing his head afterwards, wondering where his hair went.'”
"That's brutal…no one was cheering for you?” queried Steve in a tone that made Dave think his friend finally understood the horror of it all.
"Actually, I'm not sure…there might have been cheering because the crowd was going to get a show, but I don't think they were cheering my so-called bravery.”
"Geez Dave, what about your dad—was he actually ok with it all… and didn't he know how humiliated you felt. I mean, I hope my dad never embarrasses me like this.”
"Well Steve, you know my dad. And it's not like this hasn't happened before, on a smaller scale. I told you about the company Christmas parties and other places where he just loves it when others comment on our haircuts, and how clean-cut we look. And that off-base barbershop where I was getting my boot cut is located in a strip mall, next to a pizzeria hangout that always seems to have high school students who walk by and just happen stay and watch a while when they see me in the chair—my dad thinks they're actually jealous of me getting my haircut. He just thinks it's great that everyone is so interested in my haircut”
"Yeah, you've told me before.”
"Did I ever tell you that once after Matt and I got our haircuts my dad took us next door to eat some pizza for dinner? He couldn't understand it when I told him I didn't want to go in and be seen by all those other kids.”
"Hey, I still get laughed at, so I sort of know how you were feeling,” Steve chimed in suddenly. "Anyway,” he continued, "you were probably out of the chair and booth pretty quickly once the barber started, right?”
"Probably, but it seemed like forever.” "You know what, Steve? It was like everything was in slow motion. I watched the barber attach the clipper blade, I watched him raise it to the front of my head, and I felt the clippers being run over the top of my head, front to back. I saw my bangs…as short as they were, but the longest hair that I had on my head, sort of float to the cape. And then I swear I felt a breeze follow each swipe of the clippers at the top of my head, just like it feels when the sides and back got cut off when I got my boot cut. I guess at some point I had tuned everything out except the cues from the barber's hands or maybe from where the clippers were, since I remember adjusting my head to different positions as needed, every now and then catching a glimpse of the hairs that had fallen to the cape…it was like I didn't hear or see anything else except my hair on the cape. I don't remember even hearing the clippers! Suddenly stopping his narrative, Dave continued, "I told you the haircut seemed to last forever, but apparently, in the tradition of a boot camp haircut, it only took about a minute.”
"Was the crowd counting out time in seconds?” Steve asked.
"Ha hah…I told you that I was zoned out or whatever…I must have fooled myself into thinking the crowd wasn't there…but then a loud voice snapped me back to reality. It was the barber announcing proudly, ‘done, one boot camp induction cut in less than a minute.'”
"Heh, I thought you were going to tell me that a drill sergeant suddenly came out and yelled at you to get your ass out of the chair” interjected Steve, to more laughing.
"I wish,” retorted Dave. "Instead,” he continued, "I had to sit there as the barber told the crowd, ‘Don't you think he deserves his 200 tickets…and who's next?'” And then as he was taking off the cape, he tells my dad that ‘there's nothing wrong with him keeping this haircut.'”
"So a Kojak from now on?” queried Steve.
"Don't know, my dad only said ‘maybe,' and then I was busy getting out of the chair and leaning my head over the trash can someone else could towel off my head.”
"You should have taken the towel and wrapped it around your head…made it look like you had just washed your hair…”
"I was actually wanting to jump into the trash can and hide,” said Dave, "but,” he continued, "I was handed my tickets and told to go have fun on the rides, and so I had to go out and face the crowd, and my dad.”
"What was your dad mad about?”
"He wasn't mad, Steve…it was just that he told me that I was to share my extra tickets with Matt, and it sort of came out of my mouth accidentally that Matt should earn his tickets like I did, by getting an induction cut… the 200 ticket version.”
"Yikes is right, Steve. I saw that look on my dad's face as he motioned me over to the side like he usually does when he lays the hammer down on me…but I had learned my lesson long ago, and before he could say anything I apologized…”
"I knew it! You saluted him and thanked him for making you get your haircut!”
"Shove it, Steve! I just told him I was sorry for my poor behavior, and that it was hard for me to have received my haircut in front of a crowd—but that I would get used to it. And I would gladly share my tickets with Matt.”
"Where was Matt all this time, behind your dad snickering at you?”
"Probably, though he came and demanded his tickets quickly enough as soon as he heard me tell my dad that I would share them with him.” "I guess my dad was satisfied, as he bought us more tickets after we used up all of the ones that I had earned.”
"So you went on a lot of the rides and stuff?” "Did you take Matt on one of those rides that goes up and down around in a circle, with a car that looks like Dumbo…eh, and did you get mistaken for Dumbo with your big ears sticking out of your head?”
"Oh, you're full of it today Steve. And no, there wasn't that ride, but I was stuck taking Matt around for most of the rest of the day.” "I had a little fun, though I did have some barber's itch, and of course lots of kids got in a dig or two at my expense.”
"What did they do,” asked Steve.
"On the rides, flicking my ears to get my attention and then saying ‘nice haircut, dude' and then laughing…and making comments, such as when I was at the shooting gallery like ‘no fair, you probably had rifle practice in boot camp' or when the kid next to me said ‘dude, that reflection off your head is blinding me.'” "Yep, he continued, I was popular that day.”
Just at that moment Steve started rifling through his pockets, "Shoot, I can't find them” exclaimed Steve.
"What are you looking for?”
"Sunglasses, just in case the sun starts to reflect off your head” responded Steve with a chuckle. "Hey,” he continued, "weren't there others that got an induction cut? You guys should have stuck together, you know…and you could have told each other what great haircuts you all had. Anyone that goes to our school?”
Dave laughed, and then started to rub his head for a bit before relating an experience he had with a fellow boot camp induction haircut victim. "I didn't look around when I left the booth, so I don't remember if there was a line—and I never went back to that area. But I saw a few victims that were at the fair—but no one that goes to our school, and no one with the 200 ticket version.”
"Ah, so you were looking for someone to finally be able to tease…too bad you didn't find one” said Steve with mocking insincerity.
"I was actually looking for someone so that I could have an idea of what I might look like...they didn't have a mirror …and anyway, like I said, after they toweled my head I took off…and Steve, you weren't there to tell me how I looked!”
Steve thought a bit before he offered "So…don't you think you'd look the same as when you would got a butch or burr haircut. I mean, you've had them before, and you do spend lots of time in front of your bathroom mirror.”
"Dumbass, look at my head…do I look the same as I did with a burr? Asked Dave as he pointed to his head.
"I've been looking at your head this whole time!”
"Yeah, I know.”
"Well first, you do look different, only because you've had the boot cut all these months; and second, now that I've recovered from the glare in my eyes, I guess it just looks a lot shorter than before.”
"Exactly, Steve!” "Anyway, I did run into a fellow victim. He actually came up to me and sort of just talked.” "And actually it was cool. I got to give some advice.
"Hey,” interjected Steve…”did you two salute each other?”
"Yeah, we did!”
Laughing again, Steve asked, "Did he have a 100 or 200 ticket induction cut?”
"100 ticket cut. Now shut up or go home already.”
"Sorry, couldn't help myself. This is just unreal.” Of course, wanting to hear the rest of this story, Steve got up out of his chair, turned to Dave and gave him a smart salute and said in a deep voice "Sorry Sir, I know you have to continue your KP duties soon, so please continue.”
"Ok, that's better. Now listen up.”
End of part 2
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