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Charlie's Summer Butch Cuts by Manny
Charlie and I were chatting in his garage when his younger son popped his head in and said he was ready.
"Is your brother ready too?" Charlie asked. "Where is he?"
The lad shrugged. "Beats me. Said he's not getting one this year."
"We'll see about that," Charlie said curtly, with a hint of irritation in his voice. "Go get a stool from the kitchen, Geoff."
As the lad scurried out he ran his fingers through the dense mop of gleaming auburn colored hair. The glossy mane hung down past the base of his collar and over his ears. As the sun shone on it, Geoff's thick mane glistened.
"If Troy thinks he's going to weasel out of his annual date with my electric hair clippers, he's quite mistaken," Charlie murmured as he retrieved a home barber kit from a box in the garage. "Did you get a summer butch cut as a boy?" Charlie asked me.
"No, but my father did tell the barber to cut it 'nice and short' right as school let out," I answered.
"My father would line my brothers and me up and mow us down to the wood, one right after the other," Charlie mused as he plugged in the clippers. "Feeling the clumps of hair falling onto my bare shoulders let me know that school was really out. Lots of boys in our neighborhood got summer butch cuts. Of course, we wouldn't have dared inform our fathers that we weren't going to go through the annual routine as my Troy seems to be doing today."
"Things change, Charlie. Our kids are growing up in a different world. The only line I've drawn with my son is no tattoos. I mean a bad haircut will grow out eventually, but some awful viper swirling around his neck will really affect his chances of a good career!" I said with a nervous laugh.
Just then Geoff came in with the stool. His thick, shiny hair fell in front of his eyes, adding to his father's case that a haircut was sorely needed. He obviously knew the routine. Off came his shirt and he clambered up onto the stool and put his head forward. The heavy shag shimmered in the garage's neon light.
"Ready?" Charlie asked perfunctorily.
The head nodded, causing ripples through the gleaming mass of auburn hair.
The machine sprang to life and Charlie used a firm, strong hand to drive the chattering steel teeth up through the shag. The heavy locks fell from the nape, streaming down Geoff's bare back and then landed with an almost audible thud on the floor at this father's feet. Charlie had a very satisfied look an his face as his son's transformation from moptop to military recruit began. A second drive with the clippers caused the pile of cut hair on the floor to grow significantly.
"You're getting a #3 this year, Geoff," Charlie announced. "A bit longer than last year's cut. That okay?"
"Sure, Dad," the kid replied. It seemed like he was enjoying his annual rite of passage into summer.
Then his father grasped the long bangs that were in his eyes. "Here let me take care of this for you!" He raised them away from the lad's eyes and quickly zipped the heavy forelock off near the hairline. Charlie briefly held up the clipped off lock, like a hunting trophy, and then let it fall to the floor. Geoff had a fairly broad smile on his face.
"When was the last time you got a summer butch, Charlie?" I asked the barber.
He paused. "Hmmmm, probably when I was Troy's age -- finishing high school."
"Then don't make a thing of Troy opting out. He's getting too old for that kind of treatment, the father dictating hair length...." I argued.
Charlie looked up at me and stared momentarily, as if he was going to tell me something. But, then he returned his attention to Geoff's hair and resumed clipping away the thick overgrowth.
I watched the lad's lovely hair fall away. The mounds of hair on the floor looked soft and luxuriant. His head was beginning to look rather puny without the heavy mass of hair.
Then Charlie spoke, "The boys and I had an agreement -- they can wear their hair at any length during the school year if they agree to the summer butch. Right, Geoff?"
The lad nodded in agreement. Charlie began tackling the last patch of long hair that covered Geoff's left ear.
Just then, Troy stuck his head into the garage. He sported a trendy style that was clipped close on the sides, but with a long quiff on top that was gelled into a spiffy swirl. "Uh, did Geoff give you the message, Dad? That I won't be getting a summer butch this year?"
Charlie stared at me instead of his son and winked. "Yep, he did. I'm okay with that."
Troy let out a yelp of astonished joy, that his father didn't make a fuss over his stand.
And, an instant later, Charlie added that, "Mr. Jones here has asked me to give him a haircut, sort of taking your place, so I have a second client after I finish with your brother."
My face must has betrayed my utter surprise at Charlie's unexpected move. He chuckled as he watched me try to stifle the unexpected look of discomfort.
Then, I decided to play along, "Yes, as long as it's free, I welcome a little trim. I'm a bit overdue for a haircut," I said, pawing at the locks that lapped over my collar.
The thought of taking off my shirt and climbing up onto a stool for an amateur haircut unexpectedly appealed to me. I'd never had an amateur haircut before. Charlie obviously had experience in giving butch cuts, but how would he measure up in trimming a grown man's business cut?
As the grand finale to Geoff's butch, Charlie took the clippers a final time over his whole pelt of neatly clipped hair. The lad smiled when it was all over and jumped off the stool, his hands exploring his new butch cut.
I stood and began taking off my shirt. My hands quivered -- with nervousness or excitement. Charlie seemed quite surprised that I was going along with his little joke.
"So you really want me to give you a trim?" Charlie asked. "I was just pulling your leg."
"Well, it's too late," I laughed, draping my shirt over the car hood. "You said you would give me a trim, and now you'll deliver."
"Good, pop up here onto the stool. I know you won't be disappointed," Charlie chirped.
"If you do a good job, I might become a regular," I noted.
"Shall I taper it in back, or do you like the full blocked look?" He began combing my hair. "It's quite thick. How about some action with the thinning shears?" Then he combed the bangs down straight. "Well, these are way too long!" he noted.
Charlie took a pair of shears and snapped them open and shut a few times. Then, to my shock, he began snipping my bangs off half way up my forehead! Snip, snip, snip. Several inches fell into my lap! I hated short bangs!
"Can't stand long bangs or any sort of hair in the eyes," Charlie announced.
I felt suddenly vulnerable. Charlie hadn't asked for any instruction. He had just started chopping away at my bangs!
Then I saw Charlie reach for the clippers. He clamped his hand down on the top of my head and forced my chin down so that it almost touched my chest. I felt helpless.
"I think a short taper in back would suit you. How about it?" he asked rhetorically, as he brought the clippers up through my nape. I felt a big chunk of my hair tumble all the way down my back.
"Oh, Charlie," I gasped. "I was hoping for 'just a trim'," I stammered. He kept clipping in back -- tighter and tighter, higher and higher he ran the clippers. I was going to end up with one very, very short taper! Strangely, despite my anxiety of Charlie's actions, the feel of the clippers tightly against my scalp was exhilarating.
"I was just remembering how you told me you'd never had a crisp summer butch growing up," Charlie said with a glimmer of excitement in his voice. He released his grip and let me sit up straight. "Didn't Geoff look happy with his summer butch?"
My lip quivered. My mouth felt very dry. "Yes, very happy, in fact," I eeked out.
"Sit still now!" Charlie snapped.
I complied meekly.
Then he took the clippers straight down the top of my head! I was getting my first amateur butch! Hair covered my torso and lap.
Then he delivered more 'good' news. "I'm going to do things right for your first butch." He fiddled with the clippers, snapping off one plastic guard and replacing it with a smaller comb. "A #1 all over!"
Instantly, the clipping resumed. I was made to bow my head and sit very still. He was all over me with the clippers, taking my hair all the way down to the scalp. I felt very submissive and compliant. Piles of my cut hair accumulated on my lap. I felt nervously looking at it, thinking about how people would react seeing me stripped of my plush executive cut.
When he seemed to be finished, I asked permission to touch my clipped head. He smiled broadly as I explored the sandpaper-like texture the clippers had created. The feel was fantastic. I even began to enjoy the awful churning in my stomach.
"How do I look?" I asked, hoping for a word of praise.
Charlie laughed out loud. "Like a timid school boy! Like a grown man curious about his first summer baldy cut!"
Then, he began unbuttoning his shirt and announced, "Now it's my turn on the stool. You be the barber! I haven't experienced this in ages."
My heart beat quickly. I felt honored to be given the chance to clip Charlie bald. I lightly fondly his floppy brown hair before gingerly grasping a section of his bangs and holding it up to allow the clippers to his his hair at the hairline. "These butch cuts won't just be for summer," Charlie said softly as the clippers traveled down the top of his head, sending long chunks to his shoulders and floor.
"No, that's for certain," I agreed.