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How The Other Half Lives by Deke Cutter (recovered)

How The Other Half Lives

By Deke Cutter

James (not Jimmy) was a hard working guy. He was honest to a fault. But, he`d fallen on hard times. The real estate business went down to the tubes when the housing bubble burst. James held out as long as he could, but eventually, he started cutting back, living off his savings and investments. He sold the boat. He cut back on lots of things. He was lucky that he wasn`t "upside down" on his house, so he was able to get a little out of it and move into a smaller place in a less fancy part of town. At 30 he was still in pretty good shape. He`d always kept his hair on the longer side, but gave up the $35.00 a shot trips to the hair cutter some months ago. So, with his hair almost down to his shoulers and a decent physique, he started thinking about looking for a temporary job that was more physical than his real estate days had been. Jobs in construction were pretty tight, but he had done some general labor and some brick work during summers while he was in college. His honesty and his respectful way of dealing with people helped too and he ended up with a job. It was hard work and the first couple of weeks he was sore. But, he stuck with it and his blisters turned into callouses and he felt stronger. Making money again was great too. The guys he worked with were pretty cool too. There wasn`t the kind of competitive BS that went on in real estate. "Hey Jimbo," said Franky. "How about coming over to watch the double header with us on Saturday." James had come off of his high horse and now responded to Jimbo, Jamie, Jimmy, just about anything.

"That would be great Frank, I`ll bring some beers."

Saturday came, and Jimmy arrived and Franky`s modest home. Frank was out changing the oil on his car. When he was done, he told Jimmy to grab a beer from th fridge and tune in the pre-game show. Franky`s wife, Mary Kate, was in the kitchen. She said, "so, your Jimbo, the college boy who lays bricks." Jimmy blushed. Mary Kate continued, you ought to let Franky give you a haircut while you`re here. He saves a lot of money cutting his own hair and most of the guys in the neighborhood come to "Franky`s Barber Shop."

Jimmy, stammered "well, um." But got no further because Franky came in, his short hair neatly combed. Mary Kate said to him, "Get out your clippers, honey, I think Jimmy, here, would like a haircut, but is a bit shy to ask.

Actually, Jimmy liked his hair just as it was, but was worried about appearing snooty, or to be "acting like I`m better than them." So, he said, "well, I guess I could do with getting this mop cleaned up."

"Sit right down, my friend."

Jimmy, sat down and Franky put the old sheet around his neck. He combed through Jimmy`s hair and said, "OK buddy, are you ready to get a working man`s haircut."

"Yeah, like yours, huh?"

"Heck no, this long mop of mine is going later today. I`ll be giving you a nice flat top. Cool for the summer, and easy to care for." With that the clipper were snapped on. Jimmy was in shock. He wanted to jump out of the chair, but realized that he was trapped. So, he felt the clippers as the climbed up his neck higher and higher. Next Franky moved to his right and starting at his sideburn, drove the clippers up toward the crown. He folded Jimmy`s ear down and cleaned all the hair from around it. Jimmy wished there was a mirror so he had some idea what he looked like.

As Franky finished the left side and started attacking the top, first with scissors, then with the clippers, Mary Kate came in and said "Whoa, Jimbo, looking sharp." When my girlfriends get a load of you with that haircut, you`ll be beating them off with a stick." Then she reached into the bag that she was carrying and handed Jimmy some butch wax. "I just got these at a three for one special at the discount store. Franky and little Frank will need two of them for the summer, and it looks like you`ll be needing this one too."

Franky says "now hold your head very still, Jimbo." And with that , Jimmy felt the clippers glide directly across the top of his head.

"My God," thought Jimmy, "he`s shaving me bald."

Franky put the finishing touches on the cut, and said, "there you go, my friend, you are really one of us now. Go to the bathroom and check it out." Jimmy headed into bathroom, turned on the light and saw a stranger standing there. "Gosh, I look like a different person, thought Jimmy." Man, that wax really makes my hair stand up straight., he thought. Wow it feels pretty cool too, with all that hair gone.

Jimmy came out of the bathroom smiling. "Thanks Franky, this is a great haircut."

Franky said, well, I guess I`ll be seeing your ugly mug over here pretty regularly, then to keep you neat."

Jimmy found that the new haircut did make him feel more like one of the guys and as he continued working through the summer, he learned a great deal about living a simpler more frugal life. The bosses called him in as the construction neared completion and told him that they were aware of his previous work in the real estate field and asked him to open up their leasing operations for the complex. "I`d like that sir. I`d like to make a proposition to you. Franky Henderson is a bright fellow. I think that he could have a future in real estate. He has a great personality and he can close a deal...you see this haircut." Jimmy went on to explain how Franky had convinced him to cut all of his hair off and how Franky had also convinced him to go back to church and had introduced him to his new girlfriend, Mary Kate`s sister, a nurse-practioner at the local hospital.

The bosses called Franky in and asked him about it. Franky was a litte bit scared. This would mean going to night school and wearing some smarter clothes. He said, "let me to Jimmy. I`ll give you my answer tomorrow."

That night, Franky went to Jimmy`s house. "So, you want to turn me into real estate puke like you, huh?"

"Jimmy checked to make sure Franky was smiling and then replied "somebody`s gotta keep an eye on you."

"Well," said Franky, "if you are gonna have me wearing pink shirts and fancy ties, then the only way I can agree to this is if you promise that you will remain a client of "Franky`s Barber Shop, where your haircut is always the barber`s choice."

Jimmy rolled his eyes and said, "there go my hopes of regrowing my beautiful locks."

Franky said, "that`s right," you`ve learned the common touch and we`re not letting you lose it."

The End

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