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My Uberdork Transformation by Mandy GP (recovered)





Let me take you back to the early 1980s Britain. Punk Rock had come and gone and the New Romantic era was in full swing. This was characterised by long and floppy hair and my hair was pretty long and floppy. I was 17 years old and tried to be cool and fashionable and did my best to attract the girls.

This came to an end when I had an operation to rectify a long standing defect in my eyes. My vision was left very blurry. The Eye Specialist said the blurriness could partly be corrected with glasses and would only be temporary, I could look forward to regaining full sight after between 6 to 8 months .A trip to the Optician was necessary. Glasses in early 1980s Britain meant National Health Service glasses (which were free or very cheap) , unfortunately they were extremely unfashionable. I lingered over the latest metallic frames but was brought down to earth rapidly by my father.

‘We’re not shelling out a fortune for specs which you’ll only wear for a short time - choose one of the NHS specs’

I tried to protest but was cut short extremely quickly. Eventually the choice was between two desperately unfashionable frames. The ones I chose were black and dead clunky. It was worse with the lenses in. The lenses looked like the bottom of two beer bottles.

It was the end of my street cred. I defy anyone to look good in NHS specs (although Morrisey and Jarvis Cocker have made heroic efforts). Any approach to a girl meant an instant brush off or insults such as speccy twat or four eyes. This hit me pretty hard for some one who was meant to be cool. I looked like a complete dork.

I reasoned if I looked like a dork I could at least dress like one. I bought a pair of baggy charcoal grey trousers with turn ups, these coupled with white shirts and a selection of hideous ties (mustard yellow was my favourite) completed the picture. Unfortunately, the insults continued and my success with girls hit rock bottom.

One day during a break from school I was idly watching television (my parents were both out at work) and contemplating my misfortune then it hit me I had not followed my dork transformation through, my hair was far too fashionable, but what could I do about it?

Many thoughts went through my brain but the enduring thought was a short haircut. It was quite a few years since I had visited a Barber but my memory kicked in of some pleasant experiences when as a 10 year old my father had taken me to the Barbers. I had enjoyed the feeling of clippers on my scalp, the cold feeling of steel on skin, the pleasant tickling sensation as they were moved and best of all rubbing my hands over the bristly hair.

What was the most unfashionable haircut I could get ? I mused and I decided that a short back and sides fitted the bill as this was very rarely seen on a teenager in those days. Where to get the haircut was next and this was easily answered. There was a Barbers shop in the nearby village. The Barber there had a low opinion of teenagers viewing them all as long haired louts and that a short back and sides and a spell of National Service (National Service had been abolished in the early 1960s) in the Army would cure society of a lot of its ills. It also amused me that the Barber would get the chance to give the haircut he wanted every teenager to have.

I tossed the thought over and over again and the more I liked it. I have always been decisive and decided to go through with it. I turned the TV off, went upstairs to change into my charcoal grey baggy trousers, white shirt and my hideous mustard tie. I went outside and locked the front door. I started walking to the nearby village which was ¾ miles away. The walk normally took 10 minutes but this time there was nervous excitement with every tread - would I go through with it? - Would I chicken out? I felt certain I had the bottle to do it, each step closer was filled with excitement.

I walked past the first houses of the village and my heart began to pump with nervous anticipation, I could see the small row of shops which contained the Barbers, gradually they came closer, I could see the red and white pole of the Barbers. I walked past the Post Office, past the Newspaper shop, only two shops to go, now my heart was really racing. Past the Bookmakers and I was opposite the Barbers. I paused and looked at the shop front. There was frosted glass in the windows and door and you could not see into the shop, only a sign in a small clear panel of the door said Open.

I paused not knowing whether to start walking away or to go in. I gave a big breath, composed myself and strode purposefully to the shop. I opened the door and entered. There was a small row of seats where those wanting a haircut waited their turn, the Barber was busy on a customer so I settled down on a seat and waited.. The Barber was a man in his early fifties with slicked back dark hair and clipped back and sides. At least he practises what he preaches I mused. Just after that thought had exited my brain then he turned round and looked at me. His top lip curled in evident distaste at what he saw.

He wanted to make some comment to his customer, but the customer was talking about horses and horse racing and the bets he had lined up so the Barber could not get a word in. I looked over the shop. The linoleum on the floor was shiny and spotless, there was a faint whiff of scented hair oil in the air. I settled back to enjoy watching the haircut in progress particularly the clippering of the back and sides thinking that I was soon to enjoy that sensation.

The Barber finished his customer, dusted him down, the customer exited the chair all the time going on about what horses he was going to back at the Bookies next door. He paid and exited I got the feeling that the Barber was very frustrated that he could not make some sarcastic comment about me to the customer.

The Barber turned to me with disgust written all over his face and said in a half quizzical, half sarcastic tone of voice,


‘Yes.’ I responded.

‘Get in the chair, son.’ He commanded.

I obeyed quickly and settled in the red leatherette chair.

‘Take your glasses off, son, I can’t cut your hair with them on,’ was the next command.

I complied and slipped them into my pocket. This meant that my world went very blurry and indistinct. This haircut was going to have to be an aural and tactile experience. He tossed the cape around me.

‘How would you like it,’ was next, this time in a very sarcastic tone of voice.

By this time my confidence had returned in full measure and I was ready.

‘A nice short back and sides, please, nice and close, and plenty off the top,’ I answered.

There was no response for ten seconds. ‘That’s got you in the solar plexus,’ I thought.

Eventually the hum of the clippers filled the air, they took two or three seconds to develop their full bass hum.

At last, I thought and settled to enjoy the full sensation of clippering that I had recalled from long ago.

The clippers hit the back right of my hair. It felt as my hair was being combed, no cold steel, no tickling sensation. What was happening?

Seven or eight swipes of the clippers later and I could feel that the weight had gone out of my hair at the back, he gradually worked from right to left across the back and started on my left side. My vision was good enough to discern huge hanks of hair appearing on the cape right underneath my nose. He finished the left side and started on the right, more huge hanks of my hair appeared on the cape. I felt cheated at this stage. No pleasant sensation and I had lost my hair. Only later did I discover that he had used a guard on the clippers.

There was a pause but the clippers continued to hum. Next my top hair on the right side was attacked with a proper comb and clippers. Shorter hair of ½’’ to an inch fell onto the cape right in front of me. He worked my right side, then the top back - high on the topback, then finished up on the top left side. I now felt overwhelming disappointment, still no cold steel, still no tickling sensation.

Still the clippers hummed, the sound of them moved from by my left ear to the back of my head. I felt a hand on my head pushing it down.. Then, at last, the feeling of steel on nape. He slowly moved the clippers and the tickling sensation started. Slowly up and up and up they went. I was nearly ecstatic. I was woken from my bliss by the Barber saying - his tone was a lot softer now,

‘You know, when you came in, you were the last person I thought would ask for a decent haircut.’

‘Yes, I am tired of looking like a slovenly slob, it was time to get a real man’s haircut,’ I responded.

I gauged that I had gone up ten points in his estimation.

He would clip an area and go over it two, three or even four times with the clippers, no doubt to eradicate any stray clumps, this only heightened the pleasure. Slowly the back was finished and the left side started, over the left ear I could feel the hum resonate in my brain. The left side was done. The hum moved to my right side, I realised my pleasure trip was almost at an end and concentrated to ensure that I enjoyed the remaining clippering. At last the right sideboard was done and the hum died..

Several second passed before the top hair was being vigorously combed and the sound of ‘snippety snip snip snip snip’ from the scissors. I noticed that a fresh rain of lumps and chunks of my hair appeared in front of my nose, on and on he went and I thought that he would soon run out of hair to cut. Eventually he stopped. Stillness again.

‘Would you like hair oil?’ This time in a pleasant courteous voice.

‘Yes, please,’ I responded.

He gave me several blasts. There was a pause then my back was being vigorously dusted down followed by the clipped areas left and right. He swept the cape off me and I fished in my pocket for my glasses, with some fear I slipped them on and gave a quick look in the mirror. It wasn’t me who looked back but an Überdork, the haircut was dead severe, it wasn’t skin tight on the sides but only very, very short hair remained, just to show where I once had hair. Instead of my hair flopping over my eyes the now oily short top hair had been scraped back. I was both appalled and delighted at the same time.

I eased my way off the chair, thanking him at the same time. I paid for my haircut, thanked him again and we bade each other a friendly goodbye. Walking back home I rubbed and stroked and caressed the clipped areas over and over again. Getting home I went straight to my room, rigged up two mirrors and for twenty minutes admired the barbered back and the shorn sides from all angles..

I kept the look for six months, it needed a fortnightly visit to the barber to keep the haircut fresh , I looked so extreme that people thought that I was trying to make a fashion statement and the insults died. It was with some relief, that as my vision had improved, I was able to bin the specs. I grew the hair back a bit but still liked every now and then to be shorn.

The End

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