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The Worm Part 2 by Mike V

Several years ago there was a great short hair story "The Worm" - hopefully it get back into the archives - it was about a teenager who thought his father had let him have his way, letting his hair grow, only to be sent to spend the summer with his uncle, a former Marine. The uncle takes one look at his nephew (I'll call him John)and brings him to his barber for a "Marine high&tight" 1-1/2 blade on top, edger on the sides and back. The story ends with the uncle telling John that they will coming weekly for haircuts for the rest of the summer and that there will be other "improvements" as well.

It has been a week since the first haircut. John still couldn't beleive his hair was so short, and was hoping his uncle wasn't really serious about the weekly haircuts. As it was now it would take all summer for it to grow back to something approaching normal. John has been woken up at 6am everyday to run 5 miles before breakfast and then it was weight training, yard work for elderly neighbors(for free), baseball camp, and even bible studies. Before dinner John would change into his "nice clothes". They were actually his cousins clothes-they had since joined the Marines and were no longer living at home. Wearing these neatly pressed shirts and creased pants, John looked like a younger version of his uncle. He had been informed that everyone was maam and sir and learned to stand and pull out his aunts chair when she came in for dinner. It was now Friday afternoon. John had just changed for dinner when his uncle announced they were going out.

As they were driving, the uncle said they were going to the barbershop and issued precise instructions for John. "You will address the barber as sir - you will ask for a Marine high&tight, and you will not speak unless spoken to. Is that clear?" "yes sir" replied John softly - his hope that his uncle wasn't really serious about the weekly cuts crushed.. They were now entering the barbershop, no customers, just the barber in his horseshoe flattop and white smock. "Welcome back sport - good to see you -have a seat". "Thank you sir" replied John as he got into the barber chair. In no time at all he had a neck strip and cape fastened tightly. "So, what will it be today, sport". "A Marine high&tight sir" replied John as he stared straight ahead at his uncle."Good choice" said the barber was he was soon going over the top with the 1-1/2 and then firmly doing the sides and back with the edger, going over and over the same spots so that not one hair would exceed regulation length. Then his head was massaged with the strong smelling tonic. "all set sport, short enough for you". "Yes sir, thank you sir" said John as he got out of the chair. He then sat and waited while his uncle got his haircut. The uncle and barber were talking about the youth of today and that John should be thankful the uncle was taking such an interest in him.

The entire summer passed. John getting his weekly cut, working out, learning respect. As he looked in the mirror, he realized he was looking much better than when he arrived, more filled out, tan and muscular. What was happening he wondered. He now longer felt the same inside either. John and his uncle arrived at the barber shop for the last time before John would be returning home. The barber greeted hime the same as always as John climbed into the chair. Not reluclantly as he had at the beginning of the summer, but without thinking about it at all. The barber caped him up and said "Your uncle tells me this is your last visit here". "Yes sir - I'm heading home tomorrow sir". "Well, I have a treat for you sport - just so you'll look extra sharp when you get home, I'm using a one on top and will be razor shaving the sides". "Thank you sir - I appreciate it sir" John relpied and as he said it, he realized he actually meant it! The barber did the top with the one, and then did the sides and back with the edger. He then brushed John off, and applied warm shaving cream on the back and sides of John's head. He then took the straight razor and scraped down the sides and back, first with the grain and then against the grain. He then massaged his head as usual with the lingering scent of tonic that John had come to enjoy. As the barber turned the chair to the mirror, John saw a man, no longer a boy. He stood, and shook the barber's hand -"Thank you very much sir - I appreciate all you and my uncle have done for me". "No problem sport" replied the barber as he patted John on the back, while his uncle smiled.

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