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A Summer Special by Shortbacker
A sequel to ‘A Traditional American Haircut’
It was the day after I had been subjected to my first severe flattop haircut at an traditional American barbershop. I got out of bed and surveyed the damage in the bathroom mirror. I was perhaps secretly hoping that it had all been a bad dream but the reflection in the mirror said otherwise. Staring back at me was a strip of bare skin above my ears merging into ring of gradually longer hair at the crown. The top was flat and held rigid by wax. There was just a hint of dark stubble covering a strip down the centre of my head behind a gradually tapering tuft of hair sticking vertically upwards at the front. I tilted my head from side to side to see if I could detect any sign of overnight growth but there was none. It would be a long time before I could run my fingers through a long shaggy mop again.
I began thinking of the way in which my partner and future wife had manoeuvred me into this drastic shearing. She had paid a heavy price herself because in doing so she had sacrificed her own free flowing locks. I also reflected on the strange sexual consequences of the previous day. First, my own arousal at watching others in the barbershop receiving clipper shaved haircuts in the knowledge that I would be in the chair very soon, and then the extraordinary night of passion between Susan and I as we both explored our new hairstyles. She had initially been distraught at the ‘short back and sides permed on top’ look that had been inflicted on her at the old-fashioned beauty parlour that Nancy, our neighbour, had introduced her to. But, after I had assured her that she looked wonderful and that I had always wanted to see her with short hair, she calmed down. In fact, she burst into a fit of giggles and pointed at me saying, "at least I don’t look like that". What I was soon to find out was just how much she was sexually aroused by seeing my new hair style.
I returned to bed to find Susan awake and still in the mood for more sex. At least there was some upside to my new short hair style. Later, it dawned on me that the sexual connection dated back to childhood memories of being dominated by strong women. First my mother, who would from an early age take me to get my hair cut at various traditional barbers, giving strict instructions about how short it should be. Then, at my boarding school, where Matron was in charge of escorting small hirsute boys to the village barbers for a regulation school haircut, always with the instruction to Mr. Stevens, the school barber, that it should be "Well above the ears and collar".
I had not realised it but these were subliminal and formative memories. Initially, they forced me to rebel against a strict haircut regime as soon as possible, but they were now inexorably dragging me back to crave female domination and a burgeoning hair fetish. For an accountant, I was not a bad psychologist. Indeed, I had already identified the alpha-female in our current group as Nancy, our neighbour.
But, life goes on. Despite my hair fetish and the realisation that my future wife liked to exert controI, I still had to work. Susan settled in to a suburban existence, continuing with her online editing work but also easing into the local social scene under the strict supervision of Nancy. I occasionally bumped into Chuck, Nancy’s husband, at work but we were both traveling regularly and rarely had time to catch up properly. We shared a few social invites in the neighbourhood at weekends and I was always pleased when Susan returned from what were now regular trips to the beauty parlour with Nancy for a trim and a set. I realised very quickly how erogenous a shaved nape could be.
For her part, Susan began to nag me again about how shaggy I was becoming, occasionally suggesting that I join Chuck and his two boys for a Saturday visit to the barbershop. Fortunately, work commitments always intervened. While I will admit to continuing haircut urges, I restricted myself to an occasional drive past Jacksons on the way home from work.
On returning from work one such evening, I was greeted by Susan in a state of high excitement. "Guess what, Honey?" She had picked up several American terms from Nancy. "Nancy and Chuck have invited us to spend a week with them at their cabin in the mountains".
I was overdue a holiday and the opportunity to escape the rising summer heat and humidity was appealing. It had been arranged that Susan and I would drive up on Friday with Nancy and the two boys while Chuck, who was due to be away on business, would join us on Sunday. It was all set for the first week of the school summer holidays and Susan set about the preparations with relish, so much so that she never mentioned my hair which by now was sporting around four months of growth.
Finally, the day of departure arrived and we all squeezed into the MPV which was crammed with people and luggage to set off for the long drive to the mountains. We arrived at Boulder Creek late in the afternoon. It was well worth the drive. The cabin rested by the side of a crystal clear lake surrounded by spectacular mountains that were carpeted with a forest of pine trees. The warmth of the day drew out the resinous scent of the trees and the silence of the forest was only broken by the occasional birdsong and the gentle sounds of streams of water feeding into the lake. As soon as we arrived at the cabin, the two boys undressed and rushed for the lake. After unpacking the luggage, we all soon changed into swimwear and joined them. Dripping wet, we had a pizza supper on the deck and watched the sun set. After clearing away, we retired behind the insect screens and drank wine while talking about a wide range of topics, none of which included haircuts. The two boys went inside to watch TV until Nancy called,"Time for bed you boys. You have to be up early tomorrow for summer haircuts". Although shouting out to Chuck and Bart, it seemed that Nancy was staring straight at me.
I shuddered at the mention of the word ‘haircuts’. While we were swimming I had noticed that the boys’ hair was longer than usual. I had put this down to them being busy with end of school year activities and assumed that their rigid haircut regime was relaxed for the summer vacation. Clearly, it was not. I feigned a yawn and said something about being tired after a long drive and retired to bed. However, as I lay awake, I kept thinking about the two boys and the prospect of their haircuts the next day. Where would it take place? What was the difference between a summer haircut and any other type? With Chuck not around, who would be in charge of the shearing? My thoughts were interrupted by Susan who joined me in bed and quickly let it be known that she was not tired. After a long and energetic session of passionate sex she settled in my arms and whispered in my ear, " I know someone else who needs a summer haircut". There was a long silence. I said nothing and she put her lips to my ear and gently ran her fingers up the back of my head whispering "Bzzzzz", followed by a bout of giggling. We exchanged kisses and fell asleep.
We awoke early as another beautiful day dawned. Nancy joined us for breakfast and after a while called to two boys, " Get up you two. We have to get into town for your summer haircuts".She then turned to me and asked sweetly, "Would you mind driving us into town Peter". Before I could reply, Susan said " Of course he will and I will come too. I have some shopping to do"
We cleared away the breakfast table and Nancy said, to no-one in particular, " Ok, let’s get you mop heads cleaned up before it gets too hot".
Soon, we were entering the town of Boulder Creek about five miles around the lake from the cabin. On the way Nancy and Susan chatted but the boys were strangely subdued, as was I. I tried to think of excuses not to get my hair cut while at the same time experiencing that slight sense of sexual arousal at the thought of being powerless in the barber chair.
The town was either old-fashioned or quaint depending on your view. The Main Street ran down to the dock on the lake flanked on either side by old timber buildings, none more than two stories high. There was the usual mix of boat chandlers, hunting and hiking shops, restaurants, grocery stores and tourist outlets I scanned each side of the road until I found what I was looking for. There, in the middle of the Main Street, was a red and white pole indicating a barbershop. On the other side of the road was a diner with a sign boasting free Wi-Fi. We parked by the dock at the side of the lake and admired the view until Nancy said, "Right, let’s get these boys to the barbershop". I made an excuse about needing to catch up on some work emails and arranged to meet them at the barbershop later. Nancy smiled and said "Sure, we’ll save you a space".
My plan was a simple one. Spend some time in the diner drinking coffee until I was sure that enough new customers had entered the shop after Nancy, and then say that if we waited any longer we would waste the best part of the day. As Nancy ushered the two boys into the shop, I could see that it was already crowded with five or six people waiting for the two barber chairs. Susan headed off to do some shopping and I went for a coffee across the street. I did check my emails but I also kept a close eye on the barbershop across the street. The shop was called ‘Boulder Creek Hair Salon’ and the frosted glass window said that it had been there since 1908. The front facade and door were chipped and faded with age and the red blue and white barber sign revolved slowly with a slight squeak. It was a product of a bygone age. I noted four people leaving all with severely scalped hair and counted another six going in. That should be enough for my plan so I finished up my coffee and headed for the shop.
As I entered, a bell rang above the door and one of the old barbers said "Good morning, take a ticket". Quickly I realised there was a machine on the wall dispensing numbered tickets and an old roll deck counter on the wall between the two barber chairs showing which numbered ticket was next in the chair. I did as I was told and sat on the wooden bench next to Nancy, who was intently watching the cutting action in front. "Looks like a long wait", I said. "Oh, we will be up soon", she replied.
I began to look around the shop which was as old-fashioned as the outside appearance had suggested. The walls were heavily panelled with dark varnished wood and hung with various hunting trophies and glass cabinets containing dioramas of stuffed fish along with fishing rods hunting rifles and knives. There were old framed sepia photos of rugged men with long beards and short hair standing next to dead deer and bears. Above the long wooden waiting bench was a full length battered mirror into which were facing the two caped customers in the barber chairs. The two barbers were busying themselves with loud electric clippers by the side of the two chairs and clumps of hair were falling down the striped capes to join the piles of hair already on the chequered linoleum floor. Each barber stood in front of an old china sink with brass fittings, above which were wooden shelves supporting various cutting and shaving tools, including large chrome hand clippers. Hanging down on hooks from one of the shelves were the electric clippers in a range of sizes. Between the two chairs stood an old water boiler where the second barber was mixing a large mug of shaving soap.
The barber who had greeted me when I entered the shop was tall and thin with an almost bald head and a well-groomed goatee beard. He wore a grey overall coat over his shirt and tie and was obviously well into his sixties. The other barber was wearing the same style overall coat and had severely cropped grey hair. On returning to the customer in the chair with the shaving mug and a brush, it was clear that she was a rather stern looking woman. I guessed by her age and appearance that she was probably related to the male barber.
My surprise at seeing a lady barber was interrupted by the clicking of the number counter and a shout of "Next!" Nancy checked her tickets and said, " That’s you Bart", as she tapped his shoulder and pointed at the empty barber chair. Bart stood up and walked slowly to the first barber chair and climbed up onto its worn leather seat. A large cape was thrown over him and fastened over the tissue strip around his neck. His feet did not reach the steel footrest and his head looked small above the backrest as he was pumped up to working height. The barber turned him away from the mirror to face the sink and turned to Nancy to ask, "What are we doing to him today?"
"Summer Special, please", she replied.
"One Summer Special coming right up", he said as he picked up the hand clippers and bent Bart’s head down to his chest. I quickly looked over to the price list on the wall to see that a Regular Haircut was $15, Boys and Seniors were $12, a Flattop was $18 and a Summer Special was $8. There was no clue what it was but I watched in growing shock as the hand clippers were clicked rapidly up the back of the boys head making his hair fall to the floor in large clumps and leaving the back of his head completely bald. This was then repeated on the sides, after which the old barber picked up a large set of electric clippers and proceeded to run them from front to back on the top of Bart’s head reducing his grown-out flattop to mere stubble with a fringe of hair on his forehead. The clippers were switched off and the barber cut a straight line high across Bart’s forehead and added a few extra snips with thinning shears on top. He turned to Nancy and held up the shaving brush. She nodded vigorously and the back and sides of the boy’s head were coated with shaving soap. This was quickly shaved off with a straight razor and, after a quick wipe and brush down, Bart was released from the chair. The barber shouted "Next!" and Nancy held up the next numbered ticket while indicating that Chuck should take the seat.
At that moment, Susan entered the shop carrying several shopping bags. She sat next to Nancy and smiled indulgently at Bart, who was still rubbing his head. "Wow, that’s cute", she said, before the barber asked, "Same again?"
"Yes, Summer Special please", replied Nancy.
The barber clamped his left hand on Chuck’s head and the hand clippers were clicked into action once again. Chuck’s hair fell to join the pile on the floor leaving behind just bald skin. I checked my ticket number, 69. I smiled while remembering the bedroom action of the night before. The electric clipper started up on Chucks head and I shuddered. I assured myself that there was no way that I would allow myself to be subjected to such a drastic shearing. I resolved to get out as soon as possible. The counter was showing 61. Seven more before my turn. As the electric clippers hummed over Chuck’s head, I prepared to make my retreat. Glancing at my watch, I said to Nancy and Susan. "I think we should go after this. There are lots of people before me and we are wasting good swimming time here". At that moment, the number counter clicked and the lady barber shouted, "Next!"
Nancy held up a ticket with number 62 on it. "That’s you, Peter", she smiled and nodded towards the empty chair. My stomach sank. Nancy had already taken a ticket for me!
"You are right about the time", Susan smiled, "but if you get a Summer Special, "it will be quicker."
I slowly rose to my feet and walked towards the stern-faced barber who was holding out the cape and looking disapprovingly at me. She caped me tightly and said sniffily, "Looks like you ain’t had a haircut since last summer", and turned me towards the waiting seats where Susan and Nancy were smiling broadly. My hair, which was much longer than the boys’ had been, was roughly combed down over my ears and forward onto my forehead. The hand clippers were taken down from the shelf and before I could complain, a strong hand was placed on top of my head pushing down sharply as she gleefully announced, "one Summer Special coming right up."
I was suddenly aware of the swelling in my shorts which was growing as the cold clippers slowly clicked their way up the back of my head with occasional tugging as it denuded the back of my head. All I could see apart from hair falling down onto my lap was Nancy and Susan smiling approvingly. Then I saw Chuck"s walk past as he left the other chair rubbing his nearly bald head. The male barber shouted "Next!" and I saw Nancy hold up a ticket to Susan and point to the chair. Susan looked surprised but Nancy said, "Everyone gets a summer haircut here".