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The Barber and Jeff by Gator

The Barber and Jeff
By Gator

This is a sequel of types to my The Barber and the Lawyer series. I am going to write stories around some of the characters who appear in the 4-part Barber/Lawyer series.

As you will recall, I am Pete, the third-generation barber to run the shop called "Peter and Son’s Barber". As I said in the other series, my barber shop is located in a town with a medium-sized university. I also need to mention that our town is located in the south so we get some pretty warm days during the winter and early spring. Summer is a different story all together; it is usually down-right flat-out hot then. Also, our university has an JROTC department so I get a lot of the instructors and the college ROTC students in my shop. I advertise "Military Cuts" on my window.

It was your typical Thursday afternoon in the shop. Thursdays are pretty slow for me. I generally have a guy in my chair and one waiting. When I finish the guy in the chair, another walks in. Slow is misleading; steady is a better word with no one having to wait a long time. Today, I had a first-time college guy, Jeff, who came into the shop. I was sitting in my barber chair relaxing waiting for the next customer. Jeff walked in. "Do you take walk-ins or do I need to make an appointment?" he asked. "I only take walk-ins, son." "You have time to give me a cut?" I chuckled and looked around the empty shop. "I reckon I do. I think I can squeeze you in ahead of everyone else!" By the way, I am sarcastic as all get out. Jeff chuckled. "Come on over and take a seat, my friend." Jeff walked over. "Hello, I’m Jeff." He extended his hand. "I’m Pete," as I shook his hand. He sat in the chair and I threw the cape around him. "It’s my first time here," he started to say. "I kinda guessed that one, Jeff. If you had been in here before, I would have remembered you and the type of cut you want." Jeff blushed. I combed his hair which was blond and straight. It had been a several weeks since his last cut. As I was combing his hair, I noticed that whoever had cut his hair last time did a horrible job at blending his hair. There was a noticeable line. "How do you want your hair cut?" I asked as I turned Jeff to face the mirror.

He looked at his reflection and then at me. "I think I want a low fade. Just a little bit of skin showing around my ears." "And the top?" "Take off about half an inch." "Got it, Jeff," I replied as I turned the chair away from the mirror. "How long since your last cut?" I had to ask. "About 3 months, I guess." "How short was it cut?" "It was supposed to be a high and tight, but it didn’t look like it." "Was this a dorm buddy who cut it?" Jeff really blushed then. His face turned a crimson red. "No. I went to another barber shop down…." "Say no more, Jeff. I know where you went." There was another shop at the other end of town. Most often, they did not do a great job of blending their cuts, let alone know how to give a military high and tight. I spent a lot of time fixing their cuts. "Why did you go there?" I asked. Jeff looked at me sheepishly. "Well, it is a little closer to the dorm and their prices are cheaper than yours." I laughed out loud. "I only charge my weekly college students $8.00 for a cut. Plus, I won’t leave you looking like a dork with a bad home-made type cut." This actually got Jeff to laugh and smile. "To be honest with you, I was nervous about coming in here to explain what happened at the other shop." "What changed your mind?" "My roommate said you’d give me the best cut I would ever get here in town. Plus, he told me to stop being so cheap!" I laughed now. "When it comes to looking good, Jeff, you cannot be cheap!"

I made sure that Jeff sat all the way back in the chair. I turned on my trusty Osters with a number 4 blade and started his cut. I worked my way around from his right side to his left. I was dropping a lot of hair into his lap. Jeff got quiet. "Go ahead and breathe, man. It’s okay!" I chuckled. "I’ve never had my hair cut as short as I have since I’ve come down here to college." "Where you from?" I could tell from his accent that he was not from the south. "New Jersey. I came down here to go to school and to get away from the snow." "Smart move, my friend." I had finished with the #4 blade and switched it out for the #3. I had a bad feeling that to make this line disappear, I was going to have to give him a tighter taper on his fade.

He was getting a low fade from me. He was blond and losing a lot of hair. He told me that it had been three months since his last cut. I could tell. Corey had come in after I started Jeff’s cut. Corey was a regular customer and had been since he started college. He had now graduated and so had his haircut. I conned him into a razor-shaved high and tight after graduation. He hesitated. I didn’t. The clippers started and off came the hair. He asked for a #3 on top; I gave him a #2. He was initially shocked, but he was right back in the chair the following week getting cleaned up.

Fast forward to two weeks later. For this cut, Jeff had asked how much would be cut if he went with a high fade. I showed him how high I would take the fade and said that I would cut about half his length on top. He looked at me and said, "That’s almost a high and tight, right?" "Almost." I hesitated and then continued. "So, let’s just bite the bullet and do the high and tight." He paused for what seemed like eternity. "I’m not sure. I think it’s awful severe." "Nonsense. I’m sure." "No, no. Let’s do a medium high fade." "Okay," I said. I fired up my Osters with the 000-blade on them. I started on his right side in front of his ear. I had turned him from the mirror and took the clippers up past his temple area. "That seemed awful high, Pete." "Not for a high and tight, Jeff." He sat forward in the chair. "I didn’t want a high and tight!" I put my hand on his shoulder and pulled him back deep into the chair. "Relax. How do you think Corey got his high and tight? This exact same way." I chuckled and continued to peel off the hair on his sides and back. I finished, turned off the clippers, and then took my two forefingers on my right hand and rubbed them against his sides. "Feels great doesn’t it?" He quietly moaned. "This is so short! Can I see in the mirror, please?" I turned the chair around so Jeff could look. His eyes opened wide. "Oh Lawd! It’s so short!" "Suck it up, man! You’re a college man now. No one is going to notice. How short do you want the top?" He looked at my reflection in the mirror. He took his hand out from under the cape and felt his top. "What do you think?" he asked. "I’d say we take half off and leave just enough to comb on top. Plus, let’s razor shave these sides and make them smooth." Jeff rolled his eyes.

I scissored off his top down to about an inch and a half; it was still just long enough to comb over. I shaved his sides smooth. I pulled off the cape. "I expect you back in this chair next week," I said. "Two weeks? It’ll take that long to grow back." "If you wait two weeks, you’ll be walking out of here with a #1 on top and shaved sides. Trust your barber." He left. Needless to say, Jeff was back in my chair next week. He had received a lot of positive comments from his friends on his new cut. Over the next few months, I kept Jeff in this high and tight. He never told me how to cut his hair again. He sat and I cut. He always left pleased.

It was now the beginning of May. College classes were due to be over in the next couple of weeks. It was a slow afternoon for the middle of the week. It was expected as the college was in the midst of finals. I decided to freshen up my own horseshoe flat. It was going to be my summer version " shaved up a little higher than normal and over the crown in the back with a shaved landing strip. I saved this cut for the summer because if I didn’t then I would scare off some of the town folks who liked longer business man’s type cut. I had the hot lather spread around my head. I heard the bell tinkle as the front door opened. I said, "Come on in! I will be finished in a few minutes!" I looked in the mirror towards the door. "Hey, Jeff! No finals today?" "No. Time off for good behavior," he chuckled. "Actually, I just came from talking to a guy about a summer job on campus. Looks like I will be here for the summer." "Very nice!" I continued to shave my sides, back, and the landing strip. Jeff stood and watched. "I always wondered who gave you your cut." "Careful what you say my friend!" "What?" "I’m inclined to think you’re wanting a high and tight flat!" We both laughed, but Jeff did not deny it. Whenever he and Charlie were in the shop on the same day, Jeff appeared to be very intrigued with Charlie’s flat which was a #1 on the sides and just a hint of a landing strip. Perhaps today was Jeff’s day for a flat?

I was finished with my cut. I turned to Jeff and invited him to have a seat. He did and was soon covered with my favorite flattop cape; my white cape with the black pin-stripes. I put the Sanek strip around his neck. "That is one short flattop, Pete." "It’s my summer version. You like it?" Jeff hesitated. "I do." "So, time for you to get a flat?" "No, no. I just couldn’t go that short." "You don’t have to get this short of a flat. What about something like our lawyer friend, Charlie, got?" Jeff blushed. "I was thinking about asking for a cut similar to his since I will be here all summer. And this southern heat…" "Say no more, Jeff. Consider it done. One flattop coming up!" I turned the chair. I patted his shoulder and pushed him back into the chair so that he would relax. "There’s no looking as I cut it this time." I laughed as he turned even a darker shade of red."

I tuned on my Osters with my trusty 00000-blade. Since he was in my chair last week, there was just stubble on his sides and back. No problem as this blade took him down to almost razor shaved. I palmed his head so that his chin was in his chest. Whatever stubble was coming off, I made sure that it landed in his lap. Jeff was breathing hard. I took the clippers all the way to his crown area. I rubbed my hand on his head. "Feels great doesn’t it?" All Jeff could do was mumble in agreement. I leveled his head. "From here until we finish this cut, you cannot move your head unless it is where I put it. Understand?" "Yes, sir." I smiled. I wet the top of his head with the spritzer bottle and took my brush to start the process of getting is top to stand up. After some brushing, I got the hair blower to spent a few minutes brushing his hair back towards his crown. He closed his eyes. "Is it too late to change my mind, Pete?" "Say what? Oh, hell yes, it is too late!" He smiled. "I love pulling your chain, Pete." I gently bopped him upside the back of his head. Jeff was still smiling. I turned to get the Krew Komb stick to apply to his hair. I got a comb so I could get his top to stand erect. "Is this the training of my top for a flat?" "Yup." I grabbed my Osters off my back bar, put on the #1 blade and turned them on. "Do not move, Jeff. I don’t want to screw this up. I have waited for months to give you this cut." He looked shocked. "Really?" "Yup, ever since I saw you look at Charlie and his first flat." I leveled Jeff’s head again. "Stay still, boy." I put the comb in at Jeff’s forehead and pulled the bangs up. I ran the clippers over the comb and dumped the hair in his lap. "Oh!" he exclaimed. I continued to cut his top down with each pass of the clippers dumping the cut hair in his lap. I made two passes doing this. My second pass only took off a small fraction of an inch. Basically, this was to get his top flat.

I turned off my clippers, grabbed my brush, and started brushing his top. This would allow me to see how much more to take off and also to see what stragglers were still lurking on top. I put my right hand on the back of Jeff’s head and brushed with my left. "Are you shaving my sides and back?" "Of course." "Do you shave Charlie’s sides and back?" "Not yet," I chuckled. "Soon it will happen though!" I picked up my Osters again so I could get Jeff’s top nice and level. This time though, there was no comb. I placed my right hand on the back of his head so that I could keep his head steady. I freehanded his top. He got a nice landing strip with #1 stubble. As I was holding on to the back of his head, I felt him shiver. The clippers hit a sweet spot I could tell. I continued to freehand his top until I got it just like I wanted it.

I turned to the towel warmer, grabbed a hot towel and wrapped it around his head. I pressed it tightly against the barely there stubble and left it for a few minutes. I turned to the lather dispenser, got a dollop, took off the towel, and spread the hot lather around his sides and back. "That always feels so good, Pete. I love the hot lather." I smiled. "I do, too, Jeff. It’s the best part of the shave." I got my Mach 3 razor and started on his right side in front of his ear. I stroked up against the growth. Since he was used to having his sides shaved, I knew he wouldn’t get razor burn from me doing this. I shaved and when I got his right side done, I took my right-hand thumb to feel for any missed spots. Jeff had again closed his eyes tightly. I continued this until I had finished shaving his head. I wet my right hand and then felt his sides and back for any missed spots. I found a couple and shaved that stubble off. I felt his nape to make sure I had gotten that nice and smooth as well.

I was pleased so far. Jeff was taking this flattop well. He had a great head shape and a perfect set of ears. I put the talc on my hair brush, dabbled it where the shaved part met the clippered part of his cut. I took a single blade razor to do some blending. Then I got my edgers to finish blending out the line between the clippered part and the shaved part. I then grabbed my Got2b glue to apply it to his top. I love a stiff, erect, at attention top. As a final touch, I grabbed my bottle of Osage Rub, put some in my hand and rubbed it all over his head on the sides and back. "Wow! That smells good!" Jeff said.

I turned the chair around so Jeff could get his first look. "What do you think, Jeff?" He was quiet for several minutes. He kept turning his head and feeling his shaved sides and back. Finally, he gently took his hand to his top to feel the flat. "Oh, wow! Oh, wow!" was all Jeff could say. I picked up my hand mirror to show him the back of his cut. Finally, Jeff said, "I love it! It’s shorter than Charlie’s flat right?" "Yes, sir it is. Just the sides actually. I leave Charlie’s sides at a #1 blade." I took the cape off Jeff. He stood and leaned into the mirror to get a closer look. "Amazing. I love it." "It’s still a cut a week maintenance cut, Jeff." "Cool! You know that I wasn’t sure about the flat today until I saw you cutting your own when I walked in." I laughed. "Always trust your barber, Jeff!"

We walked to the register. "It’ll be $8.00, Jeff." "That’s all? I thought a first-time flat was $12." "Not for you." Jeff gave me $12 just the same. "I think I should give you more for a tip than $4, Pete." "Shoot. Don’t you do it, Jeff." He patted me on my back. "I will definitely see you next week, Pete. But you have to promise me one thing!" "What’s that?" "You must also have a fresh horseshoe flat. I may want one just like yours next week!" He smiled and I laughed. "Deal!" As he went towards the door to leave, Charlie walked in. He took a double take at Jeff and said, "Wow! Nice flat!" Jeff thanked him, patted him on the back, and said, "Enjoy your time in the chair, Charlie!"

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