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The Barber and Corey by Gator

The Barber and Corey
By Gator

Corey returns with a friend.

It was a Tuesday afternoon just a little bit after the lunch crowd. I was trying to get the shop cleaned up some " sweeping the floor type things. I had just finished with my last cut about 10 minutes ago. I heard the bell above the door tinkle. I looked in the mirror. It was Corey. His last really cut was the recon and since then he had let the top grow in some while I kept his sides and back shaved. He hated the overall buzzcut look so I agreed to keep his sides and back cleaned up for him. His last clean up had been about 3 weeks ago. Corey had quit the pub gig to start his job at the college. He had been a communication major and was now in charge of filming and producing events at the college. We had been meeting at the pub for drinks; he was excited about his new job.

Corey came in with a friend that I did not know. "Hey, Pete!" "Hey, Corey. Got some time off for lunch?" "Yup. I need a quick clean up." He sat in the chair. I caped him up in a solid white cape and cinched it tight. "Dang, Pete! I know I haven’t been in a while, but this is kinda tight." "Relax, son! It’s tight because you have forgotten your manners." "Huh?" "You didn’t introduce your friend, Corey. That’s rude, man." I chuckled. Corey rolled his eyes. "Sorry, Pete. This is my friend, Andy. Andy, this is Pete." We spoke and shook hands. I turned Corey to face the mirror. "So, what will it be? Flattop? Recon? Total skinned look?" I smiled while looking at Andy’s eyes get bigger and bigger. Corey laughed. "You’re funny, man. Nope, just get the sides and back clean and shaved again. Leave the top until my next cut." "Will do." I turned the chair so that Corey was facing Andy. "See? I told you my barber was a comedian. He loves to give you grief once he knows you." Andy just nodded his head.

I grabbed my Oster’s and shoved Corey’s head down to his chin. I turned on the clippers with my 5-aught blade and started at his nape. I made once pass up the middle to the crown. "Uhm, leave the top, remember?" "Dang. You get a new job and you think you are hot stuff, Corey." We both laughed. I continued to remove the hair from the back of his head. I made sure it was landing in his lap. With the weight, I thought I saw a hint of a tent in the cape. I smiled as Corey took the cape, flicked the hair on the floor and made sure the cape was no longer resting on his lap.

I moved Corey’s head to the right so I could take off the left side. I was asking him a lot of questions about his new job, did he like it, what was he actually doing, etc. I could tell Corey was excited as he rambled on and on. He was finally in his element with this job. By this time, I had moved to Corey’s right side to cut that hair. I had finished and ran my right hand all over the back and sides brushing off the stubble left behind from the clippers. Corey got really quiet all of a sudden when I did that. "What’s up, Corey?" When I stopped rubbing, he spoke up. "I, err, I didn’t want any hair in my mouth." I smiled again. "You want this shaved smooth or left just with the sandpaper feel?" "Smooth, please, sir." "What’s this ‘sir’ business?" He laughed. "Gotta practice for work!" I bopped him up the back of his head. "I ain’t your boss, so knock it off." I got a warm towel and wrapped it around Corey’s head. I looked at Andy who appeared to be in shock. He had longer and lighter blond hair. His sides were just at the point to creep over his ears and his back had slightly crept over his collar. I couldn’t resist. I wasn’t sure if Andy was going to get a cut or not, so I pushed him a little. "Don’t worry, Andy. I won’t take you this short your first time here. Just a nice tight taper to clean you up."

Andy was quiet, then replied. "I wasn’t planning on getting a cut today." He appeared to get stuck on his words. "Nonsense. It won’t take but about 20 minutes at the most," I replied. I took off the towel, grabbed a dollop of lather to smear around Corey’s head. Corey spoke up, "Actually Pete, Andy and I were going out to lunch. He’s not a barbershop guy. He likes going to the unisex place here in town." Corey looked at Andy square in his eyes. "I’m fixin’ to change that today, Mr. Andy. After Corey is out of the chair, you’re the next one." I was by this time shaving Corey’s sides and back. While I was talking, I kept rubbing Corey’s head checking for missed spots. When I found one, I would go back and shave it again. I kept watching Andy’s facial expression. I knew he wasn’t used to a barbershop. I kept moving Corey’s head all over so that I could make sure I was not leaving any stubble on his sides.

I was finished and removing the cape from around Corey. He stood up, rubbed his head and smiled. "You give the best shaves in town. Always smooth." "Thanks, man." Corey looked at Andy and motioned with his head that is was his turn in my chair. Andy hesitated. "We don’t have all day, Andy," Corey said with a smile. "Pete’s waiting for you." Andy finally stood and walked like a condemned man to my chair. He reluctantly sat in it. I threw the white cape around him, put the neck strip on, and hooked the cape. I left it a little loose, but still tight enough so that hair would not go down his back. "How short we going, Andy?" I asked as I turned the chair to face the mirror. Before he spoke, I combed his hair and parted it where it looked like he normally did on his left side. Finally, Andy said, "A taper around the ears and get the hair off my collar. No skin showing either. Leave the top, please." I turned the chair around. Corey had a smirk on his face. Andy needed to go shorter than what the cut he requested. I would honor what he asked for initially. I changed the blade and put on the #2 blade. I took my comb, lifted the hair off his ears, and started cutting on his right side. He was quiet. "First time in a barbershop, Andy?" "Not really. It’s been a long time though." Corey spoke up. "It won’t be his last, Pete. How often should he be back in your chair?" "I like having my regulars in every week if you’re cut as short as yours, Corey, or every two weeks for a business type cut like Andy is getting.

I had moved to the back of Andy’s head. I was still using the clipper over comb to remove the excess hair. As I was working on the back, I was thinking that Andy could really do shorter and show skin about mid-way up. A nice tight taper for sure. I moved to his left and repeated the same cut as I had done on the right. I turned off my Oster’s, grabbed my Wahl’s and put on the #6 guard. I returned to Andy’s right side to continue cutting and blending in his sides. Corey was watching closely. I finished blending Andy’s cut. I took my edgers and went around his ears to clean up the pesky neck hairs. I grabbed my duster and cleaned off the cape. I turned the chair so he took look. "Is that what you had in mind, Andy?" He nodded, "It is." I turned the chair away from the mirror and then asked Corey, "Is this short enough for you?"

Corey walked over the chair. "I was thinking about this being a #1 blade up to about here." He pointed halfway up the sides of Andy’s head. "And a 0 along the bottom around his ears and the nape." He then stuck his hand in Andy’s top. "Can you take off about half his top?" Andy’s face turned a bright red. "What are you saying, Corey?" he stammered. Corey left his hand in Andy’s top and moved his head back. "Andy, I agreed to you asking me to grow out my recon back to a high and tight IF you agreed to getting a short cut." They both looked at each other’s face.

"A nice medium fade for you, Andy," I stated to end the stalemate. Corey removed his hand and I put my right hand on Andy’s top and pushed his chin to his chest. I put on the #1 blade on my Oster’s and started up the back. "Andy, have you ever had a short ivy cut before?" "No. What’s that?" he asked. I stopped, turned the chair around to show him in the mirror. This is how I would cut it. I would take the #1 blade and cut the same length up to here." I pointed almost to his crown. "I would blend in the sides and the crown with the top. I would take off half of your top just so it is long enough to comb over. I would do a zero blade around your ears about two fingers high and razor shave right around the base of your ears." "I don’t know, Pete. That sounds pretty short. Sounds like a military-type cut." By this time Corey had walked up to the chair. "Do it, Andy. Do it for me, please." Corey rubbed the back of Andy’s head of what I had already cut. Corey was smiling. "If I don’t like it, I will grow it back, Corey." I added. "There’s one small catch, Andy. You have to keep this cut for at least one month. That means 4 cuts." Andy looked at me from the mirror. I turned on my clippers and recut the back. Even more hair came off and landed on his shoulders. I pushed it off into his lap. With my right hand on his top, I moved his head to the right and continued to peel off his right side. I went a little higher than originally planned. Andy’s eyes were wide-open. I rubbed the stubble. "Doesn’t that feel good, Andy?" I saw a slight twinkle in his eyes. "It will take some getting used to." I moved to Andy’s left side and took that down just as tight and as high. "You both know that I hadn’t agreed to this cut." Corey went around to face Andy. "True. But you are going to be a hot looking stud!"

Andy did not say anything. He just looked longingly at Corey who had a big dimpled grin on his face. I took this opportunity to turn on my Oster’s, place my right hand on Andy’s head, shift it to his left and began to recut the sides. I started in front of his ear and slowly took the clippers up past his temple almost to his crown area. His blond hair fell straight to his lap. I made a second pass up this side. I pulled the clippers away, rubbed his sides with my right thumb. "Feels good. Just like I like these sides cut." Corey walked around. "Can I see?" "Sure," I replied. Corey felt Andy’s sides where I had cut. "Sweet." Andy let out a slight moan, or was that a sigh? I turned the clippers back on and started to recut the sides and moved around to the back. All the time I kept my hand on Andy’s top placing his head where I wanted it. Corey stood with his arms crossed front of Andy. As more hair landed in Andy’s lap, I could see a slight tent there. I turned to change blades. As Andy lifted his head, I heard, "You’re paying for this tonight, Corey." I smiled as I knew there’d be something happening tonight.

I returned to Andy’s right side with my half blade on and began to cut the lower part of Andy’s head. I repeated the same process as before. I then switched to my 000-blade so that I could get the tight taper cut in. I also worked on the blending of the shorter hair. By this time, Andy seemed a little more resigned knowing he was getting a very short cut. I had finished the sides. I switched out the blade to a #4 so I could tackle the top. I began in the front. I lifted his bangs and ran the clipper over the comb. The hair added to the pile in his lap. I had taken off about three-fourths of an inch. I kept up this to his crown. I kept repeating this from various spots on his top each time going a little closer to his scalp. I got to Andy’s crown and without using the comb, used the blade only to cut this area. A very nice graduated top from long in front to short in back. I ruffled Andy’s top and watched the cut stubble fly off his head. I switched back to my #1 blade to blend in Andy’s sides and back. Once I was finished, I turned the chair to the mirror so Andy could see. "Holy cats! This is so short!" he exclaimed. "I love the look on you," came Corey’s voice from behind us. "The jury is out on that one." Andy just looked at his reflection.

"I just need to clean up your neck and get rid of the fuzzies that your salon barber left behind." I chuckled as I stroked his neck. I turned the chair away from the mirror. I grabbed my Wahl foil shaver in my left hand, and shoved Andy’s head to his chin. I flicked on the razor and started shaving. I did take the shaver up a little higher than needed. I raised his head and continued cleaning up around his ears. I took the electric razor about one finger length above the normal hair line so that he would experience true smooth skin. His face looked a little shocked as did Corey’s. But, Corey was smiling. "Nice touch, Pete," he said.

I finished with the Wahl shaver, then got some warm lather to spread on Andy’s nape and slightly around his ears. The straight razor still got it a little closer. I wiped off the excess lather after the shave, grabbed a warm wet towel and placed it on his neck. I took the towel and rubbed it all over his head. I then got my comb to fix his top. I used a little bit of Krew Komb on his top, just enough to part it and comb it over. I turned him to face the mirror once again. I also held up a hand mirror so he could see the back. Andy just looked at his reflection. He didn’t move or say anything. I reached under the cape, grabbed his right arm and took his hand so he could feel the cut. "That is so soft for being so short," said Andy. He looked at me through his reflection in the mirror. "Why did you ask Corey how he wanted my hair cut?" asked Andy. I took the duster so I could get rid of the loose hair on his neck. I took off the cape. "Well, he had mentioned that he wanted to see his partner with a shorter cut. I took a guess that you were said partner. So, I took a gamble."

Andy stood up and turned to Corey. "Okay. Are you happy now?" Corey walked over and rubbed Andy’s head. He had that smirky smile on his face. "I am so happy. I think this cut makes you look like a stud!" He then hugged Andy. I stood there with my arms crossed. After they hugged, I got Corey by the shoulders. Corey gave me a strange look. "Back in the chair, my friend," I ordered. "But, wha…." I eased Corey back in and quickly caped him up. I turned the chair to face the mirror. I picked up the comb and my Oster’s. "I’m cutting your top to almost resemble Andy’s top." Corey started to say something. "Either sit and watch or I may need to find some duct tape, Corey," I quickly added. Andy laughed. "He always has something to say!" Corey gave him a "WTF" look. I started up the clippers and gave Corey the same cut on top as I had given Andy. Except for Corey, I took his crown area down to a #1 blade. Corey’s front was about ½ inch if he was lucky and the rest kept getting shorter until just stubble at the crown. I rubbed his top. "So, now you have almost matching cuts!" I stated. I released Corey from the cape. "Thanks for cleaning up my top." "Any time, my friend. Any time."

I had finished both of the men. Corey had offered to pay for both cuts. At the register, I asked Andy what he did for a living. "I’m a para-legal in a law office." I about dropped Corey’s change. "Don’t tell me…." "Yep, he is!" replied Corey. He is Charlie’s para-legal. Andy smiled. He is going to give me crap about this cut!" "Why do you say that?" I asked. "Because when I saw Charlie in his first flat, I jokingly asked him if he had joined the Marines!" We all were laughing when they left the shop.

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