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A returning customer by Mike V
It was just before dinner on a weeknight when Joe's father walked into his bedroom, dropped a short sleeve white shirt on the bed, said "put this on and be downstairs in 5 minutes" and then left the room. Joe wondered what was going on.He took off his Arrowsmith t-shirt, put the shirt on and walked into the kitchen. His father said "tuck the shirt into your pants, you look like a slob". Joe then followed his dad out to the car. As the car pulled up to Mike's barbershop, Joe's father informed him that things were going to be changing..things had become too lax. Joe didn't know what he meant. Mike looked up and smiled as they walked into the shop. - Dad said "remember this kid..he hasn't visited you for awhile". "Sure I remember him..have a seat Joe, no waiting". Joe relunctantly climbed into the chair. Before he knew it, the neck strip and cape were tightly in place.Joe's hair was halfway over his ears and just touhing the collar. It was 1975 and this was how every 17 year old wore their hair. "What will it be today" said Mike. Joe's dad boomed out "A very short boy's regular". Joe was in shock! "What"he cried out. "I'll say it again..very short boy's regular". And with that Mike turned the clippers on and was halfway done clearing off one side of his head before Joe knew what hit him. He sheared off the sides and back in no time. Then he picked up the thinning shears and went to town on the top. He the then picked up another pair of scissors and went over everything again. Warm shaving cream was spread around his neck and ears. Mike then stropped the razor for a minute or two and then shaved a nice high taper in back and 1/2" arches over the ears."Wet it?" Mike asked. "Of course" said dad. Mike shook out some green liquid from a counter bottle, worked it through what was left on Joe's head and did a nice sharp side part and a small pomp in the front.Mike was numb..he couldn't remember the last time his hair was this short! "How's it look to you Dad" said Mike. Joe's dad got up, walked over to the chair and said "I think it should be a little closer on the sides and a bit higher in the back". "Okay" said Mike "let's see what I can do". The clippers with a shorter guard were switched on again, and run up the sides and back. "Now you're looking sharp" said Joe's dad. While Joe was still trying to grasp what just happened, his father said to Mike as he paid the bill "You'll be seeing a lot of this customer Mike. I'm going to be sending him in every two weeks from now on to see you, and this is what I want him to look like everytime he leaves you". When they got into the car, Joe's dad explained that since Joe had gotten his driver's license, his grades had started to suffer and he had started breaking curfew and he had been getting more and more disrespectful and that he had finally decided to take control again. In addition to the haircuts, his wardrobe was being changed from jeans and t-shirts and sneakers to crisply ironed shirts, razor creased chinos and polished black shoes, all of which he would be expected to take care of. And so Joe's new life began.