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The Botright Special part 2 by Snipped Sam
My new very short haircut took quite a bit of adjusting to, of course Mr Dale my headmaster was very pleased that I had done the right thing as he put it. My stepfather was even more pleased and at a sherry morning the following Sunday which I was obliged to attend, took a lot of the credit for it.
"Of course, it’s taken me a while to get Nick to try the barber’s that I go to but the results speak for themselves"
The new term began and I started to adjust and feel my feet as head boy, I was fully aware that Keith Anderson resented being the deputy when he had expected to be head boy and not me. Mr Dale the headmaster was demanding and at times I felt under pressure but ensured I stepped up to the mark. As for the length of my hair, I was very much aware that neither Mr Dale or my stepfather Uncle Ralph, was intending to see any return to its previous length. After three weeks or so after my first trip to Mr Botright’s I was aware hair was soon going to need some attention, a few days later it was a wet Saturday morning and Uncle Ralph was driving into town he offered me a lift due to the rain. I was keen to start learning to drive and would certainly need help to fund it so it would be in my interests to get Uncle Ralph on side. I knew he was planning to have his haircut whilst in town and I thought all things considered that it was a good idea to suggest we both went together. I could tell that he was really pleased about this, there was a little bit of a wait and Uncle Ralph went first, and I followed after him. Mr Botright was pleased to see me again and remarked that he was pleased to see me return as he caped me in readiness for my second haircut from him.
"Is it to be the Botright special again Nick?"
"I was hoping maybe not quite as short as last time Mr Botright"
"But Nick, Mr Botright did such an excellent job on your hair the last time"
"I know it was Uncle Ralph, and I am only asking for not quite as short"
"I hear you Nick, I just think it’s a bit soon"
I remembered how I was keen to get Uncle Ralph on side for my driving lessons, this was not going to help but maybe this would.
"When a father and son go to the barber’s together who usually makes the decisions Sir?"
"The father would expect to"
Uncle Ralph replied, Mr Botright looked at me and I whispered, "ask him"
"How would you like Nick’s hair today?"
"The very same short back and sides he had the last time please"
"Good choice Sir" replied Mr Botright not wasting any further time by beginning cutting my hair,
"Nick has been trying to grow his sideburns, I wondered what you thought of them"
"Unfortunately, these are not the finest specimens"
"I had my doubts when Nick first started to try and grow them"
"But I’m sure in a couple of years or so Nick you’ll be able to grow some nice thick sideburns"
"I hope so" I replied to Mr Botright
"Well I think while you’ve got Nick in the chair today, perhaps this is the perfect opportunity for him to lose them"
"Not a problem"
Mr Botright carried on with the cutting and thinning of my hair, he then took a small pair of battery-operated sideburn clippers and started to remove as much of my sideburns as possible. Once this had been done, he applied a little shaving cream to them and shaved below my ears clean with the flat razor. Whilst I knew that they weren’t magnificent I felt that Uncle Ralph was being very high handed. Having wiped my face with a towel Mr Botright was soon adjusting the cape at the back, oh golly I thought I know what’s coming now. Down went my head just like before and clippers were selected and he started to work up the back of my head, once again I could feel the hair fall away as the clippers feasted on my hair, with the now familiar buzzing sound, once the back had been done he took care of the hair above my ears. I was then brushed free of loose hairs.
"There Sir, short back and sides with sideburns removed"
"Of Course, Sir"
Uncle Ralph stood up and came over to the chair and have a look
"Very good indeed, this is much shorter than I would have dared hope for a couple of months ago"
"As long as you are completely satisfied Sir"
"I was thinking perhaps just a little tighter at the back"
"Of course, Sir"
Mr Botright selected some different clippers and down my head went new for some more clipping and then the scrape of the flat razor on my hairline.
"Anything on his hair Sir?"
"I think perhaps some Brylcreem might work wonders"
Mr Botright took the pot of Brylcreem and put a large dollop on my hair and rubbed it in before combing my hair with a severe parting. We left with me looking like a walking advert for Botright’s: the traditional short back and sides and plenty of Brylcreem, walking beside Uncle Ralph who was very pleased indeed with himself. Although Uncle Ralph did remind me how he had wanted to take me to have my haircut two years ago just before he became my stepfather. I remembered it well, having to fight for my hair, luckily I won that battle thanks to my mother.
Tuesday morning of the following week Keith Anderson my deputy was completely stressed out, I asked him what was wrong he told me that one of the masters had seen him smoking on the way home, smoking was forbidden and smoking in school uniform was a cardinal sin. Keith suspected that he could face suspension and possibly expulsion, and he said that even if he was allowed to stay, he would be stripped of the deputy head position. An hour or so later Keith received a summons to the headmaster so we knew that Mr Dawson had reported him. I remembered what the deputy head master had said to me when I became head boy,
"Remember Nick old boy, a head boy needs to be loyal to his school and his peers and he needs to be jolly resourceful if required"
I decided to offer to go with Keith as support which he was really pleased about, we saw the school secretary and I asked to see the headmaster first. Mr Dale saw me and his opening remark was
"So, looks like you’ll be getting a new deputy, Watson…damn disappointing business with Anderson"
"Sir, Anderson knows what trouble he is in and what the consequences of what he has done could be"
"Indeed, they must be dire consequences"
"Sir, it seems to me we have an opportunity here"
"Go on Watson"
"Anderson’s hair is his pride and joy, he loves that curly hair of his, with both your head boy and his deputy with very short haircuts from Mr Botright we can help you with your war on the length of the boy’s hair. I don’t suppose for one minute he would like a visit to Mr Botright’s"
Of course, I was astonished by what Mr Dale had come up with, I was going to have to go to Botright’s after school that day and lose my amazing hair. But there would be no expulsion, no suspension and at Nick’s request I remained deputy head boy as he had told the headmaster how supportive I had been…Nick is a bloody saint and I owe him big time, especially as I haven’t been that supportive because I wanted to be head boy. I was told that I would have to keep my hair very short and there would be an adjustment of some privileges. It was a no brainer, I would accept the offer and thanked them both for their support.
The end of school came around slowly and it was time to head off to Botright’s, Nick reassured me that it would all be quite painless, his haircuts are really short but he isn’t that bad and he said it might be a good idea to call him Sir a couple of times. He said at least I didn’t have his stepfather going with me like he had on Saturday. I knew exactly where Botright’s was on Talbot road, it looked like somewhere that time had forgotten, so old fashioned compared with where I usually went which was modern and really stylish. I took a seat to wait as there were a couple of kids in front of me, then my turn comes, the barber looked at me and said
"You’re next I think"
I hung my blazer on the coat stand and went and sat in the barber’s chair which I have to say was extremely comfortable, he flicked the cape and it fell into position and it was soon snugly around my neck covering me to protect me during my haircut, he began combing my hair.
"I haven’t seen you before, but I recognise the uniform of course"
"Yes, it’s my first time here"
"What can how do for you today?"
Oh no this is it I thought, but I had no alternative!
"I need to have it cut really short"
"When you say really short, do you mean lose all the curls?"
"That’s right, I am told that you are the man for the job"
"I am indeed that man, and I think rather than prolong the agony of you sitting here while I cut each curl off, I will put the clippers straight to work"
Oh no I thought and my heart sank as I watched him select a pair of clippers from the bank of four sets to the right of the chair where I sat.
"No need to look so worried, it won’t hurt a bit"
I thought to myself its hurting already and you haven’t started, he placed his hand firmly on my head and bent my head forward, he then powered them up, they had a loud buzz, they touched the back of my head, and he started to plough through my hair. He told me that I needed to keep my head really still for him, they laboured a bit at times because my hair was so thick and curly but he carried on. This was the first time I had ever experienced any sort of clipping, and my only encounter with clippers before is to have a few hairs on my neck removed. The barber then took his clippers to the area above my ears, once this task had finished, he lifted up my head. It was probably my imagination but I could feel the bareness of where he had stripped away my hair, and my head felt lighter with my hair removed. He brushed the back of my head and sides with a soft nylon brush.
"I’m sure you didn’t enjoy that part but I soon got rid of all those curls you no longer wanted"
"No, I didn’t if I am honest, but that’s what had to be done Sir"
"I get the impression that it wasn’t your choice to have this haircut"
"It’s a long story Sir"
Mr Botright selected scissors and a comb and started to cut the hair on the top of my head, a large curl fell into my lap with each snip. After a lot of cutting all my curls had gone and my hair was cut very close to my head, of course it was cut really short at the front just below my hairline.
"Almost done, you just need a few finishing touches"
He said as selected a different set of clippers, and once again my head was bent forward, and he was clipping away at the back of my head, before giving the area around my ears a little attention. He then dampened my neck with some cotton wool which had been soaked in water and then took a cut throat razor and shaved my neck. He then took a bottle of Vitalis hair tonic and having removed the top shook some over my hair and rubbed it in. When I saw the back of my head when he held the mirror, my heart sank, he had literally stripped the back bare. I managed a thank you but all things considered this was better than suspension or worse expulsion and I still was deputy head boy.