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A father's duty never ends by Manny

Tim had been working around the yard in over-active gear trying to ensure that everything looked perfect before his father's visit. It had been a good five years since the two had met, and Tim wanted no reason for his father to find fault in how he kept his yard or reared his boys. He'd even taken the three young lads to the barber shop to make sure they looked nicely trimmed for their grandpa's visit.

As a boy, Tim had been berated many times about appearing "slovenly". His room was always referred to as "disorderly" and his clothes "sloppy". As to his hair, there was never ever a chance of it looking shaggy or disheveled. His father made sure he was driven to the barber shop every two weeks to get his short back 'n sides tidied up. Even though long, feathered hair was in style for boys his age, Tim's was kept short, very short! 'I will have no son of mine being mistaken for a girl!' his father would rage when he'd see Tim's friends with hair over their ears and collar. The very worst thing, in his father's opinion, was long bangs over the eyes. 'Make sure you snip his bangs nice and short!' was always his fathers' last instruction to the barber before he picked up a Sports Illustrated as he sat in the waiting area of the barber shop.

To make matters worse, the old barber always angled Tim's bangs and then finished off the haircut with a dollop of hair grease to plaster the side part in place. He would be escorted out of the shop by his father who would be crowing to the codgers in the shop about having a son who looked like a son and not a daughter. All the geezers would nod in approval at the authoritarian father and geeky looking teen boy.

Five minutes before his father's projected arrival, Tim was in the bathroom, brushing his locks into place. He had thought about getting a haircut along with the boys, but felt it was important for him to make a statement now to his father. He was a man himself, in charge of himself. And, yes, if he wanted to sport a shaggy look, that was his prerogative! Tim had cultivated a very metro-sexual looking shag cut....a bit of a retro-look to what was in style during his teen years, the style he had not been allowed to sport. His luxuriant brown mane glistened in the light of the bathroom vanity. Tim did make one concession to his father's pet peeves, he brushed his long bangs to the side, away from his eyes.

The visit got off to a good start. Tim's father praised the immaculate yard and complimented the boys on their tidy rooms and nice haircuts. Of course, no praise was rendered for the "girlish" mane Tim was sporting. The old man didn't say anything directly, but Tim could feel the reprimand through unsaid words and icy looks.

On Saturday morning, Tim had planned a big breakfast -- the type his father had made when there was a special event. All the trimmings, including both sausage and bacon. There was a lot of eating and a lot of praise for the spread of food.

But, as the meal wrapped up, Tim's father dropped a bomb shell, "Now, Joyce and boys, if you'll excuse us, Tim and I have some business to take care of. We'll be back in about an hour -- maybe less if things aren't crowded..."

Tim instinctively knew what his father had in mind. He flicked his locks in a gesture of nervousness and dawdled, unnecessarily re-arranging the left-over food on his plate.

"Come on, son!" his father commanded authoritatively as he rose and lay his napkin carefully on the table. "Let's not put this off any longer."

As if reverting to his previous role, Tim did not object or speak back -- best not do so in front of the boys and be publicly humiliated. He stood and again mopped his hair back from his face. It felt so soften and silken. Silently, he followed his father from the kitchen. His father marched straight to the car and Tim slunk along behind him.

Once settled in the passenger seat of the car, Tim got the sermonette his father had been drafting in his mind ever since his arrival.

"Seems as if you've exchanged the barber shop for a beauty salon, son. A place where the ladies gather and gossip. I suppose the beautician rolls your hair with curlers and ties a net around your rolled locks before placing you under her big hair dryer. What sort of a role model are you setting for your boys? Do you want them to grow up to be prancing pansies? That mop you've sprouted needs to go....all that hair in your face! How can you see clearly?" his father chided.

"Dad, I don't want...." Tim stammered.

"What you want and what you need are obviously two different things! I raised you to be a man! I just hope the old place, Al's, hasn't gone out of business," he snapped.

In a way, Tim felt curiously comforted that his father was still watching over him, in command of the situation. Tim knew the old man meant well. And, perhaps, inwardly, Tim had been yearning to revert to his boyhood -- subconsciously, perhaps he wanted to submit to an authority figure. To again feel the clippers pressed tightly at his nape. To watch clumps of his nice hair falling to the cape. Perhaps, he did in fact want to be free from all the hair care his salon style required. His mind wandered further -- perhaps something even more streamlined than a 'short back 'n sides'.

Then he replied to his father's comment, "Al's Barber Shop is still in business. That's where I took the boys this week to get haircuts."

His father smiled a bit and then reach over to tussle the shaggy mop. "You'll look much better without all this! Admit it."

"I think I will too, Dad. In fact...." Tim's throat felt constricted and his lips dry. He struggled to finish getting out his thought, "I was thinking at breakfast that I should have Al take the clippers to the shag, like my beginning of summer haircuts when I was a boy."

"A butch?" his father crowed with delight.

"Yes, down to the wood!" Tim blurted out. "No more hair care. A tight, tight butch. A #1 all over."

"For no hair care at all, let's have the barber go all the way. Shaved smooth to the scalp...." Tim's father suggested.

The thought of a total cueball sent a jolt through Tim. He'd never been shaved smooth before. He felt his cock stir. "Yes, sir, that would be awesome!" Tim replied, half in disbelief how quickly things had turned around from struggling to keep his girlish locks to instigated their total annihilation.

Tim was marched into Al's Barber Shop just like in days gone by. His father announced loudly to all the men assembled inside, "I hope those clippers blades are well oiled. I came back for a visit to find my son looking like my niece! He'll also be requiring a lot of warm leather and a sharp straight-edge razor!"

The barbers chuckled on cue. "We'll take him straight away. Here's a chair waiting for him."

"Scamper up, Timmy, and take a seat like the barber told you. No squirming or fidgeting in the chair!" his father hissed.

Tim looked at his shaggy mop in the mirror. It would soon be history, on the floor of the shop being swept up into a dustpan.

The barber shook open a cape and cast it quickly so that Tim was enveloped in white cloth. Then he pulled it tight, almost suffocating tight, around the neck and fastened it with a big metal clip. Tim felt strangely comforted by the large cape that trapped him in place like a straight jacket. In mere minutes, his long, silken locks would be transferred from his head to the white cloth cape.

"So what will it be today?" the barber asked.

Tim's father stepped in to respond. "All off. Scraped clean. I don't want him leaving with even a hint of stubble!"

The barber looked to Tim to confirm the instruction.

Tim demurred, "That's right - shaved smooth -- a real bald look today."

The barber couldn't wait to get the harvest of hair underway. "Do you want to watch or do you want the big surprise at the end?" he asked.

"Watch," said Tim

Tim grabbed the arms of the big barber chair firmly to steady himself. He watched the chattering teeth of the clippers move slowly up in front of his nervous gaze. The barber lifted the massive forelock with a comb and quickly moved the teeth to the hairline. With a slow but firm motion, the barber drove the clippers back through Tim's glistening mane. At first, Tim's abundant locks held firm. But then, the first lock fell, soiling the pristine white cape. Suddenly, a huge torrent of shorn hair tumbled down. Long cut locks quickly covered the cape. Then, the first shorn swath appeared amid the mane, down the middle of Tim's head. The scalp was virgin white!

Instantly, Tim struggled with remorse and feelings of emasculation.

"No one will mistake you for a little miss when you walk out of here looking like a knob head," the barber laughed.

"When the boys during our generation were shipped off to Vietnam, they went with no sense of pride or individualism. From the boot camp barbershop to the air transports. Off they went with not a lock or strand to fuss over. Do you know, he's been getting his locks set with rollers over at his wife's beauty shop?" the father said to increase Tim's humiliation.

The taunt stung and Tim's stomach churned. The same feelings he used to experience as a boy flooded back. The queasiness was strangely comforting.

"When I finish scraping him clean, he'll have no use for the set of hot rollers he keeps at home, I suppose," the barber joined in.

Tim sat silently, absorbing the reprimands and taunts. He welcomed the continued romp of the clippers, mowing off all vestiges of his metro-sexual look. His head looked puny and like a naked light bulb....and his ears, he forgot how far they stuck out!

"Your father needs to visit more often," the barber observed as he mowed off the last vestige of hair. "If not, you'll be sneaking back to the beauty shop before long."

"Lather him up and shave him smooth," Tim's father instructed as he examined Tim's bald head closely.

Tim watched intently as the complete humiliation ensued. Every bit of hair was scraped away by the geezer. The grand finale was a slap of witch hazel which sent a shock through his system.

"Ouch!" yelped Tim, unable to contain the shock.

"Look at that rats nest!" the barber said, pointing the the huge collection of hair on Tim's lap.

Off the cape came, and the barber let the divested locks fall to the floor.

Tim gently fondled the sensitive scalp. It felt strange....the first time with absolutely no hair. He glanced at the floor. So much for finally standing up to his father and declaring his independence!

"Thanks for getting me back on track, Dad," Tim murmured as they emerged from the shop.

"Just don't let it happen again...." his father replied, as he put his arm around Tim and walked him back to the car. "Let's stop by your favorite ice cream parlor and get you a big scoop of wild cherry."

"Oh, Clarence's went out of business, Dad. But thanks for the offer...." Tim replied.

"At least Al's Barber Shop was still here!" his father said.

"Yep, I needed a haircut much more than an ice cream comb," Time commented as he viewed his cueball in the reflection of the car window.

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