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No hard feelings by Snipped Sam


It wasn’t that big of a surprise that Mr Curzon was going to be my new stepfather, he had been around a couple of years. My sister was really pleased but I had my reservations, he was considerably older than our mother, being in his late fifties. The wedding day was approaching and it was a Saturday morning when Mr Curzon decided to discuss with me my future.

"Obviously when your mother and I are married Patrick, there will be some changes and there will be adjustments which you must make. As you already know I am moving into this house and I will take my rightful place as head of the house which is exactly as it should be. I know all too well that you are not entirely happy about our marriage, but that would not be unusual"

Mr Curzon continued in how he wished to guide me and his intention was to complete our family and make it a happy home. I was a student at the local technical college studying for a City and Guilds and had just started the course which would last two years.

"You may think because you are sixteen Patrick the you are grown up, but whilst you live under this roof you will follow my guidelines and I say guidelines rather than rules. But of course, we both know that fundamentally they are rules which you will have to adhere to…understood Patrick?"

"I guess so"

"Good lad, I actually think it was wrong to abolish national service ten years ago back in 1963, a young man like yourself would benefit from some good military discipline. What do you think the first thing they would do if you went for National Service Patrick?"

"Teach me to march I should think Mr Curzon"

"That’s not the first thing Patrick, you’d be given a uniform before that…but think Patrick, before you are put in uniform what would they do?"

"I expect they would cut my hair Mr Curzon"

"Why would they do that Patrick"

"Because you have to have short hair"

"That’s right Patrick, in the forces you have short hair…. but not just in the forces but also the services and many professions too"

"Yes Mr Curzon"

"Seems strange that in just two weeks’ time you will be calling me father and not Mr Curzon"

"You want me to call you father?"

"That’s right Patrick, it’s been many years since your parents went their separate ways and your father moved to Canada and in view of the fact that you have not had contact for many years, I will assume the role of father"

"I see"

"I have talked it over with your mother and although we discussed you calling me Uncle Ernest, I am not going to be your uncle, but of course if you are not happy with calling me father you can always call me Sir to start with"

"But for now, still Mr Curzon?"

"Yes, Patrick and as a father figure and head of the home, the length of your hair is something which I will expect to have an influence in"

"I thought you might"

"Yes, and now Patrick we need to talk about the wedding itself, as you know your mother and I decided on a quiet affair, immediate family and just a handful of friends. As I am not having a new suit, and because you remain financially dependent on us, we have decided not to spend out on any new clothes for you either Patrick. Your blue check jacket and grey trousers which you wore for your interview at the college along with a pale coloured shirt and tie will be ideal for the occasion".

"But…"

"No buts Patrick…we remain resolute in this…so no further discussion needed"

The day of the wedding dawned which was to be at the registry office, I was dressed in my required sports jacket and trousers, along with a pale blue shirt and navy-blue tie early and was requested to go to meet Mr Curzon at his flat early. When I arrived, the door was opened by his brother who had come down for the wedding from Newcastle.

"Glad to see you’re on time Patrick…my brother said that you’d be here for 9.30"

"The weddings not till 11.45 though"

"That’s right Patrick but I have instructions to cut your hair"

"To cut my hair? but I had it cut last week for today"

"I know Patrick…seems it wasn’t quite how your new stepfather wanted it…. come through to the kitchen everything is ready…but leave your jacket on the chair in there"

He said pointing to the sitting room, still in shock, I took my jacket off and laid it folded on an armchair, I followed him down the corridor to the kitchen. I spied a chair already, along with a small case with scissors on the kitchen table along with some electric clippers. On the floor I noticed some hair, it was grey so I guessed it was from Mr Curzon. This Mr Curzon was very different from my about to be stepfather, much more rufty-tufty than his brother, as he had his shirt sleeves rolled up I noticed one of his arms had a tattoo and his hair was greased in almost a teddy boy style, he was more heavily built than his brother who was a good deal thinner and less robust.

"Mr Curzon said you were an insurance agent"

"So I am, Patrick, but I worked for several years in a barber’s and today it’s my pleasure to cut not just my brother’s hair for his wedding but also the hair of his new stepson"

"So, you are qualified"

"Oh yes, I am qualified lad"

"I just spent ages blow drying my hair so it looks smart"

"I can see Patrick"

Mr Curzon the barber had hold of a towel and stood behind the chair with an impatient look on his face. I sat in the chair which was a 1950s style metal framed chair with a thick red vinyl padded seat. As much as I wanted to refuse to let this happen, I knew that today I was obliged to cooperate. as it had to happen. He placed the thin towel over my shoulders and tucked into the collar of my shirt at the back, the navy-blue cape was then positioned, it had a slit in the middle so fitted tightly around my neck.

"It may feel a bit tight Patrick, but we need to stop any hairs getting on your shirt collar"

"It is tight"

"You’ll be fine son" He said lighting a cigarette and after a few puffs placed it in an ashtray on the kitchen table. He picked up the scissors and comb, and started to cut my hair… large pieces of my blond hair began to fall on the cape.

"That’s a lot of hair that you’re cutting off"

"Got to be done old lad…have to say it feels nice and soft, I expect you put some fancy conditioner on it as well"

"Yes, I did"

"You needn’t have bothered…but you weren’t to know"

"Where is Mr Curzon?"

"He’s gone to the florists to pick up the button holes, my wife offered but she’s gone to the hairdressers with your mother and of course I am busy"

"I don’t think I’ve ever had my haircut when I can’t see in the mirror what’s being done"

"Your fine son as you are, I’ll show you once you’re done, the back and everything…but my brother gets the final word on it"

"Does he?"

He stopped in between to have drags on his cigarette

"It’s his big day son, you want to make him happy, don’t you… make him proud?"

"I suppose…but this is a high price to pay"

"It’s no big deal son, its only hair and we know what’s best"

I heard the door of the flat open and Mr Curzon returned, he came into the kitchen with a cardboard box which I assumed had the carnations.

"Good morning Patrick"

I felt extremely self-conscious sitting there with his brother continuing to snip away, I replied "good morning". I noticed how short his hair had been cut, and I thought
he looked very distinguished.

"How’s it going Bill…he’s not giving you any trouble I hope"

"Lad’s doing well Ernie…I’ve cut it like you said, off his ears and at least an inch off all over like you wanted and as you can see on his lap, I’ve taken more a lot more than an inch in places"

He said lifting up a long piece of hair that had been snipped off

"That’s a good job done Bill"

"I thought a neat tapered finish at the back"

"Yes, I like the sound of that…but I’m off to get dressed for my wedding, I’ll leave the finishing touches up to you Bill"

Mr Curzon then left us to get ready, I watched the other Mr Curzon plug the electric clippers into the socket beside the kettle, they had a very long lead

"Don’t look so worried Patrick, it’s just going to be a little tickle"

"What do you mean a little tickle?...clippers are for short haircuts"

"He said he’d leave the finishing touches up to me…not both of us…. Just a tickle that’s all son…now bend your head down"

"But I don’t want"

"I said bend your head!"

He said to me in a loud voice clearly not happy with my failure to do as I was told the first time, I swallowed hard and bent my head down. He switched the clippers on and then lifting my hair at the back of my head with a comb he began to run the clippers over the comb. I could feel the hair fall onto my neck, I kept my head very still, with him having spoken to me so sternly I knew I had better keep the right side of him. The tilting my head to the side he did a little work above each of my ears, he then lifted my head up. Then after brushing me down he then ruffled my hair

"No hard feelings son, I had to bark at you to get your head down"

"I know…no hard feelings"

He took a towel and covered my head and then wiped my face, ears and neck, rubbing quite hard, once this was done, he went and collected a pot of Brylcreem from the bathroom. He opened it a put two fingers in and took out a large blob which his applied to my hair then combing it

"Smells good heh…better than your fancy conditioner"

At this point my smartly dressed stepfather to be appeared, he smelt strongly of Old Spice

"Just in time to see your new stepson’s finished haircut"

He walked around the chair where I sat


"Excellent job Bill"

Mr Curzon then lifted up my left hand, some of my hair resting on the cape fell off, he had in his hand a pair of cufflinks, they were plain but attractive silver coloured. He fitted the first one to my left cuff and the second to my right cuff.

"These are for you to keep Patrick; I give them to you with hope and generosity"

"Thank you, Sir"

The cape was removed and I was taken to the bathroom and my step uncle held a mirror for me to see the back, it was short at the back and sides, but I had to admit it looked really smart.

"Nice one Sir"

"You’re welcome…but this is not some fancy salon…go into the kitchen and get that hair swept up at the double"

I swept up mine and father’s hair…he came into the kitchen

"No hard feelings, I hope Patrick"

"I wasn’t that happy at first, but I have to admit it does look smart…not sure what my mates at college will say though"

"Mark my words son, this long-haired thing won’t last for ever"

"No, I don’t suppose it will Sir"




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