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Bill The Barber !! by Snipped Sam


When I first moved to the town two years before, a new friend had told me about this particular barber,

"I wouldn’t go there, if you can help it… he’s really mean and lets hairs get down your neck so they itch"

So up till now I had made a point of avoiding Bill the barber. I was a little curious though, if a boy came to school with his hair cut very short, he would be asked if Bill did that. Bill certainly had a reputation and this was a time when I was becoming fascinated by all thing’s haircut, thirteen and bored with current gent’s hairdresser.

It was no great surprise to me that the day came when I was chaining my 1970’s classic Raleigh Chopper bicycle to the post outside Bill’s shop. When I looked up, he was looking out of the window watching me, nervously I walked in. He stood there with a slight grin on his face, I thought what a giant of a man he was, really tall and chunky. His dark almost black hair was styled like a teddy boy with thick meaty sideburns.

"I’ve come to have my haircut" I said nervously

"I know, that’s why you’ve chained your bike up outside my shop"

"Will it be alright out there?"

"It’s going to have to be isn’t it, you can’t bring it in here, anyway you’ve chained it, shouldn’t be a problem"

I nodded, I found him quite intimidating especially the way he chewed his gum, he seemed a real tough nut, he pointed to the barber’s chair.

"On you get"

After fitting the light blue nylon cape in place, he combed my hair, combing the fringe forward

"I take it I’m doing it short"

"Fairly short but not too short please"

"I’ll cut it the way I think it needs to be cut and if you don’t like it you can take the hair away in a bag and stick it back on"

"That’s really funny" I replied beginning to feel alarmed at just how off hand and sarcastic he was

"I thought so"

He already had the small door of the sterilising unit open and was taking out a blade for the clippers, it snapped into position and he placed his large hand on the top of my head and tilted my head forward, he then picked up a large comb with what looked wide teeth

"Not too short please"

"We’ll see how we go but I can’t promise"

He started to lift my hair at the back with the comb and run the clippers over it, my thick blond hair was only just above my collar and off my ears with neat sideboards. My dad wanted to keep my hair reasonably short and I had been told there would not be a review of the length of my hair for at least a year. The summer holiday had seen my hair grow a little but now the time had come to prepare for the return to school. His clippers hummed loudly and purred when they ran over the comb taking my hair with them. After adjusting my head, he set to work above my ears, there was conversation, in that he asked questions and I answered them. There was some laughter outside, although his shop door was shut the window was open and I could hear boys talking;

"It is…that’s definitely his bike…."

I recognised the voices as being two boys from my year at school, Bill was now using scissors to cut my hair, I was getting fidgety, but he told me to stay, still after a couple of minutes he went to the window and looked out.

"Looks like they have let your tyres down"

"Oh no, I must go and have a look"

"No, you won’t"

He put the scissors down and after telling me to stay where I was, he went outside but I took no notice of what he said and jumped down from the chair pulling off the cape and going outside. When I got there the boys were running off and the back tyre had been let down.

"I told you stay in the chair"

"But I wanted to see my bike"

"Get back inside…NOW"

Sheepishly I went back inside…to my horror I watched him move a tall wooden chair which was for boys into position and he was standing beside it with the cape over his arm.

"Up you get"

"But..."

"No buts…in the cant do as you are told you don’t get to sit in the big chair"

I got in the chair, it was a sturdy chair and I was soon re-caped and all ready
"I’m sorry"

"Sorry what?"

"Sir"

"That’s better, you’ll soon get that back tyre pumped up, it’s no big deal"

"It’s just like those two"

"Just a bit of mischief, that’s all"

He carried on snipping away, but now sitting on the tall chair I was no longer facing the mirror and I was very aware of how much hair seemed to be falling from my head. This was confirmed when he cut my fringe, although he told me to close my eyes, the scissors were high and the snips determined, the hair fell against my cheeks on its way to meet my other hair resting on the cape. After brushing me down, he showed me my hair in the hand mirror, he had cut my hair very short on top and the fringe was as I already knew very short.

"Smart heh?"

"And really Short"

"Nearly done now"

"I thought that was it"

"No not quite"

He soon had hold of a different set of clippers than before and my head was pushed down and he was buzzing the back of my head.

"A proper short back and sides to make you look really smart"

I stepped down from the chair with the sides and back done very short and the top with a generous amount of Brylcreem on top, Bill actually held my bike whilst I pumped up the tyre. That evening Dad inspected my haircut, he really approved of what Bill had done.

"Pity we didn’t find this barber when we first came here Tony, perhaps I might come with you next time"

Four weeks later dad and I went to see Bill, from then on sometimes we went together and sometimes I went on my own, but the short back and sides Bill gave me was nearly always identical to my first haircut from him. When my review on the length of my hair came up a year later dad told me that he had mentioned it to Bill and they had decided it was best to keep my hair as it was for another year.




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