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Superior bonding with Covid cuts by Manny

David was excited when he heard about the second round of stay-at-home orders the governor announced, including the closure of all restaurants, gyms and barbershops. This time he would do it!

He had deeply regretted not having the courage to get an amateur haircut like most of the other volunteer firefighters got the first time all "non-essential" businesses were ordered to close. Almost every day a big shriek would go out when someone pulled off their cap to reveal an awful hack job or a buzzed head.

Too attached to his glossy locks, David had opted for the retro-shag look. He rather liked having a reason to let his hair grow and grow. Of course, his thick, shiny hair looked great long. He didn't mind it near his shoulders, but in his eyes constantly had been a bit of a bother. And, he had missed out on the fun of an awful haircut that had amused and bonded the other firefighters so much.

When the first stay-at-home ended, David shed much of his long hair and went back to his longish, stylized coif. He had felt a tinge of excitement watching chunks of long hair falling to the salon cape. And when he'd said, "Oh, and cut the fringe quite short," David watched with nervous excitement as the stylist snipped the copious lock off well above his eyebrows.

After hearing the news about the second lockdown, David rushed to a mirror and examined the current state of his hair. He held up a prime lock and estimated it was a good 4-5 inches longs. In back it came to about mid-collar. And, his hair was already beginning to creep over his ears. In other words, he was already a bit overdue for a trim.

David grabbed his phone and texted Luke, his buddy. "Just heard that we're in for another month of stay-at-home, at least."

"I didn't mind it that much, the first time around," Luke replied quickly.

"Me neither. I was going to get a haircut this week, but now...." David texted back.

"You rocked the shag," Luke replied.

"I guess so. But this time, I'm going for the big chop!" David answered quickly, almost giddily. "Want to play amateur barber?"

"Me?! I have no skill at all," Luke answered back.

"Great! That'll be perfect. I'll be the first to reveal an awful amateur hack job at work. How about tomorrow evening?" David texted.

"You'll be sorry," Luke warned.

"LOL! You may surprise us both," David countered.

"Shall I bring a big pair of shears or do you have something at your place that I can use to chop off your pretty boy hair?" Luke asked.

"Bring what you have. Can't wait!" David replied.

With his amateur hack job scheduled, David returned to the mirror. He ran his fingers through his hair. So, lush....so silken! So anxious to have it butchered!


The next day at the fire station there was a general buzz about going down into lockdown mode again and how it would affect everyone.

As they were sitting around the lunch table, one of the fellows piped up, "I thought it was all rather fun last time -- we bonded a lot during the stay-at-home order. Good for us, though, that we're frontline workers and can hang out here. I wonder who will be the first to display an amateur haircut? Barbershops are closed along with much else again."

"David will!" Luke exclaimed. "In fact, those glossy locks will be on the chopping block at the end of our shift, right Davey-boy?"

David shook his mane a bit and rumpled it with his hand, "That's right! Lukey-boy is taking the shears to this. He has no experience whatsoever cutting hair, so there's no telling what I'll end up with."

"That's right, not only do I have zero skill, but I couldn't even pass the paper cutting test in kindergarten. No coordination at all!" Luke retorted, simulating scissors cutting in all directions with his fingers.

"Pretty boy is going to get the big chop administered by an amateur barber?! I’ll be!" exclaimed the Mr. Sandringham, the Emergency Management Director, who happened to be in the lunch room getting a coke from the vending machine. He walked over to David and examined the dark, glossy mane.

David reveled in the attention his boss was showing. Now he would not be on the sidelines of the fun. He would be at its very center.

"Yep, I imagine most of this will end up in the trash bin," David remarked jovially as his boss continued to eye his shiny raven hair.

"Well, you have a lot to shed," Mr. Sandringham noted as he casually grasped a shank of David's mane at his nape and fondled it briefly. "But why put off the haircut till this evening? Let Operation Barber Shop begin now!"

"I've got the shears in my bag," Luke volunteered.

"Then, Luke's Barber Shop is open! Go get your scissors. I might even take a seat in your makeshift barber shop myself," Mr. Sandringham announced with a twinkle in his eye.

The fellows were more than amused by that statement. Mr. Sandringham was very particular about his appearance -- every hair combed carefully into place with a tidy side part. There was even talk about his use of hairspray to keep his helmet hair firmly in place....

"It would be my pleasure to give you a little 'trim', Mr. Sandringham!" Luke retorted (with "trim" accompanied by air quotes).

"And, if you'd permit me, David, I'd like to deliver the first chop on the fine head of hair you're sporting before master Luke takes over the butchering of it," Mr. Sandringham requested.

"That would be an honor, Mr. Sandringham," David said, looking up at this boss with an eager face.

In a jiffy, David had pulled his shirt off and was sitting in the middle of the room with all the guys circled around. Luke came back in brandishing the shears.

"Here you go, Mr. Sandringham," he announced, ceremoniously handing over the instrument that would he used to hack off David's beautiful hair.

Mr. Sandringham took his time as he plied his fingers through the lush mane of dark hair. "Where to begin?" The boss asked rhetorically, before seizing David’s copious forelock that now covered his brows completely.

He held the mass of shimmering hair straight up and brought this shears to it. "What do you say, fellows? Should I snip the lock off up here? Just the tip taken off?" he asked, brandishing the shears near his fingers at the tip.

"Shorter!" the fellows replied in unison.

"Then perhaps here," Mr. Sandringham suggested as he moved the scissors halfway between the scalp and his fingers that were still holding the lock straight up.

"Shorter!" came the cry from the peanut gallery.

Mr. Sandringham moved the scissors right down next to the scalp and without any hesitation delivered a firm, dramatic chop. A gasp went up from the fellows as the shears sawed through the dense lock. Mr. Sandringham pulled off a massive chunk of David’s hair.

David did not contain his excitement. "Oh, darn!" he cried as he stared at the lock of hair Mr. Sandringham was holding.

"Luke, it’s time for you to take over this chop job," the boss stated.

In the meantime, David was feeling the area of his head where the forelock had once been attached.

"Is this what you were looking for?" the boss asked, tossing the lock onto David’s lap.

Luke insisted that Mr. Sandringham continue playing the role of barber. "You are doing an excellent job, boss, and look to be enjoying yourself so much!"

Mr. Sandringham needed no additional encouragement. He seized another lock of David’s hair and chopped it off near the scalp. Then another, and another! "This is fun!" he chirped as he tossed the cut locks into the air and watched them land near his feet. "How do they refer to this short, choppy look at the salon? Textured, I believe is the term of art."

Mr. Sandringham was very efficient as a barber and left practically nothing on David's head save an untidy, choppy pelt. Around his feet a carpeting of dark hair developed.

Finally, the cutting stopped. Mr. Sandringham stroked the uneven pelt with his hand. David basked in the attention his boss lavished on him. He enjoyed having his closely cut hair fondled, and he was desperate to see how awful it looked.

"I'm quite pleased with the result. Go have a look at the new you, David!" Mr. Sandringham ordered. The fellows clapped loudly to show their approval of David's horrible haircut.

When David returned from the bathroom with a sheepish look on his face, he was surprised to see Mr. Sandringham sitting in the makeshift barber chair.

"It's my turn!" he announced.

David's eyes twinkled with delight. "But, let's take your shirt off, first," David replied as he took his boss' tie in a rather aggressive, domineering manner and began unfastening it. Then he unbuttoned his boss' dress shirt to reveal a very nicely toned chest for a man his age -- covered by a dense pelt of hair. David could not resist a brief, but tender, caress.

"Perhaps this should be cut too, it's so long!" he commented as he stroked the chiseled chest in a fleeting manner that was barely perceptible to the peanut gallery.

"But, first, this." David took hold of Mr. Sandringham's fussy business cut and subdued his boss with a firm grip of his elegant pomp. "We were right, fellows! Hair spray!!"

Mr. Sandringham blushed at the public humiliation.

David gave a subtle yank of the captive forelock and watched a fleeting grimace across his boss' face. Both men seemed to enjoy this momentary role of power reversal.

"Oh, it's very stiff. Extra hold. AquaNet, perhaps?" David continued mocking his submissive boss.

"Just a tad, to keep it in place each morning," Mr. Sandringham explained in an embarrassed, defensive manner.

"There will be no need for any hairspray when this has all been chopped off!" David announced, still grasping his boss' hair and tugging at it lightly.

"How short should the boss' hair be cut?" David asked the peanut gallery, while more firmly yanking on the pretty pomp so that it almost hurt.

"Bald," someone suggested. Then the chorus of "bald, bald, bald!" rang out from the group.

"Are you ready, sir?" David asked, brandishing the shears.

"Take it all off," Mr. Sandringham replied, almost breathlessly, as he squirmed in the chair.

"No more fussy businesscut for you, then," David whispered in his ear. "I'm taking you down ALL the way."

"I'm ready, just do it," Mr. Sandringham murmured as he stifled a groan of delight.

The crunching of the shears right at the scalp sent a shiver down Mr. Sandringham's spine.

David lifted off the severed forelock and held it up like a hunting trophy. "Tcha-na...." he crowed.

Mr. Sandringham broke into a huge grin! He'd done it! Given up his power helmet hair to one of his subordinates.

Just then, one of the fellows interjected, "Hey, breaking news, guys. The state Supreme Court has declared the governor's stay-at-home order unconstitutional! No restrictions on business or churches or schools can be mandated."

"What?!" stammered Mr. Sandringham. He reached up to feel his butchered coif nervously. "You mean we're not in for another round of amateur haircuts and baldy cuts?"

"Well, a few people will sport them, I'm sure," David laughed as he delivered another chop.

Mr. Sandringham's initial enthusiasm and even ecstasy about ditching his power helmet evaporated quickly after the news from the Supreme Court broke. He slumped and sat sullen in the makeshift barber chair, looking miserable as more of his hair piled on top of David's.

David enjoyed stripping Mr. Sandringham of his fussy, executive look.

After the mood soured, the peanut gallery dwindled away until it was just barber and client in the lunch room.

"Hey, I think you look great without your helmet hair, boss," David said, trying to revive Mr. Sandringham's spirit.

The older man looked up and smiled a bit sheepishly, "Really?"

David caressed the choppy tufts that remained tenderly. "Really!"

"Thanks for trying to cheer me up," Mr. Sandringham responded.

"If there's anything, and I mean anything, else I can do, just let me know," David whispered in his ear.

"Let's go take a look at what you've left me with -- in my private bathroom, David," Mr. Sandringham said with a wink.

The two hustled off quickly. The bathroom door had hardly closed when Mr. Sandringham's eyes locked in a disbelieving stare at himself in the mirror. He looked transformed, and he alternated between peals of laughter and nervous fretting.

David took the opportunity to give his boss a soothing neck and shoulder massage. "Relax, Mr. S. It'll grow back. We had a lot of fun playing barber on each other, didn't we?"

David rather liked his own minimalist look. He looked bold and manly with his hair cut short. Then he had another idea, the opposite of letting it grow back!

"What do you say we finish off the job? Nice tight butch cuts for both of us?" David asked. "I'll run over to CVS and buy a set of clippers. I'd like to take you down to stubble, boss. Right in here, nice and tight, down to the wood."

Mr. Sandringham instantly approved of David's idea.

"I'd like that very much," Mr. Sandringham said, again shifting emotionally, back to excitement. "I have a feeling the butch cuts are going to be keepers for both of us! I'm going to finally get my amateur baldy..."

"And I'm going to be the one who gives it to you," David purred. "No more helmet hair for you!"

David took Mr. Sandringham's head with both hands and firmly brought it towards him.

Mr. Sandringham reciprocated with an equally assertive grasp of David's head, "And no more long, shaggy look for you! From now on, it's butch cuts in the bathroom for both."

"During lockdowns and normal times, we'll barber each other...." David murmured.

David surged with delight as he heard Mr. S. reach over and lock the door to the bathroom.

"Hey, I thought I was going to go buy the clippers, boss," he said playfully.

"That can wait...." his shorn boss replied.

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