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It’s a family thing by Percificous


Wherever you walk around my house there are photos of my brothers and I from when we were young, curly blond hair flowing down our miniature heads not a care in the world. There are also a few family photos hanging on our walls from my youth, in all of the older ones my brothers and my curly mops stand out like a sore thumb in contrast to my father’s short cropped hair however that soon changed. My eldest brother Tyler is a year and change older than me, like my two younger brothers and I he once had long blonde locks on top of his head. However on one gloomy Saturday in March that app changed, I can remember hearing my father’s booming footsteps echo off the walls and a sharp pinch on my right forearm soon followed "Get up boys it’s time for haircuts." My father jeered, up to this point my brothers and I had never cut our hair shorter than shoulder length, let alone being shaved down with a pair of clippers. The occasional trim at our mother’s salon was the closest thing we’d ever gotten to a real haircut, however my father is a former marine and current highway patroller. His hair was cropped down to no more than a number one on top and his skin was visible from the crown to his neckline. Every Saturday morning before the sun even rose I remember hearing the bubbling of my fathers coffee and oatmeal and even louder a buzzing sound, it only lasted for 4 minutes or so but that sound became synonymous with Saturday mornings. I never saw what the buzzing sounds were, but I knew what contraption was making that noise. Anyhow as the pinch on my forearm became stronger and stronger until I nearly screamed bloody murder. My father got my brothers and I out of bed and brought us downstairs to the kitchen, there the overwhelming smell of oats wasn’t the only thing greeting us. A stool, cape, and a pair of clippers with a quite short purple comb on them also sat waiting to be used. Little did I know this would become a regular scene for the next 12 years of my life. My father bumbled down the stairs and announced to us all "Your mother and I have come to an agreement about you all." He continued "Until I see some respect directed towards your mother and I no respect will be given to you all. Because of this hopeful change in attitude I think a change in appearance is more than warranted." I heard my younger brother Kevin gulp, we all knew what was coming our way that faithful Saturday morning. "Tyler!! Why don’t you step up first." He groaned "But I like my hair!" My father grabbed his ear and a loud Yelp could be heard throughout the room. As I heard that familiar buzzing sound I could feel a little tingling sense going through my body, little did I know what that was but know it’s pretty obvious what that feeling was. The buzzing muffled a little as the clippers mowed through the curls that once sat on Tyler’s head, it looked as if he had just witnessed murder however this feeling would soon be vanquished. As the clippers took down his hair to nothing but a fine stubble on top I saw the sun begin to peek into our window. As soon as I came back to reality my father took the little guard off and began working at his sides. The pale skin which stared back at me was a stark contrast to my father’s tanned sides however all of ours would soon tan as summer was right around the corner. As he finished up on Tyler and lined his hairline up my fathers eyes were directed towards me. I took one last stroke through my hair and knew that I wouldn’t feel it this long again for quite some time. "Harry, let’s go." I moved swiftly into the chair as the remains of Tyler’s hair sat around me. As I brushed my hair out of my face one last time I thought to myself "This can’t be that bad, after all it’s only hair right?" The clippers vibration brought me back to life as I felt the cold metal pass across my forehead and down onto my crown. Instantly I felt every little breeze on the top of my head, as the top continued to be shaved down I went up to feel what was left of my hair. My fingers grazed over what felt more like gravel or hardened sand than hair. However as I thought about this I heard the guard being smacked off and an even colder metal rushed from my neck to my temples. Although I felt cold I knew that it would be ok, secretly I’d hated my mop of hair and would much rather have hair like my fathers. Even though no one at school had hair even close to as short as mine would become I still felt nothing but excitement. As I was dismissed I went upstairs to look at myself, in the mirror an boy with army soldiers hair greeted me. I loved it. Every Saturday until the day I left for college became haircut day, my father was so committed to the idea that even on vacation he brought the clippers and sheared what little fuzz had accumulated over the week down again. One time he forgot his clippers so my brothers and I were wet shaved every other morning in Charleston South Carolina, however I secretly enjoyed this ritual and having little to no hair became the norm for me. Even as I went off to college I kept it buzzed down however instead of my father a weekly trip to the campus barbershop was in order. One day whilst waiting for my weekly trim another very hot man my age walked in with shaggy locks just like mine when I was a child. However as I was getting cut I heard him say " Give me what that guys getting!" Seeing as there were only two barbers I knew that was me. But that’s a story for another day. Today my wife is pregnant and we have already come to the conclusion that another generation of Shelvy children will be shorn to the bone just as I had and do every Saturday. I know my father would be proud



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