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Edward's Executive Coif and Career Ends by Manny

A continuing story. Previous chapters include:

Chapter 1 - Jack Opts for Change
Chapter 2 - Mr. B or Mr. Baldy
Chapter 3 - Rev. Battersea: Barber, Buddy or Both
Chapter 4 - Jeremy's Raven Locks Raise Funds
Chapter 5 - Coach’s MPB Fringe Falls Amid the Fun
Chapter 6 - Erik Gets to Know and Look Like the Locals
Chapter 7 - Rev. Battersea Makes the Cap Fit


Rev. Battersea was looking at himself in the full-length mirror wondering if anyone would notice just how large the ultra-tight, stretchy baseball pants made his pecker look when he heard a car pull into the drive. It was only 5:00 p.m., a whole hour before he'd asked the team to meet at the parsonage.

The Mercedes convertible sports car was unmistakably that of Edward Bennett, a corporate executive and company owner -- the wealthiest member in the congregation. He was a self-made millionaire, and just 32 years old! Too bad he hadn't offered to pay for the uniforms so that each player could have one that fit properly.

Rev. Battersea fretted that the pin stripes on the pants accentuated the huge bulge. Oh, well, there was nothing that could be done about it.

He quickly took off his baseball cap and got another glimpse of his new horseshoe haircut, courtesy of Barber Al's trembling hand. He felt the lather shaved strip. Marvelous! So smooth! He just could not get enough of the feel. But, he had to admit to himself that the ultra-short haircut was not a good look for him.

The doorbell jerked the minister out of his self-inspection. He hustled down the steps to answer the bell.

"Edward, you're early," Rev. Battersea said as he motioned for the businessman to come in.

He'd obviously just come from the office -- still decked out in a tailored linen suit, ultra-fine calf skin dress shoes and crisp, monogrammed shirt. The scent of expensive colon wafted from him; his groomed walnut-colored hair was meticulously swept back in a showy executive pomp.

"What's the matter?" Rev. Battersea asked, noticing a preoccupied look on Edward's face. "Did your uniform not fit?"

"No, it did not. But that's the least of my problems, Reverend," the nervous, dejected man said as he paced about.

"Can I get you anything to drink?" Rev. Battersea asked.

"Oh, yes," Edward replied with a total look of gratitude. "A double scotch -- and hold the ice, please."

Being a pastor meant being on call 24/7. How well Rev. Battersea knew that part of his vocation!

After Edward had gulped down a good half the glass, he looked up and said, "It's over. I'm finished. I just came from the attorney's office. Signed all the bankruptcy papers -- corporate and personal. I'm a pauper!"

"What?!" Rev. Battersea stammered. "I had no idea!"

"The car is being repossessed tomorrow. All my assets are being liquidated. I certainly won't need this gold Rolex or any other corporate trappings," Edward said.

As he talked, some of the tension eased and his tone took on almost a sense of relief.

"So, a new start for you," Rev. Battersea concluded. "But, what happened?"

"I'm a victim of the pandemic -- not a health casualty, but an economic one. First, the labor force started declining in the plants I own. We couldn't keep up with orders. Then, the supply chain for components totally broke down. I paid huge prices just to get the products out the door....and then the market dried up. No more demand for the luxury items my plants produce. I got screwed!" Edward explained succinctly.

"I am so sorry," Rev. Battersea said as he placed his hand tenderly on his congregant's shoulder.

Edward swallowed and held back tears. The two sat in silence.

To break the ice a bit, Rev. Battersea tried to lighten the mood. "I thought I had problems when the baseball cap I got stuck with was way too small. Look what I had to do to make it fit," he said, raising the cap to reveal his ultra-short shoe.

"OMG! I can't believe that!" Edward exclaimed before breaking into a hearty laugh. "Show me the whole thing -- turn around!"

Rev. Battersea was glad his haircut served as a bit of distraction.

"That may just be what I have to do too if I'm going to sport a cap to the game against the Baptists," Edward laughed. "It's also way too small. But, my uniform is too big -- the opposite of your snug fit."

"Well, I'm afraid a haircut is not an option for you because Al closed the barber shop early today so he could go to the game," Rev. Battersea said. "Besides, you have enough on your mind already besides dealing with a radical hair makeover."

Edward ran his fingers through his hair nervously. Both hands plied the thick, groomed, silken locks. "I want this all to come off! Like you said, a new start," Edward replied adamantly, almost defiantly. "Mr. B told me you cut his hair -- you're an amateur barber. I want his exact haircut -- an old-fashioned butch! How about it? We have time before the others arrive."

"Serious?" Rev. Battersea asked. "I mean, I've got the clippers and will give you the butch if that's what you want. But don't do anything drastic. Why not just forego the cap for tonight's game? And, about the jersey and pants not fitting -- we can swap. It's only because the fabric is stretchy that I was get crammed into these."

Edward's eyes locked onto the minister's massive pecker. "Yep, I see what you're talking about!"

Rev. Battersea's face instantly reddened. He stood to scurry out, so embarrassed. "OK, I'll go get my barbering kit upstairs. Meet you in the kitchen."

Rev. Battersea was never more grateful for a very long, professional barber tunic that came down almost to his knees. It was royal blue. The matching cape was trimmed with white piping around the collar.

Edward was sitting on a kitchen chair, his leg jiggling nervously. He was lost in thought when Rev. Battersea came in with his barber kit.

"I don't want to sound trite, Edward, but you did what you had to do with the bankruptcy. Now, you need to plan a new way forward for yourself. What's been done, has been done," Rev. Battersea said. And, in almost a paternal way, he started undoing Edward's tie.

The distracted former-executive allowed the pastor to begin undressing him. "Thanks so much. Sorry I'm such a basket case. What's that verse about the lilies of the field? They toil not, neither do they spin....? Oh, I should really undo the tie, Reverend."

"Let me finish this," Rev. Battersea said tenderly. "But are you sure you want a butch?" He smoothed down the glossy silken mane and caressed it tenderly, admiring the luster of the walnut-colored locks.

"Totally sure! Shaved off! All of it. I'm putting my previous life, this stuff, behind me, including expensive salon coifs!" Edward said with a smile that showed all of his perfectly aligned and whitened teeth. He glanced nervously at his nicely manicured nails. No more of that either!

Rev. Battersea fastened the barber cape snuggly into place. "The same length as Mr. B's butch? A #1 all over?"

Edward gulped and nodded yes.

The Progienic Oster clippers roared to life.

Rev. Battersea hesitated for a moment or two with the vibrating teeth poised to strike the showy pomp, just in case Edward got cold feet.

"Ready?" he finally asked.

"Do it!" Edward urged.

With a slow, firm, determined drive, Rev. Battersea began pushing the clippers into the dense, pampered mane. As the teeth chewed off the locks at the scalp, the piled of shorn hair in front of them grew and grew -- like a plow clearing the virgin snow off a driveway. All the way back to the cowl lick the minister thrust the clippers until the massive collection of cut hair fell down the back of Edward's head, down past his shoulders and the cape, into a large pile at Rev. Battersea's feet.

The first drive of the clippers elicited a toothy white smile across Edward's face. The shorn white swath on top contrasted to the glistening pile of brown on the floor.

Edward could not help but look at the floor. "Holy s**t! Ooops, sorry about my tongue, Rev!"

"Cold feet?" the amateur barber asked.

"Like you said a few minutes ago, 'What's been done, has been done.' That's all there is to it. How's it looking up on top?" Edward asked.

"Streamlined. Very streamlined. And, a lot more is coming off. Get ready to feel lightheaded!" the minister chirped.

Rev. Battersea quite enjoyed mowing off Edward's executive coif. The soft tufts of silk tumbling over his hand as they hurtled to the floor stimulated him. Perhaps he had missed his calling. Perhaps old Al should retire and he could take over the barber shop. He began clearing away the walnut-colored locks from around Edward's ear. Or, do a combo -- pastor three days of the week and barber the other four.

"Put your head down, Edward," Rev. Battersea urged. Then he gently guided Edward's head down, bowing, as if in prayer. Oh, the carefully groomed nape -- Rev. Battersea's next target!

Up, up, up the clippers climbed. The Progienic Osters stripped off Edward's hair near the scalp. The soft padding of hair fell without resistance. The baseball cap would fit like a glove with the #1 butch cut.

"Do you know Mr. Courtwright?" Rev. Battersea asked as he was putting the final touches on Edward's butch cut. "He's looking for an Assistant Manager at his hardware store in town."

"Me? Stocking shelves in a hardware store?" Edward sputtered.

Rev. Battersea surveyed Edward's clipped head and gave him a vigorous Dutch rub.

"Beneath you?" the Reverend reprimanded. "Think of Mr. Courtwright's need. You could help him, be of service to him. And it would give you a bit of income to pay the utility bill and put food on your table while you finalize a new direction for yourself."

Edward felt instantly chastised. "Of course. I'll talk to him at the game. See if he still needs someone."

Rev. Battersea took off the cape and shook it. All of Edward's glorious hair was now on the kitchen floor.

"OMG!" Edward squealed as he surveyed the carnage. He couldn't stop rubbing his bristly head.

Then Rev. Battersea retrieved the cap from Edward's things. "Tcha-nan! Perfect fit! Let's go take a peek at the new you," Rev. Battersea said. "Bring the bag with the uniform and we can swap."

"It will be my turn to undress you, Reverend! Let's start with this barber tunic," he said as he unfastened the snaps. "Your baseball uniform looks like it was spray-painted on!" Edward snickered as he glanced at the bulging pecker.

Once in the bedroom, it turned out that Rev. Battersea actually did need help getting the tight uniform off. Edward was instrumental in prying off the jersey from the back while the minister worked at the front. Finally, it was off!

"All this body hair!" Edward exclaimed. "No wonder the fit was close. You should have had Al take the clippers to the pelt on this chest! It's so long it can almost be braided."

Then they turned their attention to the tight pants. Edward did not mask where his eyes were focused. "And this large friend of yours down here! I thought there must be some sort of a padded jock strap covering it, but it seems as if you are naturally endowed! Is that why you have the clerical robe covering you in church....minimize the distraction as you read the lesson?"

The chatter about his intimate parts caused Rev. Battersea to more than blush. In fact, his pecker bulged at the comments and attention.

Finally, the pants came off. "Such hairy legs too," Edward noted.

"Well, your mood has certainly changed since you pranced in here all doom and gloom," Rev. Battersea commented dryly. "You're almost giddy. It must be that scotch!"

"How about another glass before the others arrive?" Edward suggested.

"And have you staggering around the bases, drunk, in front of the tea-totaling Baptists? No!" Rev. Battersea snapped.

Edward and the minister exchanged uniforms and the fit was much better for both than before. With the minimalist haircuts, the caps also fit perfectly.

"We're almost twins," said Edward.

Then Edward's tone turned serious. "Can I ask another favor? Can I leave the Mercedes here? The agency repo-ing it will pick it up tomorrow with a tow truck. I don't want that spectacle going on where all my neighbors will gawk, gossip and gloat."

"Sure," said the minister. "And, if you want to use Natalie's Ford Focus, I can give you the keys. She didn't need it at university because there is a huge parking problem; besides, public transportation in great in NYC."

Edward could not contain a run-away tear as he turned over the car keys. His old life was disintegrating. He pulled off his cap and looked at his butch. Then he wiped away the welling tears. "You know what, I like it. Well, enough, I suppose."

Then he playfully knocked off the minister's cap and let out a howl of laughter. "But, your shoe?! How long for it to grow out?"

Rev. Battersea joined in the laughter. "Too long!"

Spontaneously, Edward clapped a big bear hug around the minister and held him a tight embrace momentarily before whispering in his ear, "Thank you so much for helping me through this. Oh, and would you be my regular barber? You clip a perfect butch!"

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