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Say Good-Bye to Elvis! by Shant
Brad, Ken, Wayne and Gary had been best friends since they met in junior high. It was rare that you ever saw one of them alone.
In two weeks they were going to be graduating from high school. In the fall, they would all be heading off in different directions. They were excited about what was ahead but also knew how much they were going to miss always hanging out together. They were determined they were going to make this final summer one they would never forget.
The guys were all jocks and had played basketball and baseball all through high school. Brad and Wayne had both received athletic scholarships for college.
Ken had won several academic scholarships and had chosen to go to MIT.
Gary had decided to join the military and become a marine, like his dad. He had already signed the necessary papers to enlist and would be the first to be leaving the group.
All of us, with the exception of Gary, had short haircuts all through high school. No one probably ever had hair more than an inch or two long. Brad and Ken both wore short ivy league haircuts and Wayne wore a flattop.
It was the beginning of freshman year when Gary decided he was going to start growing his hair longer. He really did have great hair, by far the best of the four of us. Think Elvis hair and that’s the kind of hair he had, only his hair was even better. It was platinum blond, so blond that it was almost white. It was super thick and had great texture. He brushed it into the most elaborate pompadour a guy could possibly have. If he combed the forelock straight down, he could actually put it in his mouth. He also had the big Elvis sideburns to complete the look. Rarely did you ever see a guy with hair the color of Gary’s and with it being so thick and full, it really was awesome to see.
Sometimes, when we were kidding around, we would playfully tease him about his amazing hair and tell him we definitely wanted to be there when he decided to cut it. We all wanted to watch it come off and see him with short hair!
Wayne wore a square boxy flattop, just like his dad. His hair was an amazing shade of red which really made his hair stand out from everyone else. He went to Sam, his barber, every two weeks, making certain that his flattop was always in perfect shape.
Secretly, he was really in love with his hair and always looked forward to going to the barber shop and getting it cut so that it always looked perfect. You could not help but notice his thick, striking red hair cut into a long, square, boxy flattop. It was hard to believe that anyone would not immediately be impressed by it.
Wayne had always been aware that he really enjoyed seeing a guy that also had great hair. He was so in love with Gary’s hair that he had to be careful and not do or say anything that would cause him to be embarrassed.
Neither Ken or Brad had hair long enough to excite him, but Gary’s hair was so fantastic that Wayne found himself always thinking about what he would like to do to that beautiful mane if given the chance. He knew that somehow he was going to figure out a way to cut Gary’s hair before fall and they all headed off in different directions.
All through high school Wayne would every once in awhile, horse around with Gary and try to get him to get a haircut like his. "Come on down with me Saturday morning and let Sam cut your hair like mine," he’d say. "With your hair being so blond and thick it will look awesome cut into a flattop. If you had your hair cut like mine we would really stand out wherever we went."
Every once in awhile, Wayne would even get up his nerve enough to playfully run his hands through Gary’s long hair. It didn’t bother Gary any, and to be perfectly honest, he enjoyed it whenever Wayne did play with his hair. He loved all the attention he received because his hair was so striking.
Each year, Wayne would try a little harder to get Gary to get his hair cut, but he never had any success. "Come on man," he would say. "Come with me and let Sam give you a haircut just like mine! You’ve told me a lot of times how great you think my flattop looks, so why don’t you go ahead and get one too? Try something different for a change. I think it would really look great!"
"I bet you’d really like to do it, but are afraid about what everyone will say when they first see you with short hair. Screw them! You should do whatever you want with your hair and I bet you would get a lot of compliments with your hair cut like mine."
"Your hair is so striking and it would look amazing cut short. All that thick, blond hair of yours cut into a perfectly square flattop would look great, almost as great as mine does!" Wayne laughed. "I’d love seeing us both having the same haircut!"
At the end of each school year, Wayne would say to Gary, "If you cut your hair now and you don’t like it, you’ll have three months to grow it back out before school starts again. Don’t you get tired of always having to comb your hair all the time to keep it in place and not have it always covering your eyes?"
During our final summer together, Wayne decided to switch tactics a little and see if he would have any better success at getting Gary to cut his long locks. We all knew his long hair was going to be cut off when he entered the military, so Wayne decided why not be more aggressive and see if he could actually get to give Gary a haircut himself?
"Hey, I understand you not wanting to cut your hair," Wayne said. "It really is awesome, but how about letting me trim the front a little for you? It really is getting really long and it seems like you are always brushing it back out of your eyes."
"I’d really like to cut it, if you’ll let me. To be totally honest, I’ve always wanted to cut your hair and now seems to be the perfect time to do it, since you’ll be getting it all buzzed off in just a few weeks anyway. Come on and let me have some fun with that great mane of yours! What harm can it do? It would be a real rush to cut those gorgeous locks of yours! I bet that you would probably even like it. You must get sick of that long hair, after having it like that for so many years."
Gary said he had to admit his hair in front was getting too long and made it difficult to keep it in place. "If you want to go ahead and give me a trim, I guess that would be okay," he said. "I am definitely going to get it cut anyway before I enter the service. I know it will be a lot less painful to cut it before I go, rather than get it all buzzed off in front of everyone. Actually, I don’t think it would bother me if I let you cut it. Like I said, it’s going to come off soon anyway. It might be fun watching you play barber."
Wayne really got charged up thinking about taking the scissors to Gary’s hair and cutting his forelock down at least three inches! It would be a rush combing that thick, beautiful hair and then cutting over half the length in front off! Now Gary was even talking about letting him give him a short haircut! He was determined one way or another he was going to do just that!
Our final school year ended and Brad’s parents allowed us to go to their summer house on the lake and celebrate our graduating. We had all grown up living in each other’s homes and our parents all knew each other really well. They never worried about us getting into any kind of trouble because we had always been good kids.
We were good kids, but we were far from perfect angels. We had been planning this vacation since the beginning of our senior year, knowing it could possibly be a long time before we all got together again. We were determined to make this the best summer ever.
The first evening we got to the summer house, we unpacked all the alcohol we had brought with us and set out to have one great party! Everyone got really plastered and we were having a really great time remembering all the fun we had shared together over the years.
After way too much alcohol, Gary fell asleep in the big recliner in the living room. He was out cold. With his head leaning back, his beautiful long hair hung in midair, not touching anything. It was so long and so thick and shiney that it was really a beautiful thing to see.
Wayne was plastered, like everyone else, and thought that now would be the perfect time to set his plan in action and give Gary a haircut. It didn’t even enter his mind that Gary might not be happy with the result because he would be getting his hair all chopped off in a few weeks anyway. Wayne thought to himself, "Why not have some fun and go ahead and do what I have always wanted to do and cut Gary’s hair?"
He told both Ken and Brad that just last week Gary had told him since he was entering the military soon, he was going to get his hair cut before he left. Both Ken and Brad said they would love to see Gary get all his pretty hair cut off and hoped that they got to see it happen.
Wayne got up from the table, pulled out his comb, and began combing Gary’s beautiful hair into the best Elvis pompadour he could. "Man," he said. "Gary’s hair is really awesome! None of us has ever had long hair like his and it’s amazing how great his hair feels when you’re combing it. I’ve never combed such long, thick hair before. You guys should go ahead and comb it too, and you’ll see for yourselves what I’m talking about."
Actually, all of us were secretly envious of Gary’s hair. None of our dads would even consider letting us grow our hair long, but Gary’s dad had no problem with it.
We each combed Gary’s hair for awhile and tried combing it different ways to see how it looked. We were way past the point of being embarrassed as we worked over his hair again and again. We kept on drinking, having more and more fun playing with his hair, and Wayne was getting more and more stoked at the idea of cutting it.
Wayne brushed Gary’s hair all straight back to see how long it really was. Without saying a word, he pulled out a pair of scissors and snipped off about an inch of that awesome mane in the back that was hanging in midair. He then cut another inch off, next to the one he had just cut. Gary was so out of it that Wayne didn’t have to worry at all about him waking up.
The alcohol made Wayne even bolder than he had originally planned. He had wanted to cut Gary’s hair for years and he was actually getting to do it now! Seeing that he and Gary had just talked about Wayne cutting Gary’s hair before he left, he figured Gary would not really be very angry when he woke up and saw his new haircut. He really didn’t think it would be all that big a deal.
After he had taken off an inch on the back and sides, he decided to have some more fun and start cutting the top down. He began at the front of Gary’s beautiful pompadour and cut off more than two inches of such wonderful hair! It was such a rush seeing Gary sitting there and being totally unaware that his awesome mane that he loved so much was falling all around him to the floor.
Wayne continued the haircut and lifted up a lock and took off about two inches and continued doing this until he had cut all the top down so that it was still about three inches long. The beautiful pompadour was half it’s original size! He then proceeded to take about two inches off the sides and back. Gary still had a good looking head of hair, only there was about half of what he had started with at the beginning of the evening.
"What do you guys think?" Wayne asked. "Do you think I should leave it like this? I think it looks really good. Maybe I should become a barber!"
Both Ken and Brad were pretty wasted, too, and really didn’t think about tomorrow, they were just really into what was going on right now. "Go ahead and cut it shorter!" they said. "He’s going to get it all cut off anyway, so go ahead and cut it some more."
That’s all the encouragement Wayne needed! He didn’t want to use clippers, fearing they might wake Gary up, so he grabbed his scissors and approached all the beautiful hair that was still before him.
Wayne was really stoked to take Gary’s hair down even shorter! He lifted the forelock, combed it straight up, and then took off two of the remaining three inches that were on top. Gary was going to end up with one really short haircut!
Wayne was almost giddy while cutting off Gary’s beautiful hair. He kept combing it all straight up and back into the sides. He took the next lock in the front that was nearest the hair he had just cut, and chopped off another two inches. He was totally in his own private zone as he lifted up three inches of great hair and cut them down to just one!
He then took the scissors and started working on the sides. They were almost two inches long and he cut them down so only about half an inch remained. The haircut was going to look good, just incredibly short compared to the wonderful pompadour that Gary had before passing out.
Wayne spent a little more time working on Gary’s hair, enjoying every lock that he cut off. Even though it was going to be short, Wayne still wanted it to look good. After he finished, he turned to Ken and Brad and said, "Look how fantastic his hair still looks! It’s going to be wild in the morning when he wakes up and sees almost all of his treasured locks are cut off!"
"Okay, which one of you guys is next?" Wayne said. He was so drunk and was really into what he had just done to Gary, that he wanted to do it to Brad and Ken too.
"Come on! Both you guys have short hair on the sides and back, so all I’ll have to do is cut the top for you. I’ll put the one inch guard on the clippers and then buzz the top down. Gary won’t be really angry if he sees that all four of us have short hair too."
Both Ken and Brad couldn’t believe it, but they found themselves going ahead and letting Wayne cut off almost all of their hair on top. Both had hair about two inches long. Brad had a slight curl to his hair, but other than that, they both basically had the same haircut.
Instead of putting the one inch guard on the clippers though, Wayne put the half inch guard on them and worked at a furious pace buzzing them both down, leaving their hair about half an inch long.
When Wayne finished cutting Brad’s hair, he started putting his barbering tools away and said to them, "Man, this was really a lot of fun! I love it that we all now have short looking haircuts! We should have done this to Gary and ourselves a long time ago."
"Oh no, Hotshot!" said Ken, who was usually the quietest of the group. "Now it’s your turn to sit down in the chair and get to feel what it’s like getting all your hair cut off! Both Brad and I gave up our hair so it would be short like Gary’s, but you haven’t done anything to your hair at all. What’s fair for one, is fair for all!"
"We know how much you love that red flattop of yours! All through high school we’ve watched you stand in front of a mirror, brushing your hair back so it was always perfectly in place. You’ve always had a real love affair with that hair of yours! Well, it’s going to come off, just like Brad’s and mine did!"
Wayne was too drunk to argue and just sat down. "Oh what the hell! Go ahead and do it! This will definitely be a time we will never forget! Just let me go and brush my hair one last time before you cut it off. I really am going to miss it!"
Wayne finished brushing his beautiful hair into place and then sat back in the chair. Ken also put the half inch guard on the clippers. Wayne’s hair was about an inch long on top and was almost an inch and a half long in the front. There would not be a lot of hair coming off, but for the past four years they had never seen Wayne’s hair look any different than the way it looked now, and were excited to see his plush, pretty flattop get taken down, especially knowing how much he loved it and was going to miss it!
"You’ve always been so vain about that hair of yours. We all know how much you love it. You’re so proud of how great your hair looks and you’re always admiring how wonderful your hair is, thinking to yourself that no one has better looking hair than you do! We’ve even heard you talking to yourself, saying how beautiful your hair is and how no one has hair anywhere near as nice as yours!"
"You’ve always enjoyed making an entrance because you knew everyone would always turn to admire your hair. We know how much you love people looking at it! Well, get ready, because most of your beautiful hair is coming off right now!"
Ken turned on the clippers and ran them straight down the center of Wayne’s head! About an inch of beautiful thick red hair fell to the floor. Ken ran the clippers over and over Wayne’s head until he had removed any long hairs, leaving it about half an inch long.
"Now when we get up in the morning, it will be really wild to see what is going to happen! Hopefully, Gary won’t be too upset, seeing that we all cut our hair short like his. I hope we will all look okay. I guess if we don’t, we can always buzz our hair down even shorter. Now that we actually did it, it really wasn’t all that big of a deal. We’ll probably regret that we did this, but it really was a blast!" Wayne said.
The three of us agreed that this was definitely a night we would always remember. Unfortunately, Gary missed all of it!