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Wrestle Mania by P.J.
Greetings folks, from far northern New York State. Pete here, from Pete’s cuts.
It’s been a minute since I’ve had anything interesting to write about but… that certainly changed today.
Let me give you some general background info so you’ll fully understand the situation.
High school wrestling used to have fairly rigid standards for hair length. That changed back in 2020. The ‘no hair longer than the top of an ordinary shirt collar’ requirement was eliminated.
This, as you might have guessed, caused a bit of a stir in the wrestling community, especially here in out little town, given that we have a large military presence. High school boys were ecstatic to say the least, their parents, and coaches, not so much so.
Our little town happened to have an up-and-coming wrestling star, Nico. Nico and his dad were clients of mine, and had been for several years. Nico’s dad had enjoyed some governance over him with respect to his hair length before 2020. Nico had usually sported some form of crew cut due to the wrestling requirement. Post season 2019, he had let his hair grow, with dad’s permission since it was the off season. Then before the start of the 2020 season the rule change became effective. Dad lost his edge with respect to hair length, so did the wrestling coach. From then on, Nico’s mom, and Nico prevailed and Nico had not been back in my shop for anything but a small trim back at the end of school in 2021. Dad had acquiesced, largely because his son was such a good wrestler, excellent student, and an overall great kid. Nico, over the last 2 years, had of course grown a glorious, bushy, shoulder length mane. I, of course, had requested that he retain me as his exclusive barber. He assured me that I would always have this honor. Of course, not until the time came to address the issue.
He was also now a high school senior, and the schools star wrestler. With a good chance of winning State Champion this year. This would be the first time our High School would have a State Championship in Wrestling. Exciting times to say the least.
The high school wrestling coach for the past 4 years was not well liked. He was largely viewed as a miserable tyrant. I’d heard from more than one dad that they were somewhat surprised that their boys still wanted to wrestle. The coach was also not a fan of the new relaxed hair length rule. I knew from Nico’s dad that the coach had laid into Nico numerous times, sometimes even while Nico was still on the mats. Nico, to his credit, took it all in stride, despite the miserable coaching stills so obviously on display.
Nico was a pretty down to earth kind of guy. Trying to focus on what to do about college this year. Whether or not to keep wrestling or not. He knew he was very good but also knew that eventually someone would come along that was better than him. Win, loose, or draw, Nico had the drive and determination to always do his best. He did like the attention he was getting for his amazing mane, both on and off the mats. He also admired other wrestlers he encountered who had grown similar manes. He’d had many compliments on his over the last 2 years.
That brings us up to today.
The state wrestling championships were being held today, about an hour away from our little town this year. Nico’s dad had been earlier in the week for a trim, so I’d asked that he wish Nico well for me.
As the day went on, I’d heard bits and pieces of how our boys were doing at the match. The last I’d heard Nico was still in it to win it. It had come down to the final match and Nico was in. I’d gotten a late day rush of clients, and had lost track of what was happening with wrestling.
I was just about to close up shop and head to my favorite watering hole to catch up on how we’d done when one of the high school buses came rumbling up out front. To my shock and surprise, the first one off the bus, and crossing the street dejectedly, was Nico, still in his wrestling singlet, long thick mane and all. He was followed closely by a large red-faced man with the word coach on his shirt. I of course noted his dark chestnut hair, styled in a much-overgrown business man’s type cut. Long forelock loose and bobbing in front of his face as he marched across the street. The coach was yelling and gesturing for Nico get in my shop. The rest of the high school wrestling team was quickly following along behind.
I only had a few seconds to take in the site of Nico. His mane was indeed something to behold. Ash Blonde, bushy, solidly shoulder length, and with a unique texture I can only describe as what it would look like if you took someone’s hair that was reasonably curly and tried to blow dry it straight. The result was quite striking to say the least. I absent mindedly wondered, how he could ever get a hat on, hmm. As Nico and coach reached my door, the coach grabbed Nico by the back of this amazing mane, pushed him thru the door, and dragging him to the nearby barber chair.
The coach bellowed "Now you sit right there in that chair you sorry excuse for a wrestler and we’ll finally get rid of that ridiculous bush you’ve been growing on your head despite my rules against it."
The rest of the team had crowded into the shop. You could have heard a pin drop in that moment. They were all wide eyed, staring at a clearly terrified Nico, slumped in the barber chair. I noticed more than once cell phone out and no doubt capturing every second of the proceedings. The coach had walked around to the back of the chair still ranting about Nico’s hair and losing the deciding match because of it, all the while looking through my array of clippers hanging under the shelf that ran below the antique mirror. His hand had stopped at my new set of balding clippers and he was in the process of removing them from their hook.
The coach’s reaching for the clippers startled me into action. Nobody, and I mean nobody touches my equipment but me. As I rapidly approached him I barked "Sir, I don’t know just who the hell you think you are but you’d better put those clippers back on their hook before I do something you’ll regret."
"Get outa my way sonny boy" Coach shouted, trying to shove me aside. "I’m gonna give this here loser a nice skin head haircut. He shoulda had one a loooong time ago. Now he’ll get what he deserves for loosing us the State Championship." More of his lush fringe had shaken loose as he confronted me.
Nico sat slumped in the big barber chair. Head down, his back to all the commotion. "Nico" I said, "get out of the chair, son." Coach and I were wrestling to see who would get to control the clippers. I won, and hung them on the hook.
I had by now decided Coach needed a taste of his own medicine at this point. I was just the person to administer that medicine, and it was going to be my pleasure to do so. He was bigger over all, and half a head taller than me but my adrenaline was pumping away at that point. I grabbed his wrist and twisted his arm behind him, pulling up till he yelped in pain. "Now, SIR" I barked, "If you’ll just have a seat here we can have a chat while I clean up your shaggy business man’s cut for you, we can discuss this situation." I maneuvered him around and into the chair, giving him a shove, he sat with a loud huff. I quickly added "Now, if you don’t want to stay seated on your own, I’m sure some of these nice guys here will help make sure you stay put. The rest of the team immediately closed ranks around the chair. The guys looked like sharks that had just noticed blood in the water. The coach was trapped. He gave each of them a malevolent stare.
Taking advantage of his momentary shock at this turn of events, I quickly steri-stripped and caped him. I was studiously ignoring his ranting at this point, barking orders that he keep still. I reached for the very same clipper he wanted to bring to bear on poor Nico’s mane. I noticed now most of his fringe had come loose from his long coif while we were wrestling for the clippers. "My, my, looks like it’s been awhile since you’ve been under a cape yourself now coach. We’ll just clean you up a bit before we get to trimming Nico’s mane."
I quickly combed him out. He had a nice thick long fringe hanging down to his lips. Sides almost covering his ears when I combed them down, and lush thick bulk hanging low over his collar.
I was going to enjoy this. "Now, first, let’s just clean up this neck line a bit and get rid of the neck fuzzies shall we." I quipped. I gripped the top of his head firmly, and pushed it firmly forward, chin to chest. This startled him for a few seconds. He made as if to struggle out of my grip, then looking through the thick fringe wagging across his face, he realized that he was hemmed in on all sides.
I flicked the slide switch and the trusty Wahl balding clippers roared to life. Just as he sputtered out a couple of expletives, I lifted the thick shank hanging off his nape with the comb so the clippers could land at his nape. The clipper blades slid up under the thick shank, making contact with his nape. It only took a few seconds to drive the hungry blades all the way to his crown, a lush thick pad of hair falling to his shoulders. "There now, I think that’s a nice start. It won’t take long to clean up the rest of this extra bulk along the back. Hold still please." I chirped. He now had a nice white skunk stripe up the back of his head.
Coach watched from under his thick bang bulk as this first heavy hank slid off his shoulders and into his lap. "What the F*&CK are you doing to me you Ass@#$e? He’s the one who needs to get shaved, not me!" Coach barked.
I was thoroughly pissed off at this point. I’m not prone to shouting when I’m really mad, conversely, I start talking in a low tone. I’m told it’s actually quite menacing if you’re on the receiving end of my rath. "Well Coach, I’ve always believed a good coach should lead by example now, shouldn’t they. Since you’ve so clearly stated your intentions regarding Nico’s lush mane, I think it’s a noble gesture for you to go first and show him what he has to look forward to."
Nico hadn’t joined the group surrounding the big barber chair. He had taken a seat in one of the waiting chairs, another guy, I’m assuming a friend, had taken the seat next to him and was quietly talking to him, rubbing his shoulder tenderly. I caught Nico’s eye at the mention of an impending shearing. Standing behind the coach, I looked squarely at Nico and winked wickedly, shaking my head side to side, hopefully assuring him as best I could that it would not be happening to him today.
While I was lecturing the Assh%^e coach I’d taken a couple more passes up the back of his head. His lap was quickly filling with nice thick handfuls of shorn hair. His hair was a deep chestnut color. Under normal conditions I would have liked to give him a good short back and sides to clean him up. Now he was going to receive a nice little‘ol induction cut!
I proceeded to strip the rest of the back, leaving pasty white, freshly exposed scalp, with nice tiny sandpaper stubble.
I was on a roll now. The coach knew he was being sheared, but I’m sure had no Idea that he was getting an induction cut. This was fun. "Now, let’s get these shaggy sides cleaned up shall we" I cooed softly, running the balding clippers up and around his left ear. "Ah, there now that’s much better don’t you think?" I deftly removed his bushy side burn, and the rest of the thick bulk on that side. Mounds of heavy chestnut locks falling to join their neighbors in Coaches lap.
Quickly moving to the right side, I stripped all the thick bulk away too. Quite a nice pile had accumulated in his lap.
"Well now, it would appear that your ears stick out just a bit now don’t they. It’s a good thing they’re a matched pair as they will be prominently displayed on your oversize pasty white noggin for quite a while I’d say" I laughed evilly.
I had to resist the urge to scrub my fingers along his newly bald sides, that would give away the game, and I wanted maximum shock value when he saw his reflection in the big mirror.
The best was yet to come, or come off as the case may be. All that remained was the plush thick bang mop hanging down to his lower lip, it was cut at a slight angle, nice and full. I looked slowly around at the group of boys standing shoulder to shoulder around me, one by one they started to smile. I felt coaches’ shoulders tense up. He’d gone quiet too, finally. He was still red faced and breathing heavily though. I noticed more than a few cell phone cameras capturing all that was happening. Good I thought. It will provide proper documentation should it be necessary later.
"Now then, we’ll just get this fringe trimmed up a bit for you and then you’ll be on your way, a whole new man. A shining example of how a coach should behave." I slid the clippers in on the part side of his forehead and slowly moved them back to his crown. The longest of the plush thick locks slid free, slowly dropping down across his face to join the heavy mound in his lap. 4 more passes and coach now sported a fully executed new recruit induction cut, (basically a Baldy for those of you unfamiliar with the military vernacular) courtesy of yours truly. I couldn’t be happier with the result.
I was unsnapping the cape and turning the chair so he could face the mirror. "Guys, could you step back a bit so our coach here can see what a nice job I’ve done with him."
The coach finally caught his reflection in the big mirror and roared" Holy F%$K, I’m bald, what the F%$k did you do, you Bastard. You’ll be hearing from my lawyer. This constitutes assault." He was sputtering as he stepped down off the chair.
"Oh, I don’t think so sir" I barked. Wagging my finger at him fiercely. Coach pulled up short as he was clearing his way toward Nico. "I have a whole room full of witnesses here who I’m sure will testify that you willingly sat in the chair and volunteered to go first. Right guys?" I scanned the group as a chorus of yeses was shouted loudly.
"I can also assure you that you will be the only one leaving this shop with an induction cut today sir. I suggest you and the guys get back on the bus and return to school, there’ll be no more disruption in my shop today. Is that clear? COACH!"
Coach was clearly livid, almost purple faced, practically shaking at this point. But as he glanced around at the group it must have dawned on him again that he was out numbered. He scrubbed his hands across his newly bald pate in frustration and made slowly for the door.
"Nico, I said softly, would you and your friend wait here till the shop has cleared out please?" I said softly. Nico nodded, getting a scared look on his face.
Once the shop had cleared out, I walked over to Nico. Standing in front of him I asked" How are you doing son? I’m sorry you lost the championship match. I’d doubly sorry you had to be subjected to the rantings of that demented ASSH&%E of a coach. I’m going to personally see that he’s removed from his position, and hopefully loses his job over this. What a horrible human being."
I also got my first calm, close up, look at Nico’s magnificent mane. I'd never seen anything quite like it. It looked somewhat like he had gotten a perm with giant rollers then tried center parting it and brushing the chin length fringe to the sides. Good lord what I wouldn’t give to get my hands on it.
"Nico, I think under the circumstances it might be best if I drive you and your friend to your parent’s house and I explain to them what’s transpired here today, that is if that’s alright with both of you." They both nodded in the affirmative at me, smiling.
I addressed Nico’s friend, "would you go tell the bus driver that he can leave, I’ll be taking you two home?" After Nico’s friend left the shop, I sat next to Nico. He brushed his hands up through the huge fringe mop, pushing it up and to each side so he could see me clearly. He was wide eyed, looking at me expectantly. Nico relaxed a bit. "Pete" he said," I can’t ever thank you enough for what you’ve done here today. I think the whole team will heartily thank you too.
I smiled. "Nico, no one should be treated that way, ever. Especially by someone in the position of coach. And certainly not while I’m within earshot. When you are ready, I would be honored to give you the cut of your choice, whenever your ready son."
"Thanks Pete, really. I know this mop has gotten totally out of control but I just couldn’t bring myself to cut it before States. I kind of associated it with being a good luck charm of sorts since I really haven’t lost a match since I started growing it out. It was an added bonus that most of my opponents were totally distracted by it. Once the dust finally settles on all the activities of today, I’m sure I’ll be in to see you. For now, could you just give us a ride to my house please?"
"Of course, son" I said, smiling warmly at him. His friend had come back in, and the bus was pulling away. "Can you give me 10 minutes to do a quick clean up and then we’ll be on our way" I asked.
"What, sure, of course Pete" Nico replied.
Needless to say, the coach was promptly fired. A picture of his newly bald head making the front page of the local paper along with a pretty accurate account of the events that afternoon. Strange publicity for me, but publicity none the less.
I had somewhat uncomfortably become a home town hero of sorts amongst the wrestling team and their families.
Some of the shaggier members of the wrestling team had trickled in over the next week to get shorter, more manageable haircuts. Each thanking me profusely for what I’d done.
I was waiting to see if and when Nico would be in.