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For grandad by Bald K
Lewis and Steven were typical teenagers in the 1970s. Lewis and Steven were fifteen-year-old twins with the only way of distinguishing them apart was their hair. Lewis had flowing straight golden locks of hair cascading down his neck and just above his shoulders. "Steven also had golden locks of hair, but his was curly and cascaded down his neck and just above his shoulders. Their parents were happy to let Lewis and Steven have long hair if they behaved in a proper manner and attained the necessary grades at the school they attended. "One other stipulation was that on a Sunday Lewis and Steven would accompany their parents and visit their grandparents, which Lewis and Steven were happy to do as their grandparents spoilt them with sweets and other gifts.
Lewis and Steven arrived one Sunday at the regular time of midday and got out of the car to their grandad in the garden weeding.
"Hey grandad," Lewis said as he walked up the path. "I see gran has kicked you out as usual."
"Well, if it isn’t my two favourite granddaughters," Tom smiled.
"You always say that to us," Steven laughed. "We are your only grandsons."
"Do you fancy a quick pint as it is a nice day?" James asked his dad. "Leave Joyce and mum to do the dinner?"
"Are my granddaughters coming?" Tom asked James. "We could see if Basil or Tony are there and get the boys a decent haircut."
"They got their haircut on Friday at that new unisex salon in town," James said to Tom. "Five pounds that cost me."
"Basil would cut their hair in a decent short back and sides for a pound," Tom told James. "A decent short crewcut would look better."
"Short hair is so 1960s," Lewis said. "Long hair on boys is the in look as we keep reminding you."
"I will go and tell mum we will be back in an hour," James said to his dad.
"Admit it, grandad, you are only jealous of our long hair as you have hardly any as you are nearly bald," Steven laughed.
"Maybe," Tom grinned. "Let us get to the pub with your dad.
"That was a great lunch," Steven said to his gran. "The Yorkshire puddings were your usual high standard.
"Yeah, thanks gran," Lewis said. "Are you not hungry, grandad?"
"Your grandad has not been eating much for the past few days," Peggy told Lewis. "And he has been going to the toilet very frequently."
"I am fine, it most probably a bug I have picked up." Tom told Lewis. "I am going to see the doctor tomorrow."
"Well make sure you do," James told Tom.
"I will, I promise," Tom replied. "All this fuss over nothing."
"Who is for some pudding? I have made a treacle sponge if you would like some." Peggy said as she cleared the table of the plates.
"You know we do," Lewis and Steven said in unison.
"I will just make the custard then," Peggy smiled.
The following Sunday, Lewis and Steven arrived with their parents at Tom and Peggy’s house and noticed that Tom was not in the garden as he usually was. Lewis and Tom followed their parents into the house where they saw Tom sitting in his armchair with his eyes closed.
"Hey, grandad," Lewis said as he gently shook Tom. "Your favourite granddaughters are here."
"Oh, I must have dozed off," Tom smiled. "Is it still raining?"
"No, it stopped about an hour ago," James said to his dad. "How did it go at the doctors?"
"He has referred me to the hospital to see somebody who specialises in the bowels and bladder," Tom replied. "I don’t know why."
"It is better to be safe," James told Tom. "Are you up for a visit to the pub?"
"Not this week," Tom replied. "I have these tablets and I cannot drink alcohol."
"Pity, as we are away for the next two Sundays," James sighed.
"He has not been eating well either," Peggy said as she walked into the room.
"It will be sorted in a week," Tom said.
Arriving back from holiday, Lewis and Steve arrived at their grandparents and walked in with their parents.
"Sit down, I have something to tell you," Tom said as Lewis, Steve, James said to and their parents.
"Nothing serious I hope," James said to Tom.
"I am afraid it is very serious," Tom replied. "I have been diagnosed with bowel cancer."
"Yeah, but they can treat it," Lewis said to Tom.
"I am afraid not, it is too far advanced," Tom replied trying to hold back his tears. "Maximum of four months they reckon."
"Oh, dad, we will be here for you," James cried. "But how was it not diagnosed earlier?"
"They reckon it only developed a few weeks ago, but is a very aggressive cancer," Tom sighed. "Now I want all of you to promise you will look after Peggy,"
"We will, don’t you worry about that," Lewis cried. "But we don’t want you to go."
"I have no intention of going anywhere just yet," Tom told Lewis. "Be a good granddaughter and go and get us all a fish and chip supper along with your sister."
"Yes, grandad," Lewis grinned as he took the money off Tom.
"Well, that was s**t," Steve said to Lewis as they made their way to the fish and chip shop.
"Yeah, I know," Lewis sighed. "There is grandad’s barbers." Lewis said to Steve as he pointed at a sign saying barber shop.
"Still scalping young boys," Steve grinned, as a young boy walked out sporting a short back and sides.
"No way am I ever going back to that haircut," Lewis told Steve as they walked into the fish and chip shop.
Lewis knocked on Steve’s door after finishing his paper delivery and walked in.
"Hey, what’s up?" Steve asked Lewis. "Or are you thinking what I am thinking?"
"How do you feel about visiting Basil in town or go to Tony?" Lewis said to Steve.
"I was thinking the same thing," Steve replied.
"Asking for a very short crewcut?" Lewis asked Steve. "I mean really short like nearly bald."
"Yeah, grandad’s favourite grandsons," Steve grinned. "When are you thinking of getting the haircut?"
"How about Saturday? After we finish our deliveries?" Lewis suggested. "Get the bus into the city."
"Be there for when Basil opens hopefully?" Steve grinned. "Basil will do a better job with clippers getting the hair really close to the scalp."
"Yeah, but we tell nobody," Lewis said. "We then go and visit grandad straight after the haircut."
"Let’s do it, just for grandad," Steve grinned. "Guess we will not need another haircut this summer."
"Worse case is that we like the crewcut and keep it," Steve said to Lewis. "Goodbye hair on Saturday."
"To be honest I was thinking of joining the army cadets, so the hair would have had to be cut short," Lewis told Steven. "I am looking at joining up when I hit eighteen."
"If you decide to join up, so will I," Steve grinned. "I am getting bored of long hair."
"So, what are you two long haired boys doing today?" James asked Lewis and Steve as they ate their breakfast.
"Going into the city," Lewis said to James. "Hang about for a bit."
"Yeah, we had better make a move to get the bus," Steve told Lewis as he checked his watch. "Catch you later."
Lewis and Steve walked out of the house and made their way to the bus stop and waited a few minutes for the bus to arrive. Lewis and Steve paid the bus fare and made their way to the upper deck and sat down.
"Going through with it then?" Lewis checked with Steve.
"Yes," Steve replied. "Last night I kept thinking how we will look with just a little bit of hair left on our heads."
"I was the same," Lewis said. "From long hair to virtually no hair in one go."
After a few bus stops. Lewis and Steve got off the bus and made their way down the road and arrived at Basil’s barber shop. Lewis and Steve paused outside the barber shop and looked at each other.
"Ready?" Steve asked Lewis.
"I guess so," Lewis replied. "For grandad, let’s get it done," Lewis said as he pushed the door open.
Steve walked into the barber shop followed by Lewis to see a few men and boys already in the shop.
"I see it has not changed, still the pale blue painted walls and the red waiting bench," Steve said to Lewis as they walked in."
"I didn’t expect so many in here so early," Lewis said to Steve as he closed the door. "Shall we see how busy Tony is?"
"Nah, stay here," Steve replied.
"Good morning, Lewis and Steve, it has been a while since you frequented my establishment," Basil said as he caped up a young boy. "What are we doing on this young man?" Basil asked the boy’s father.
"His cousin was here a couple of days ago and got a crewcut and John wants the same," the boy’s father replied.
"Ah, yes, young Neil, I remember him, so about half an inch left on young John’s head?" Basil asked the boy’s father.
"That sounds perfect," John’s father replied.
Lewis and Steve watched as Basil picked up a wide toothed comb and his clippers and combed through John’s light brown hair.
"Now young man, you are sure you want a crewcut?" Basil asked John. "I cannot put your hair back on your head."
"Yes, I would like to get a crewcut," John replied with a smile on his face.
Lewis and Steve watched as Basil ran the comb through John’s hair and lifted a section of the back with the comb about half an inch away from John’s scalp and ran the clippers over the comb to leave a half inch of hair on John’s head.
"Are we going to go shorter than that?" Steve asked Lewis as Basil continued to take John’s hair down to half an inch.
"Hell yeah, like down to the scalp, or are you going chicken on me?" Lewis replied.
"No, I am up for going down to the scalp," Steve replied. "We did agree on a very short crewcut."
Lewis and Steve watched as Basil finished the back and sides of John’s crewcut before combing the front.
"I can leave the top a bit longer if you like," Basil said to John’s father.
"No, take it as short as the back and sides," John’s father replied. "That is how John wants it."
Basil cut John’s hair down to half an inch on top before picking up the edger clippers and tidied up the back and round the ears of John’s crewcut.
"How does that look young man?" Basil asked John as Basil showed John the back and sides of his crewcut with a hand mirror.
"Cool," John grinned. "I like it."
"John’s dad paid Basil and thanked him for doing an excellent job on John’s crewcut.
"Nice haircut," Lewis said To John as he walked out with his dad.
"Yeah, it is," John grinned as he walked out of the barber shop.
"You two got in just in time," Basil told Lewis and Steve as he locked the door. "I have a wedding to attend at midday."
"Right, which one of you are first in the chair?" Basil asked Lewis and Steve as he locked the door.
"I will go first," Lewis replied as he stood up and walked over to the chair and sat down.
"What am I doing for you?" Basil asked Lewis.
"A very short crewcut, please," Lewis replied. "Really short crewcut."
"How short are we taking it?" Basil inquired as he tucked the maroon cape into Lewis’ collar.
"As short as you can take it," Lewis replied.
"Are we talking about to the skin?" Basil asked Lewis. "Or do you want some hair left?"
"Shall we take it to the skin?" Lewis asked Steve. "I am up for it."
"Yeah, let’s take it to the skin," Steve replied. "Save us some cash until we need another haircut."
"To the skin then," Basil said as he picked up a different pair of clippers. "No going back after I start shaving it off,"
"Yeah, I know," Lewis grinned. "Take it to the skin."
Basil flicked the switch on the clippers and lifted Lewis’ hair at the back of his head and placed the clippers at the nape.
"Last chance to change your mind," Basil said to Lewis.
"No going back, just do it," Lewis said to Basil.
Lewis felt the cold steel blades go up the back of his head and saw over four inches of his golden locks of hair fall into the cape.
"F***, I did not realise it was that long," Lewis thought to himself as he saw more of his golden hair fall into the cape.
"Looking god, bro," Steven said to Lewis as he watched Basil remove more hair from Lewis’ head. "It will be me in the chair soon."
Lewis watched as Basil removed the long golden hair from the sides of his head, exposing his ears for the first time in a long while.
"See, I do have ears," Lewis laughed. "But not much hair."
Basil the moved to the front of Lewis’ head and placed the clippers at the centre of Lewis’ forehead and ran them down the centre leaving a hint of stubble in their path. Basil quickly removed the rest of Lewis’ golden locks of hair and switched the clippers off before placing them back on the hook.
"One very short crewcut as requested," Basil told Lewis as he removed the cape and showed Lewis the back of his head with the hand mirror.
"I really like it," Lewis grinned as Basil removed the cape. "Guess I will not need shampoo for a while." Lewis said as he rubbed what small amount of stubble remained on his head.
Steven stood up and walked over to the chair and sat down.
"Same as my brother please," Steven told Basil as Basil tucked in the cape. "We promised each other that if one of us braved the cut the other one would also do it.
Basil took the clippers off the hook and flicked the switch. Lifting Steven’s hair at the back of his head Basil ran the clippers up the Back of Steven’s head depositing four inches of Steven’s golden curls into the cape.
"Oh yeah, that is a lot of hair," Steven said as more of his curly hair fell into the cape.
Steven watched as Basil removed his golden curls from the side of his head before removing the hair on top Steven’s head.
"We look like twins now," Lewis laughed as he walked over and rubbed the stubble on Steven’s head.
"Yeah, we do," Steven replied as he felt the stubble on his head.
Basil removed the cape from Steven and Steven saw all his and Lewis’ golden locks of hair on the lino floor. Lewis and Steven thanked Basil for the haircuts as they paid him before walking out into the warm July sunshine.
"Ready to show grandad our new look?" Lewis said to Steven.
"Yeah, we might even get lunch there," Steven replied.
Lewis and Steven got off the bus and walked the short distance to their grandparent’s house and walked up the path and down the side passage into the kitchen where their grandad was sitting reading the newspaper.
"HI grandad, how are you feeling?" Lewis inquired.
"Is that my granddaughter come to see me?" Tom said as he put the paper down. "Oh my god, you have both decided to join the army cadets?" Tom gasped as he saw Lewis and Steven with their now shaved heads.
"We done it for you, grandad," Steven smiled. "You always threatened to get us to have a short crewcut, so we went for a truly short crewcut at Basil’s place.
"I guess I cannot call you my favourite granddaughter’s now." Tom laughed. "But you did not have to go so short, so it looks like you have no hair."
"We wanted to," Lewis said to his grandad, "And I am keeping mine like this for you."
"I am doing the same, every four weeks we will visit Basil and get the haircut," Steven smiled. "We are thinking of joining the cadets, though."
"You have not told us how you are feeling," Lewis said to his grandad.
"You have made me a whole lot better now you have a proper haircut," Tom smiled.
"Now, for our parents," Steven said. "God knows what mum will say about us being nearly bald."
"See you tomorrow, grandad," Lewis said as he walked out of the house with Steven.
Lewis and Steven arrived home and hesitated before entering the house where their mum was preparing lunch.
"What are you doing in my house!" Joyce said as she caught a glimpse of Lewis and Steven.
"It is me Lewis," Lewis said to his mum. "Me and Steven just got our haircut shorter than we planned."
"Good grief, you look so different with no hair," Joyce sighed. "James! See what your sons have done!"
"What is the commotion going on in here? And who are these boys in our kitchen?" James said as he walked into the kitchen. "Oh my god, my boys have decided to join the skinheads!"
"We did it for grandad, but Basil took it a bit shorter than we had planned," Steven lied. "Guess we will not need a haircut for a while."
"Just as long as you do not want the boots and braces to go with your haircut," James told Lewis and Steven.
"Aww, why not?" Lewis grinned. "You must admit it is a pretty sharp look."
"Yeah, dad go and buy us the boots and braces," Steven laughed. "I am sure grandad would love to see his grandsons in skinhead clobber."
"Something tells me that my boys got the haircut as they have got into the music," James said to Lewis and Steven.
"No dad, I promise the haircut was for grandad," Steven told James. "We asked for a very short crewcut and Basil just ran the clippers over our heads."
"We were expecting the same as a young boy had when Basil left about a quarter of an inch on his head," Lewis lied. "But yeah, boots and braces sort of appeal to me now."
"God knows what my parents will think when they arrive tomorrow," Joyce sighed.
"Oh yeah, snob boys Mark and Jason will be with them," Lewis sighed.
"How do you like our neatly cut hair done by Louise," Steven sighed. "They need to get out more."
"We are off to see Robbie and Dom after lunch," Lewis told James. "Try and persuade them to get a very short crewcut."