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Get in the chair by David Gordon
It was the beginning of the 1980s, My best friend Steve and I spent evey minute together that we could. If we weren't playing football in the street we were playing marbles or if it was raining we would play a board game at one our houses, we only lived a block from each other. He was just over a month older than me. It was the end of June, Steve had just turned 13 and my birthday was in a few weeks. During the summer we usually spent the nite at each other houses. I had spent the nite at his house, as we were eating breakfast his mom walked by the table and ruffled his hair and then put a $20 bill on the table and told him that he had to get his bi yearly haircut today. Steve protested why today mom, can't i wait a few more weeks? No you will be at your dad's house then, you leave for your dad's place in a couple days. I tried to help Steve, but mom (we called each others mother mom) we are having our big football game today. She looked at me and nice try but i heard you guys talking the game is this afternoon, if you guys get going here soon you will be back in plenty of time for the game. She then put 4 quarters in front of both of us. That will get you guys there and back on the bus. We got done eating and got dressed. As we started to head out the door his mom yelled from the kitchen remember i want to see your eyes, ears and the back of your neck. Steve shook his head and said yes mom. We took the bus to the barber shop, as we got off the bus you could see the barbershop pole lite up and spinning at Al's Barbershop a half a block up the street. We walked in the shop and there was two barbers, both busy cutting what looked like high school boys, and then in the waiting area there was a dad and two boys one looked about our age and the other a few years younger. The barber at the first chair with a name badge of Al, said hi boys, its going to be a few have a seat. We sat there talking to each other, the teenager in the 1st chair got out of the chair rubbing his freshly cut H&T crewcut, the barber called next as he was collecting payment from the teenager, and the dad pushed the older boy towards the chair. As the barber was caping the boy the dad explained that he want it cut extra short today, we are going to be leaving on vacation the next day and wont be back till just before school starts and didn't want to find a barbershop while on vacation. Just as the barber started combing out the boys hair to make sure there was no knots the teenager in the 2nd chair was uncaped and he stood up looking in the mirror saying wow thats sure is short. The 1st teenager standing up from one of the waiting room chairs said i know, but i am telling you if you had gone to the 1st practice with that mop you had the coach would have gone beserk, at least with us both having the H&Ts he wont be on us. The dad pushed the other boy towards the open chair as the 2nd teenager paid. The 2nd barber with a name badge of Pete, was capping the younger boy when dad said, Same thing please extra short. The dad sat back down. When Al finished the boy got out of the chair with a 1/2 inch crewcut on top and 1/4 inch tappered down on the sides and back. Al called next and the dad looked at us and said thats one of you i am waiting for Pete. Steve stood up and walked to the chair and sat down. Al capped him and started combing out his hair which was like a very out grown bowlcut with it longer in the back. Al asked him what's it going to be son? Steve told him he wanted to leave it as long as possible but mom wants to see my eyes and ears and the back of my neck. Even with him getting a longger cut he was going to be losing a couple of inches of hair. The younger boy got out of the chair with the same cut as his brother and dad got in the chair. After what seemed like forever Al asked Steve is this what you wanted son? Steve looked in the mirror turning his head back and forth yeah but can you take just a little more off the back mom won't like it that long. Al started cutting off another 1/2 inch off the back then cleaning up the rest. How's that son? That will do it thanks, Al uncapped Steve and looked at me, your up son have a seat. I got up but told him no thanks we were here to get his haircut. Al looked at me and said son your hair is longer than his was and super thick it needs cut. I again protested saying we were just here for his pointing at Steve, i said besides i don't have money for a haircut. Al looked at me almost getting in my face son that mop needs cut i don't care if you don't have money, GET IN THAT CHAIR he told me with a louder voice, pointing at his chair. I looked at Steve and he didn't say anything he just sat down in the waiting room. I tried one more time, sir i only have the the two quarters his mom gave us for the bus. Thats when the dad of the boys spoke up son get in the chair like Al told you, then he looked at Al and said i will pay for his cut too. I reluctantly climbed into the chair, and Al capped me, then grabbed his comb out of the blue liquid jar and started to comb out my hair. My usual cut was a normal long boys cut with a side part on the left side covering 1/2 my ears. But i had not gotten a haircut in over 6 months, Al asked me when was the last time i had gotten a good short haircut? I told him my last haircut was at Christmas time, he said no son i asked when was the last time you got a proper short haircut? I told him i had always gotten the same haircut. I then tried to tell him, since he was insisting on cutting my hair i would like the same cut. Al said to me son you are not paying for this haircut so you don't have a say how it is cut, since this kind gentleman is paying he gets to say how your hair is cut. My eyes got wide. The father now in Pete's chair says i would like to see him with a haircut like my boys or even shorter buti will give him some mercy Al give him a short boys cut with the left side part, it barely long enough to comb to the side but instead of his sides and back on the long side i want you to taper it, Al spoke up, i suggest i thin it out alot it is very thick. The dad agreed. AL instead of grabbing his scissors grabs a pair of clipppers and pushed my head down into my chest, i jumped a little when the clippers were turned on, but couldn't move anywhere cause of the grip Al had on top ofy head, he says sit still son this won't take long as he passed the clippers up the back of my head. Inches of hair was being sheared off. When Al finished the back and sides he grabbed the thinning shears and started thinning out the top. He then started cutting the top barely leaving my hair long enough to comb to the side. By this time Pete had finished with the dad and dad had sat back down in the waiting room. I had never had my haircut this short. For the first time all of my ears were exposed. Al uncapped me and told me to thank the nice man who is paying. It was hard for me to find the words i mumbled thank you. The whole bus ride back to Steve's house i kept rubbing th back of my head. As we walked into the house Steve yelled hey mom we are back and you are not going to guess what happened. Mom walked into the livingroom looking at Steve's new haircut, oh good you listened and didn't leave the back long again like you did last and as she started to say time she saw me, she came over to me and exclaimed as she rubbed my head, how did you get your haicut too you didn't have any money did you? Steve told her what had happened. She looks at me and says this looks really good on you its shorter than you normally get it cut. She looked at Steve and said next time i want you to get it cut shorter just long enough to style. Steve protested tested saying no way mom as he grabbed the football and we headed out to meet the guys. Of course we both got teased especially me for our haircuts, after the game we passed his house and he yelled to his mom I'll see you tomorrow mom, I'm spending the night at David's. As we walked into the house my older brothers were playing monopoly, Mike loked up and yelled what happened to you lawn mower run you over, my other brothers laughed. Hearing the commotion my mom came into the livingroom from the kitchen, she just about dropped the spoon she had in her hand when she saw my haircut. She asked me how i paid for it and i told her what happened, thinking she would be mad only said well you needed a haircut anyway and turned back towards the kitchen, Bruce one of my brother Mike's friends spoke up, thats Al for you kids don't go in there with their friends and don't get a haircut. The rest of the night i kept rubbing the back of my head.
Even though i never went with Steve again for his haircuts and i grew my hair back out and only got my normal haircut, and didn't go short again till i was in my twenties, it was that haircut that when i was just turning 13 that started my haircut fetish, i was always looking at my friends freshly cut hair and thinking that loooks good or that should have been cut shorter.
Hope you enjoyed my story if so let me know i have a couple more true stories.