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just what he needs by Snipped Sam

It had been really helpful having Mr Timothy give me a lift into the nearby city of Carlisle. It was 1973, I was in the 5th year at senior school, it was the autumn half term holiday .Mr Timothy was my next door neighbour, and although he was a school master he taught in a different school to the one I was at.
We had arranged to meet after three hours outside a large department store, we chatted as we walked back towards his car.
“I just need to collect my electric razor from the repairers, Colin”
He said as we turned into another street, and we walked along and we stopped outside a gents hairdressers”
”here we are, hopefully it will be ready, Mr Fitzgerald seemed to think it would”
“Shall I wait here?
“No Colin, you may as well come in”
We went in and Mr Fitzgerald did have the shaver repaired, they chatted away, I thought that there was something a bit sinister about him, he had red hair with very large mutton chop sideburns and a large moustache.
“And what’s your name?”He said giving me a stern look
“It’s Colin”
“Colin lives next door to me”
“I see, I expect you would like me to cut his hair whilst he is here”
“I had thought perhaps I might ask you to have a look at my hair, I think the back especially could do with a bit of a tidy up.”
“Yes of course sir, not too much needs doing today, as you say more tidying up”
“Yes, I hadn’t really thought about Colin’s hair though”
“May I suggest Sir that you should consider it?, it certainly does need cutting”
“its not so much untidy, just the length is rather long”
“Defiantly sir, but I can soon change that”
“I hear what you are saying Mr Fitzgerald”
“I’ll do the boy first, I’m sure he would rather get it over with”
“Excuse me.... I do not want to have my haircut”
“No boy does Colin, but its haircut time for you, in the chair if you please”
I looked at Mr Timothy pleadingly, not believing what was happening
“I’ll be having my haircut too Colin, best to do as Mr Fitzgerald says”
“It really is not fair”
“In the chair Colin, there’s a good lad” Mr Timothy replied
As I walked towards the barber’s chair I could see that Mr Fitzgerald had a very impatient look on his face, I sat on the chair, and he told me to sit right back in the chair and to sit up straight, he soon had the white cape installed tucked in very tightly, having told me to fasten the top button of my shirt .He combed my hair
“So sir, for this boy I would recommend a traditional short haircut”
“I hear what you are saying Mr Fitzgerald, as a school master I would have to agree with you, however Colin is not one of my pupils and also he lives next door to me, so I have to take a balanced view and also appreciate that Colin does not wish to have a short haircut”
“No boy of his age does sir”
“This is the problem, when I was Colin’s age ,if I was sent to have my haircut I did not question it, nor did I expect to have any say in how it was cut “
“Things have changed drastically in the last twenty or so years and not for the better sir ”
“I totally agree with you Mr Fitzgerald, and I don’t think it will do him any harm to have his hair cut short on this occasion, in fact I think it’s just what he needs, its only the last couple of years that he has started having his hair longer and recently it has got to this length “
“I am confident that sir will do be disappointed with what I am about to do”
“Probably best if a give you a free hand Mr Fitzgerald.”
”Very sensible Sir”
Mr Timothy sat down on one of the highly polished wooden chairs
“Right young man, you’re here to have your haircut, you need to stay quiet unless we speak to you, keep your head still for me, and do as I tell you is that clear”
“yes, sir” I replied meekly
He started to cut my hair; Mr Timothy explained to him that there had been a problem in the small town where we lived, in that since the barber had retired and a younger man had taken over, who was much less inclined to give the boys shorter haircuts .He said he felt certain that had Mr Botwright still been cutting my hair it would not have been the length it now was. Mr Fitzgerald said that he knew that this was becoming more of a problem as traditional barbers retired, which was why he was very popular with stricter fathers and the headmaster of the local Grammar School.
I came to the conclusion that this man was a terror, not only did he cut off large amounts of hair in one go, the scissors banged my head and he pulled at my hair.
There were pieces of hair that had fallen on my face which really tickled but a dare not brush them off .He did eventually brush my face, ears and neck all down, but the brush was stiff and it was done roughly.
He then took a set of electric clippers from a hook
“Right boy, let’s see how far you can bend your head down”
“Now sir,”
“Yes boy”
I knew how important it was to get this right so I bent my head down as far as I could
“Just a touch further down for me boy”
So I did as he said
“That will do fine, be sure to keep your head very still, so I will be able to strip down the hair on the back and sides of your head really short “
He started to clip, these clippers felt very uncomfortable and he pressed them hard into my head, I was horrified on how high up my head he was taking them, it went on for what seemed forever. At last I was told to lift my head up, then out came that stiff brush, but at least this time he used some dusting powder.
After that he dressed my hair with some white hair cream and combed my hair precisely into place.
“How’s that sir?”
“That’s one very smart boy; he certainly looks as if he has been to the barbers”
“Jolly good sir “he said as he unfastened the gown
“In fact that is the shortest haircut I have ever seen him have”
“As you said sir just what he needs”

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