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The Greaser Challenge - Chapters 1 & 2 by HairF***er

*Author's Note - this is a very long, multi-chapter story and the haircutting doesn't start until Chapter 5 - so don't blame me if boredom sets in before then as you've been warned... - HF*

The Greaser Challenge - Episode One - First Broadcast from the GoldenState TV studios, 03 October 1958

Chapter 1 - Lights Up!

The studio lights buzzed and flickered to life casting a warm glow over the set of 'The Greaser Challenge', the latest offering from GoldenState TV. The network was famous, perhaps even infamous, for shaking up the staid world of TV game shows, and 'The Greaser Challenge' was going to be no exception.

The audience murmured with anticipation as they awaited the start of the pilot episode, eager to witness the thrilling competition unfold. As the spectators took their seats, their eyes were drawn to the layout of the studio, each area carefully created to accommodate the challenges and activities of the show.

To the right was a set designed to resemble a 1950s college library, complete with towering bookcases filled with leather-bound books and wooden desks adorned with brass lamps.

On the opposite side was a makeshift garage with three red Ford Thunderbirds resting on hydraulic jacks, the front driver wheels up in the air.

In the middle of the studio stood a low platform bathed in an eerie green light. This was the Forfeit Station.

Dressed as a traditional barbershop, at its center were three barber's chair. All facing out towards the audience and upholstered in red leather, the chairs' chrome fittings glinted in the spotlight lights.

A white barber's cape was draped casually over the back of each chair, waiting to be draped around any contestant unfortunate enough to find himself sat in the Forfeit Station.

Behind the three barber's chairs was a long countertop with three white porcelain basins sunk into it. Behind each sink was a tall mirror.

On top of the counter was an assortment of men's grooming accessories: straight razors, scissors, combs in jars of blue barbicide and several sets of Wahl hair clippers. There were bottles of hair oil, pots of brilliantine, tubes of Brylcreem and tins of greasy pomades along with white towels, boxes of bleaching powder, hair dyes and even depilatory creams. 

Strips of white paper were neatly folded and stacked next to a hot wax machine while stood at the end of the counter was another machine that produced hot shaving foam.

The air in the studio was heavy with the scent of musky cologne and hair tonic, adding to the intriguing atmosphere of anticipation and unease. This was the first episode of a new game show and no-one in the audience quite knew what to expect.

A voice boomed over the studio speakers. It was the announcer, setting the stage for the excitement to come.

"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to 'The Greaser Challenge'! Get ready for an electrifying showdown as our contestants vie for the title of ultimate greaser and the chance to win a grand cash prize!"

As the announcer's voice echoed through the studio, the camera panned over to the back of the set where four figures were waiting behind a shimmering curtain to make their entrance.

"First up, we have Luca Barbieri. With his slicked-back pompadour and effortless charm, Luca's got the looks and the style to make waves in tonight's competition!"

Luca flashed a confident smile at the cheering crowd as he made his way onto the stage.

He was 27, a 6ft-tall Italian-American, dressed in a slightly faded black leather jacket and white T-shirt. His blue denim jeans were cuffed at the bottom beneath which were brown leather boots. 

He looked the very embodiment of the stereotypical greaser. Close your eyes and think of a greaser in 1958, and that was Luca.

Luca possessed all the striking features of his Italian ancestry: the tanned complexion; the square jawline covered with a light trace of dark stubble; the thick, straight eyebrows forming two black lines above his almost coal-dark eyes.

He was by any measure a magnificent specimen, blessed with the sort of charismatic good looks that charmed everyone he met.

But Luca's crowning glory was his glorious head of jet-black hair, meticulously sculpted into a classic pompadour. Using handfuls of pomade, the sides had been slicked back and combed up so that the greasy hair crested on top of Luca's head in an obsidian wave. The heavy, long forelock at the front was pulled forward so that it dangled over his forehead to a point just past his eyebrows.

In the blaze of the studio lighting, each grease-soaked strand shimmered with vitality, a living testament to Luca's dedication to his hair, to his self-image and to his greaser identity.

For Luca, his pompadour was more than just a haircut: it was a form of self-expression, a tangible representation of his unwavering allegiance to the greaser community!

With each meticulous visit to the barber, with each application of the oiliest, greasiest pomade, he'd nurtured his pompadour into a magnificent masterpiece, lavishing upon it as much care and attention as any other cherished possession.

He reveled in the tactile slipperiness of his hair beneath his fingertips, of the gorgeous masculine scent of the pomade that hung like a fragrant cloud around his head.

Luca had first coaxed his hair into a pomp a decade earlier, as a 17-year-old when he'd started to explore his greaser identity, and it had been his proud signature look ever since. He was deeply attached to his hairstyle, both literally and figuratively.

As the audience admired the sheer beauty of Luca and his oil-slicked hair, they couldn't help but ask themselves the question: why would this handsome man risk a potentially devastating makeover in one of the Stylist's three chairs?

The answer was simple: Tommy Paul. 

Tommy was Luca's biggest rival in the greaser community and the former beau of Luca's current girl, Lisa. Tommy had never forgiven Luca for taking his place in Lisa's affections and he wanted revenge. 

As news of this innovative TV game show began to filter through the greaser world, Tommy was determined to bait Luca into appearing as a contestant. And it had worked. Luca accepted the challenge, determined to prove himself not only to Tommy but also to Lisa and the rest of the LA greasers.

The stakes couldn't be higher and the potential consequences of losing were dire.

Not only would Luca face the humiliation of defeat in front of his community, his rival, even his girl, but he would also risk the destruction of his meticulously-crafted identity, symbolized by his beloved pompadour!

Failure on the show would be seen as a reflection of inadequacy and weakness. For Luca, losing would mean more than just missing out on the cash prize, it would shatter his reputation, undermine his confidence, and leave him vulnerable to ridicule and scorn from everyone around him. 

Lisa had tried to talk him out of it. She knew the almost totemic role that Luca's haircut played in his life but to no avail. Luca was determined to appear on the show, to win the cash prize and triumph over Tommy Paul.

Lisa was somewhere in the audience, watching, but as Luca glanced towards the three barber's chair at the Forfeit Station, he couldn't help but wonder if he'd made the right decision.

The announcer's voice came through the speakers once again: "Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our second intrepid contestant: Mr Tommy Paul!"

At 28 and over 6ft in height, Luca's great rival cut an impressive figure as he pushed his way through the curtain and onto the set.

Tommy wore a worn brown leather jacket with black patches on the elbows. The slightly-fitted cut of the jacket emphasized what was obviously a very buff physique with Tommy's wide shoulders tapering down to a slim waist. 

Beneath the jacket was a bright blue gingham shirt left unbuttoned at the collar. A pair of faded blue Levis with a red hankerchief stuffed into one of the pockets and some mud-flecked motorbike boots completed Tommy's attire.

As he stepped onto 'The Greaser Challenge' set, the studio lights illuminated his meticulously styled hair, drawing attention to the defining feature of his iconic look: a jelly roll haircut!

Slicked back and combed up at the sides, the saturated hair on top of Tommy's handsome head was artfully curled over to form a thick 'roll', like the trunk of an elephant, held together by a potent combination of grease and oil.

The hair on the back of his head was styled into an immaculate D.A.

The heavily-greased roll hanging low over his forehead bounced slightly with every step Tommy took, like it had a life of its own. Although his hair, like his thick eyebrows, was light brown, the oil made it look several shades darker.

Tommy's light-brown jelly roll contrasted spectacularly with Luca's glossy black pomp. Both haircuts had their similarities, true, but when stood next to each other they looked very different.

Consumed with jealousy ever since Lisa had left him for Luca, Tommy wanted nothing but revenge.

Luca had initially refused to pick up the gauntlet thrown down by Tommy: to prove his greaser credentials by appearing as a contestant on GoldenState's new game show.

Then Luca had challenged him back, agreeing to participate himself but only if Tommy agreed to appear as another contestant.

Tommy had thought about it long and hard. He'd had no intention of appearing on the show. Why would he risk his beautiful haircut or his carefully-curated self-image?

He loved his look, he loved his treasured hair and he loved what it said about him as a person and as a man. The jelly roll was his pride and joy, the product of years of careful styling and barbering.

The thought of putting that beloved hair in the firing line, into the hands of this 'Stylist' guy, who sounded like a total maniac... of having his jelly roll destroyed in front of a live audience! Just the thought of it had sent waves of revulsion through him.

And then he thought of Lisa and Luca, and especially of Luca. This was his opportunity to prove to Lisa that he was the better man, the superior greaser, more deserving of her than Luca ever was!

When Lisa saw Luca defeated, Tommy just knew she'd come running back to him.

Winning 'The Greaser Challenge' would not only elevate Tommy's status within the greaser community but also serve as a personal triumph over Luca, proving once and for all who was the Alpha greaser.

But above all Tommy thought of Luca's glorius black pompadour, the embodiment of his identity as a man and as a greaser.

After Luca had issued his own counter-challenge, Tommy had spent many long, sweaty nights fantasizing about Luca's pompadour, about how much he craved to see it dismantled, degraded and transformed into something grotesque and unrecognizable while all the world watched and laughed.

And so he had accepted Luca's challenge and now the two of them, bitterest rivals, were going to settle their differences in the most public way possible, on national television. 

One thing was utterly inevitable, either Tommy or Luca, maybe even both, were going to leave the studio that night with their prized greaser hair radically transformed.

Chapter 2 - Two More Contestants

The audience barely had time to process the appearance of the two handsome greasers on stage before the announcer was introducing the third of the episode's four contestants.

"Let's all welcome Mr Tyler Goldenhead! With his suave demeanor and effortless charm, Tyler's sure to turn heads and capture hearts tonight!"

Tyler, at 32, exuded an air of urbane sophistication as he stepped onto the set of 'The Greaser Challenge, especially when compared with Luca and Tommy. Tyler didn't even own a pair of jeans, let alone a leather jacket or motorbike boots.

He wore a fitted pair of sand-colored, straight-leg trousers with brown leather shoes and white socks. His crisp, white corporate shirt was pressed to perfection and around his neck was a narrow black tie that hung almost down to his waist.

Undeniably attractive and athletic, with blue eyes and a clean-shaven face, Tyler Goldenhead was impeccably groomed, a consequence of his high-profile role in a well-known firm of accountants. He knew how to take care of himself and how to present himself in the most favorable light.

Tyler's thick blond hair was slicked straight back against his scalp with copious dollops of Brylcreem. It resembled a greasy, golden swimming cap, each strand stuck obediently in place to form a seamless, oily barrier that hugged the contours of his head.

Neatly tapered at the back with high arches around his ears, the hair pressed against his skull like a second skin.

Tyler loved Brylcreem. He loved the slightly acidic, citric smell of Brylcreem. He loved the creamy, greasy texture of Bryclreem. And he loved the feeling of putting Brylcreem into his hair and repeatedly gliding a comb through it, coating every single blond strand from its root to its tip.

It was almost fetishistic.

His oiled haircut was a style he'd been cultivating for the last ten years, even since he'd joined Witter, Witter & Grabb as a junior from college.

Tyler's rigorously slicked-back hair wasn't just a hairstyle. It was a profound reflection of his character: discipline, control, and a relentless pursuit of perfection. The sleek facade of his hair spoke volumes about his commitment to excellence in all aspects of his life.

For Tyler, his hair wasn't only something to style: it was a source of confidence and self-assurance. Like almost nothing else, it made him feel like a man. His slicked-back hair crowning his handsome face was more than just a tonsorial statement or a personal choice: it was a visual manifestation of his values, aspirations, and unwavering determination to succeed.

And he was prepared to put it all on the line in the biggest gamble of his life.

For Tyler, the decision to risk his impeccable appearance on 'The Greaser Challenge' stemmed from a deeply-personal motivation.

Despite his striking good looks, Tyler harbored a secret insecurity that nibbled at the foundation of his confidence. Behind his charismatic facade lay a profound sense of inadequacy, a lingering doubt that he really was more than just a handsome face. 

Despite his outward success, Tyler struggled with feelings of self-doubt. Even though he had attained a senior role at Witter, Witter & Grabb, he felt like an imposter, constantly questioning whether he truly deserved the admiration and rewards he received.

In entering the competition, Tyler saw an opportunity to confront his inner demons head-on and prove to himself, and the world, that he was more than just his good looks.

By risking his male beauty and exposing himself to the possibility of ridicule and humiliation, Tyler hoped to exorcise the doubts that constantly gnawed at him. If he could triumph over this then he could triumph over anything.

Although he wasn't a greaser or a member of the greaser community, Tyler had applied to appear on the show and had been accepted. It seemed that his lavish use of Brylcreem had been enough for him to qualify. And he was determined to win.

It would demonstrate to himself that he was capable, competent, and deserving of success, and the prize would be so much sweeter given the nature of the consequences should he lose.

For Tyler it was all or nothing. Either he would emerge as the victor or he would sit in the barber's chair and watch as his carefully-constructed self-image was stripped away, confirming the loser that lurked underneath.

The announcer cleared his throat: "And last but certainly not least, we have Mr Ryan Monroe. With his classic good looks and irresistible appeal, has Ryan got what it takes to steal the show?"

Ryan stepped onto the set of 'The Greaser Challenge' instantly drawing gasps of admiration from everyone in the studio. At 25 years old and working as a real estate agent around Bel Air and Beverly Glen, he possessed the sort of striking good looks that rivaled those of many Hollywood heart-throbs.

He wore an immaculate, perfectly tailored, dark blue suit, with a white shirt, a narrow, pale pink silk tie, black socks and black, patent leather dress shoes. 

His fitted clothes just emphasized the taut and toned athleticism of his body. With an infectious smile, dark-brown eyes, dark eyebrows and a sort indefinible magnetic charm - Ryan had it all.

His executive contour hairstyle glistened in the spotlights overhead, a masterpiece of precision barbering. With a severe side parting and meticulously styled top, his haircut was evidence of a refined taste in male grooming.

Ryan's dark hair had been slathered in lavender-scented brilliantine before being combed straight back from his hairline to the nape of his neck. Then a parting had been carefully picked out, the hair below the parting slicked back and pressed flat to the side of his head.

The hair above the parting had then been dragged by the comb at a right angle, directly over the top of his dome, forming a combover, where it had been lightly pressed and smoothed onto his scalp with a gentle touch of the palm of his hand.

The hair at the front had then been plucked up by the comb and elevated, moulded backwards slightly, to form a little quiff or bumper.

It would've been a very beautiful haircut on any man. On Ryan it looked outstanding, and he knew it.

As an adornment to his already masculine attractiveness, the slick executive contour could hardly be bettered. It was a perfect combination of the perfect man matched with the perfect hairstyle.

However, beneath that shining helmet of brilliantined hair, there was a thrilling fear of what might happen if his prized haircut was faced with destruction.

To outsiders, Ryan's decision to become a contestant on 'The Greaser Challenge' seemed inexplicable. He had a well-paid job and so the $10,000 prize money wasn't necessarily a motivating factor. But his gloriously greased hair was a defining characteristic.

Why would he want to risk having it removed, and in potentially the most humiliating way?

Like Tyler, although he wasn't a greaser, the grease in his hair was enough to get him the green light of acceptance. But Ryan's decision to throw himself into the high-stakes world of 'The Greaser Challenge' was driven by his insatiable thirst for adrenaline-fueled thrills.

Despite his polished exterior and buttoned-down demeanor, beneath the surface polish, Ryan was an adrenaline junkie, always chasing the next rush and the next adventure.

The prospect of risking his beloved executive contour on national television sent shivers of anticipation down Ryan's spine. The idea of stepping into the unknown, of facing the uncertain outcome of the challenges ahead, set his pulse racing with excitement. 

He craved the adrenaline rush of uncertainty, the exhilaration of pushing himself to the limit and beyond, especially as he knew what the cost of failure would be. The disaster that might await him in one of the Stylist's red leather chairs just made the adrenaline kick even more intense.

The thought of losing his treasured, immaculate haircut, along with his polished and professional image, in front of the television cameras, in full view of his friends, his colleagues, his clients, it sent a surge of the most exquisite fear coursing through his veins.

In Ryan's mind, 'The Greaser Challenge' wasn't just a game show, it was the ultimate adrenaline-fueled adventure. With each passing moment, his excitement only grew. His heart was racing in trepidation

Luca, Tommy, Tyler and Ryan - the first four contestants on the first episode of 'The Greaser Challenge'. Only one could win the $10,000 prize. The other three would face a makeover that they would never forget. 

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