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The Greaser Challenge - Chapter 7 & 8 by HairF***er

Chapter 7 - Another Contestant Loses

The three remaining contestants were guided away from their podiums in the 'College Library' and towards the opposite side of the studio where a set had been created that looked like a mechanic's garage.

"You're gonna look so sweet with a little pink horn," Tommy whispered to Luca as they walked. "Or maybe two...one on each side."

Luca recoiled at the thought of it. He tried to imagine what it would've felt like, to sit there and endure the haircut that Tyler had endured, to have his proud pompadour reduced to... that, that...monstrosity. It would've been almost sacrilegious.

He glanced across at Tommy's light-brown jelly roll. As a fellow greaser, he couldn't help but admire the quality of the haircut itself, the barbering, the skilled styling that went into creating the coil of oily hair that hung over Tommy's forehead.

It would bring him no pleasure at all to see such a magnificent haircut get ruined. He knew what Tommy's hair meant to him, both as a man and as a greaser, but Luca also knew that Tommy would happily bring destruction down upon his own slick head if he had the chance.

Luca had never wanted this feud. Maybe Tommy having his hair degraded in such a public and humiliating way was exactly what he needed before he'd bring this fight to a close.

He looked out into the audience to see if he could find Lisa. He knew she was sat there somewhere, watching every moment. They both needed this rivalry with Tommy to end tonight, one way or another. Luca just hoped he was the one who emerged victorious.

Dominating the garage set were the three identical Ford Thunderbirds, their deep red paintwork and bulging chrome bumpers reflecting brilliantly in the studio lights.

The wheel on the passenger's side of each car was elevated by a hydraulic jack, allowing the tire to rotate freely. Lying on the floor next to each car was a spare wheel.

Each of the three contestants went to stand next to one of the cars as the announcer explained the challenge.

"We're about to witness a showdown like no other as Ryan, Luca, and Tommy put their handsome hair on the line again to go head-to-head in a race against the clock!

"Each contestant will be tasked with changing a tire. And they've got to do it fast! The clock is ticking and time is of the essence.

"Our contestants will need to channel all their mechanical prowess and raw determination to loosen those tight nuts and swap out that tire with lightning speed. Every second counts as they strive to avoid the ultimate forfeit!

"The last contestant to successfully change their tire out faces certain haircut oblivion in the second of the Stylist's chairs!

"It's a race against time, it's a battle of wits and brawn, and it's all happening on 'The Greaser Challenge'!"

As the contestants squatted down and picked up their nut wrench, the klaxon announced the start of the challenge.

There wasn't even any competition, and Ryan had known it from the moment he'd seen the nature of the challenge.

He'd looked across at Luca and Tommy, at their leather jackets and boots, the rebellious greased hair piled up on top of their heads, and contrasted them with his own perfectly tailored appearance.

His job was in real estate, showing wealthy clients around cavernous mansions in Beverly Glen and Bel Air. He'd tried his best, obviously, and enjoyed every second of the thrill of competing, but he couldn't remember if he'd ever changed a tire before, let alone against the clock and in front of a studio audience.

From the moment the klaxon sounded and the challenge began, he'd known beyond doubt that his handsome hairstyle was doomed.

Every two weeks for the past six years he'd religiously visited Gino's 'Greased Lightning' salon on Laurel Avenue. It was Gino who'd first barbered his dark-brown locks into his trademark executive contour and it was Gino who had first doused his head in Linetti brilliantine.

As a 19-year-old, having the fragrant oil massaged into his hair had felt like a rite of passage into manhood. It was something he'd never forgotten. 

He loved the way the oil-soaked hair looked, the way it shone in the sun, almost like patent leather. He loved the feeling of the hair slicked tight to his head, every strand ruthlessly oiled into place, his white, untanned scalp visible at the side parting.

Hardly a day had passed in the intervening years when Ryan hadn't styled his executive contour with brilliantine and admired the crowning effect it had on his physical beauty. His haircut, and its almost endless maintenance, fulfilled him in ways he couldn't even articulate.

The klaxon sounded again to signal the end of the challenge. Luca and Tommy had both finished and Ryan's spare wheel was still lying untouched on the floor.

Ryan stood next to his car and watched as the Stylist approached holding the leather collar and leash.

Even as the surge of adrenaline from the challenge was fading from his blood he could feel another wave starting to build. He'd seen Tyler being led away to the Forfeit Station with the collar around his neck, and now it was going to be his turn to endure the same treatment.

He glanced towards the audience and at the bulky television cameras. In front of all these people, on television, he was going to be led like an animal to have his hair mercilessly butchered.

It was going to be a public spectacle in which his handsome, brilliantine'd haircut would have the starring role. His mind was repulsed at the thought of it even as the adrenaline flooded through him once again.

Just two months earlier he'd parachuted at Lake Elisnore near Sedco Hills, south-east of the city. Waiting for the Stylist to cross the studio with that collar and leash, Ryan experienced the same emotions he'd had in the little plane just prior to jumping out through the door: an overwhelming combination of terror, exhilaration and inevitability.

Suddenly the Stylist was standing next him, buckling the collar around his neck, his fingers lighlty brushing against Ryan's Adam's apple. Ryan shuddered with anticipation and another emotion that was harder to recognize. He felt a deep, indescribable thrill start to build within him.

He could only imagine how incongruous the leather collar looked resting atop the pressed white shirt with its pink, silk tie and the fitted, blue suit jacket.

"Haircut time, Mr. Monroe!" announced the Stylist jovially, taking in every detail of Ryan's perfectly-sculpted executive contour. He leaned forward and inhaled deeply.


Ryan could only nod, his mouth dry.

Much to Ryan's surprise, the Stylist didn't attach the leash to the collar, as he'd done with Tyler. Instead, he reached forward and slowly pulled Ryan's pink silk tie out of his suit jacket.

"This will do just as well," the Stylist murmured, almost to himself.

Using the tie as an alternative to the leash, Ryan was then half-dragged, half-led, across the studio floor to the Forfeit Station and the second of the two barber's chairs.

As they approached, Ryan got his first good view of Tyler's pink unicorn horn. It looked even worse up-close than it had from across the other side of the studio, the pink strands rising absolutely vertically from the very center of Tyler's hairless scalp.

Tyler just sat staring straight ahead, his expression one of abject misery and embarrassment.

Ryan could scarcely believe what had happened to this guy's hair, and he'd just sat there and allowed it to be done to him! There was almost nothing left of the Brylcreem'd slick-back. It had been obliterated!

Ryan was suddenly overcome with an inexplicable compulsion to reach out and touch Tyler's greased, pink horn, just to see what it felt like, to feel the hardened hair beneath his fingers. But then they were at the second barber's chair and the moment had passed.

The Stylist pushed Ryan down into the chair and released his firm grip on the tie.

As he surveyed Tyler's ludicrous new hairdo, as appalled as he was fascinated, Ryan couldn't help but wonder what the Stylist had planned for his own transformation.

Chapter 8 - Violation

Ryan was sat in the second of the barber's chair, facing out towards the eager crowd of spectators. He expected the Stylist to drape a barber's cape over him, as he had with Tyler. Instead, the Stylist just removed the leather collar from around his neck and replaced it on the counter.

The Stylist then selected the Wahl hair clippers from the counter and ceremoniously showed them to Ryan.

With no guard and just the sharp, bare blades, the clippers would reduce any brilliantine'd hair to little more than the shortest stubble.

The Stylist turned the clippers on, the hum of the powerful motor filling the studio as the audience watched in hushed expectation.

Ryan looked at the clipper blades, and his heart began to race with that old familiar feeling of fear and excitement which he loved and hated so much. He felt his scalp start to prickle, his oiled hair suddenly uncomfortably warm under the bright lights.

A bead of lavender-scented sweat trickled from out of his artfully-barbered taper and rolled down his neck where it soaked into the collar of his pristine white shirt.

A minute passed, then another, and the Stylist neither spoke nor moved. 

Ryan wondered what it would feel like, to have the clippers roaming freely, wildly, over his head, shaving him bald, turning his lush hair into a field of dark-brown stubble, his pale dome fully exposed to view.

Suddenly, to the surprise of both Ryan and the audience, the Stylist placed the Wahl clippers directly in the center of Ryan's forehead, about an inch above his eyebrows, the buzzing teeth only an inch away from his hairline!

Ryan sat there, frozen.

The sound of Ryan's heart pounding in his chest sounded so loud in his ears he thought the audience must've been able to hear it. He looked out into the crowd of faces, all eyes focused entirely on his handsome face, on his exquisite haircut, on those buzzing clippers.

Is this really where his addiction to thrill-seeking had led him? Being sat in a barber's chair on television with his gorgeous slick hair literally an inch away from irretrievable destruction?

And then suddenly he knew. He knew what the Stylist wanted. He knew the Stylist himself had no intention of cropping a single hair on Ryan's head.

No, the Stylist had something very different in mind.

Ryan had wanted to be on the show, wanted to take part in the challenges before a crowd of strangers. He'd wanted to walk the tightrope between triumph and disaster, knowing that one false step and he'd be kissing goodbye to his treasured hair.

It had been a calculated risk designed to produce the maximum thrill, or so he'd thought.

But now he was being presented with something else, a taboo and forbidden excitement. The ultimate adrenaline rush: the thrill of annihilating his own beautiful haircut himself.

He felt the weight of the audience's expectations, and still there was no sound except for the endless hum of the clippers.

He licked his dry lips. He couldn't do it. He just couldn't. It would be a grotesque act of self-sabotage, to vandalize his own handsome image on a TV game show. It would be almost obscene.

Yet the adrenaline now coursing through every part of his body was demanding another response entirely. Ryan could feel it irresistibly dragging him along. It was almost like his body was no longer under his control.

And he groaned as he felt himself, almost involuntarily, move his head forward, just a little, bringing that oiled and slicked hairline closer to the clippers even as the Stylist held them still.

Ryan's hair wasn't just hair, and his haircut wasn't just a haircut. It was his identity as a young man in 1958. It was his self-esteem. It was an integral part of his physical attractiveness and of his profession.

He battled with his own adrenaline-fueled impulses even as they demanded his surrender.

He imagined the clippers eating into his hair like a hot knife melting through butter and he was overcome with a visceral, perverted thrill unlike anything he'd ever experienced before.

Ryan groaned as he moved his head for a second time, bringing the blades so close to the front of his glorious hair that they were almost touching.

If he could just stop now. Just stand up and walk away from the studio. He could preserve his hair, his dignity, his male beauty.

His chest rose and fell with the rapidity of his breathing as he thought of his colleagues and his clients, of his life as a professional man.

He thought about his hair happily growing on his head, oblivious to its potentially imminent demise.

He resisted the urge to submit to this most unconventional, transgressive of desires with his entire conscious mind.

But it wasn't enough.

He moved his head forward, just a fraction of an inch, and groaned again, a deep, animalistic moan, as he heard the tone of the clippers change at the very moment when the teeth first made contact with the thick strands of hair, saturated in Linetti lavender-scented brilliantine, that so vigorously sprouted from his hairline.

He heard the audience gasp in a mixture of astonishment and disbelief as they realized what was happening - that he was doing it, he was actually choosing to decimate his own magnificent haircut on television.

He brought his head forward again, a fraction of an inch, and then again, the pitch of the motor dropping significantly as more of the hair was ruthlessly culled.

The sharp metal teeth bit into his beloved hair and removed it almost at the root as the Stylist continued to hold the clippers pressed tightly against his scalp.

Ryan pushed his head forward, then again and again, and now the audience were actually applauding and even cheering as he knowingly, and in full view of the world, destroyed his follicular pride and joy. 

He could hear the motor start to labor as the teeth struggled to chew through the thick, dense oily locks. He clutched the armrests of the chair with such intensity he thought his fingers would break, his knuckles white.

He groaned again, and now not just with dismay but with actual pleasure and an intense arousal as he tipped his head towards his lap, his eyes squeezed tightly shut.

As he pushed his head further forward, the cropped harvest of oiled hair curled up in front of the clipper blades like a shiny, dark-brown oily wave. 

And then the clippers were on the top of his head, inches deep into his hair. 

Ryan had lost almost all sense of himself in the fervor of destruction. It was much too late to turn back, and he was fully committed to seeing this appalling, exhilarating act to its conclusion.

By now his handsome face was almost looking down into his lap. And then, with a final gasping, shuddering moan, Ryan tipped his head all the way down, arching his body forward in the chair and sending the hair clippers straight over the oily crown and down the back of his skull to the nape of his nape.

It was over.

Ryan's pulse gradually slowed, the cheers and applause of the audience fading into a quiet chatter as the spectators excitedly discussed what they'd just witnessed.

He was still breathing deeply, almost panting with the sheer excitement of what had just happened. He could feel his armpits were soaked in sweat, the back of his shirt, his crotch.

He slowly lifted up his head to stare unseeing into the faces of the spectators, witnesses to his self-degradation.

And then suddenly, before Ryan had time to collect his thoughts, or even reflect on the enormity of what he'd just done to himself, the Stylist dramatically turned the chair to face the mirror.

"Behold!" announced the Stylist, in a loud and ringing voice. "The Reverse Mohawk!".

Ryan looked.

It was almost like he'd violated himself. There was no other word for it.

His blue suit was the same, yes, and the shirt and the pink silk tie, and his handsome face too, but now crowning his head was a travesty of his once-perfect hair.

The executive contour, still adorned with copious amounts of brilliantine, was almost completely intact. The slick sides were as immaculate as ever, as was most of the bumper that rose up from Ryan's hairline. 

But now the entire haircut was bisected by a two-inch wide bald strip that ran in a perfect line from the very middle of his forehead, through the dense dark-brown hair and over his scalp before finishing at his neck.

It looked utterly bizarre: the helmet of dark hair, still with the comb lines visible from where Ryan had last styled it, but now with a very obvious path of bare, white bald skin running through the center.

It would've looked outlandish for any era but on that Friday night in October 1958, under the hot lights of the TV studio, it was absurd.

The audience had clapped and laughed as they watched him do it, caught up in the spectacle. But now a sense almost of embarrassment filled the studio as the crowd saw the extent of Ryan's self-sabotage.

Ryan felt himself rapidly deflating as he surveyed the magnitude of the damage. His haircut irreversibly ruined.

He knew that the only option in the short-term would be total baldness and then the awkwardness of growing it out over the course of many long months. And for what? A few seconds of intense pleasure and excitement?

One slightly trembling hand rose and gently touched the shaved strip at his hairline. It felt rough, like fine sandpaper, the naked white skin speckled with tiny dots of dark hair.

He tilted his head down so he could see the bald strip disappearing over the top of his head and down the back. His remaining hair still shone in the lights, almost mocking him.

Ryan had defaced his own good looks for a short-lived thrill.

The Stylist laughed to himself. After all, it wasn't every day that one of his clients could be so easily induced into wrecking his own hair, and such beautiful hair too. 

He looked down at the studio floor and saw the single thick, fat curl of oiled hair that had tumbled off the back of Ryan's head. He casually kicked it with the toe of his shoe. He might retrieve it later, he thought, as a souvenir.

Then, turning the chair so Ryan was once more facing the audience, the Stylist straightened Ryan's pink tie and patted him on the shoulder.

Now there were just two contestants left: Luca and Tommy. One of the two greasers would soon be joining Tyler and Ryan at the Forfeit Station for the third and final makeover of the night.

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