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Mistaken for AWOL by hairvamp
When I was 17 and still in high school we took the ASVAP (Armed Services
Vocational Aptitude Battery) test. At the time I didn't realize what it was
until I started getting lots of calls from military recruiters after taking
it. See I was a geek in high school and normally did quite well on tests
like that. Needless to say they really wanted me to join.
It got to the point where the Army recruiter was calling way too often. I
finally asked him what it would take to get him to quit calling me. He said
meet with him. So I finally setup a meeting with him. At the meeting he
tried to convince me to join the Army. I wasn't interested and finally
after a couple of hours he was done. When leaving he had me sign a piece of
paper for his superiors acknowledging that we had met.
Fast forward ten years. I'm a successful software engineer. Since high school
I have grown out my hair. It now cascades down to the middle of my back, is
all one length, is extremely healthy, and quite frankly I love my long hair.
Coming back from a vacation with my girlfriend we had landed at Miami
International Airport. We had been outside the country and I was going
through customs. It was taking longer than normal for the agent to look over
my passport and look up my information. After a while the agent finally put
an X on my forms and asked me to stand to the side. I thought it was going to
be a routine search. After a couple of minutes I learned that there was
nothing routine about what was happening when Homeland Security told me that
I was going to be held in custody.
The official told me that it appears I've deserted the Army. I wasn't sure
what he was talking about and thought it was a big joke or a mix-up. Within
an hour of arriving I was taken to a nearby county jail and held for about an
hour. I was then given documents including a military flight voucher and told
to fly to Fort Knox military base in Kentucky. I was to report to Fort
Knox's Personnel Control Facility (PCF).
They took me to the airport and dropped me off. All I had with me were the
clothes that I was wearing. I was wearing a pair of my Levi jeans, an anvil
ringer t-shirt that was gray with black trim and had the greek letters
"Alpha Phi" in maroon with a white background on it, a pair of my girlfriends
black and white Nike tempo shorts and her maroon Charles River sorority anorak
with the same maroon and white letters of the t-shirt on the back and her name
"Stephanie" embroidered on the left chest. I had a lot of my clothes stolen
on the trip so I hadn't had a choice but to borrow some of hers. The shorts
were a medium and a bit small but still fit, and they were a much better
option than a pair of her panties.
I contemplated just going home from here but figured I better get the
situation sorted out before I got in real trouble. The flight from Miami
to Louisville was uneventful. Then I took a cab to Ft. Knox. At the gate
I was met by an MP who escorted me to the PCF. They had me fill out a bunch
of paperwork and took most of my belongings except for my clothes.
This was a Wednesday. I was told that they only do haircuts on Tuesday's and
I could not be issued or wear Army clothing until I got my haircut. This was
the reason I was allowed to keep the clothes I had on. However of more
importance was the word haircut that seriously got my attention, there was
no way that was something I was going to do no matter what they said. It
was a shock to me that they even mentioned it, as I wasn't even in the Army.
I told them this and they said they would look into it. Since I had almost
a week for them to get everything sorted out I left it at that.
The week went by rather quickly. I was teased some for having my girlfriends
clothes, but most people understood my predicament. Tuesday rolled around with
great apprehension for me as the issue of the haircut had still not be
resolved and I was scheduled to visit the barbershop at 10am. I got up early
that morning as my nerves wouldn't let me sleep. I showered and enjoyed
washing and styling my hair. Little did I know it would be the last time for a
very long time that I would be able to or need to do this. At 10am I proceeded
nervously down to the barbershop. There appeared to be no one around, I was
beginning to hope that maybe they forgot or got the situation resolved and I
was no longer scheduled for a haircut. I apprehensively went inside. As there
were no other chairs other than 3 barber chairs I walked over to one of them.
I sat down in the barber chair just to get some more time to figure out what
my course of action was going to be. I figured I still had some time to get
out of this predicament and keep my hair and was still thinking I might avoid
the whole thing altogether. As soon as I sat down the butterflys gathered in
my stomach. It was hard to concentrate. I sat there for what seemed like an
eternity trying to come up with a plan, but in reality was only a couple of
minutes. A barberette finally came up behind me. I could see her in the
mirror. She was attractive and definitely not in the military. Her hair was
all one length, dark brown and hung well past her bra strap in the back. She
had on a tight pair of black jeans, a light heather gray form fitting
turtleneck and a pair of black boots. Over the top she had on a maroon nylon
I had showered daily in the last week but was still wearing the same clothes
that I had on when I was initially detained. I had been wearing my
girlfriend's jacket most of the time as it had been too cold for just a
t-shirt. I still had it on when I sat in the barber chair. I didn't have
the zipper on the anorak zipped fully up, only about half way and had the
top sides of the zipper folded over. The hood laid fairly flat against my
back but it did allow some of my hair to rest inside the hood.
Upon initially coming up behind me the barberette ran her fingers from the
front of my head back through my hair along the scalp. This sent chills down
my spine. She then placed her hands on my shoulders and smiled at me in the
mirror that I was turned toward. She looked me in the eyes and said: "Don't
worry you will look much better without all of this hair." My hopes of them
forgetting or working out their error were crushed.
She grabbed a maroon soft taffeta nylon cape that was lying across the
back of the chair next to the one I was sitting in. She opened the cape
up and brought it around in front of me and gently glided it down to rest
on my lap and across my shoulders. I saw her reaching to the side for
something. For a moment I was in heaven touching that soft cape. In the
next moment she was placing a white strip of tissue paper around my neck.
She gathered up my hair in back and twisted it a little bit and then draping
it over my right shoulder to get it out of the way placing the loosely twisted
ponytail on the outside of the cape. She then grabbed the cape and brought
it up tight to my neck and proceeded to snap it closed. I heard one snap
then another and another. She had closed 3 snaps on it instead of just
one. I was now aware of the tightness around my neck and felt trapped.
I was running out of time to come up with a plan. I finally spoke up and
asked if we could just skip the haircut as I was never in the military and
this whole thing is just a big misunderstanding. She turned to look at me
in the mirror again and smiled. She then said that there might be a way
to avoid this, but that she wasn't sure what it would be. She added, "Since
you are here now and I have been instructed that you are suppose to get a
training haircut you might as well sit back and enjoy it." Plus, she added,
"I really don't like long hair on men."
At this point my fear took over. I jumped up out of the barber chair. I
grabbed the cape and tried to pull it off. It was on very securely with the
three snaps, I had to reach around behind my neck and unsnap them. I then
pulled the cape off and dropped it to the floor, when doing this the tissue
strip also fell to the floor. I started going for the door saying there is
no way you are cutting my hair.
I made it about 20 feet outside of the barbershop before two MPs grabbed
me. This was unusual for the PCF as I had been free to move around anywhere
I wanted to all week. I guess they must have anticipated my unwillingness
to get a haircut and changed their normal procedure. One grabbed each arm
and escorted me back to the barbershop. The barberette didn't look as jovial
this time around. She had a scorn on her face when she looked at me.
She looked at me and said, "I can't believe you are going to be that big of
a baby." The MPs walked me back over to the barber chair and pushed me
back into it. They then asked if she needed them to stick around. She
said yes and they went over and stood by the door. My only escape route
was now cut off. My heart sank. I started pleading with her to please not
cut my hair off. She once again ran her fingers through my hair from
forehead down to the ends of my hair. She did this one more time roughly
grabbing approximate equal parts of hair and placing about one half over
each shoulder so you could see the length in the mirror. A little bit of
the long hair was left hanging in the back as it was caught in the hood
of the anorak I still wore.
This time she wasted no time with pleasantries or mundane things like
capes. This time she reached forward at the counter under the mirror and
grabbed the biggest set of clippers that I had ever seen. She looked at me
and said with an evil smirk, "let me introduce you to Mr. Oster Classic 76."
At this point I'm sure she could just smell the fear emanating from me.
I was petrified and didn't know what to do. Within seconds of her comment
I heard a click and a loud buzzing sound that reminded me of a bunch of
angry bees, to her they probably sounded like happy bees.
As the sound grew louder I looked up at the mirror and saw the barberette
standing just to my right side clippers raised above my head. She was
slowly moving the clippers toward the center of my forehead. I knew she was
enjoying every moment of it, while I was hating every moment. All of a sudden
the buzzing sound changed, it got deeper and varied in tone and frequency
some. This was the moment that the clippers had reached the front of my
hairline. As she moved, more like mowed, the clippers back through the center
of my head, white scalp began to appear where my long hair had once been.
In horror I watched in the mirror as eighteen inch long strands of hair began
to fall to my lap. Some of the strands fell across my arms and hands that
were in my lap, others got caught in the zipper of the anorak and just hung
there. The feeling of hair on my hands was unreal to me and seemed like
something out of a dream.
I was quickly brought back to reality as clippers reached the top of my
crown and she lifted them up and moved them back forward in preparation for
another pass. As she did this she made sure to dump any hair caught in the
clippers on my lap. She proceeded as slowly as she could with the shearing,
making me take in every moment of my extreme, unwanted transformation. Passes
two and three with the clippers went about the same as the first, except that
the second pass was to the right of the first and the third pass was to the
left of the first. This left me with what looked like male pattern baldness,
so much so at that moment she said smiling: "How about we leave it like this,
it makes you look older and wiser." I was so upset I just sat there in silence
holding back tears, although one did escape and dripped down the right side
of my nose to my mouth. Luckily she didn't see it as I know I would have
gotten no sympathy and probably would have been mocked.
I had moved my arms to the armrest of the barber chair to avoid touching the
masses of hair that were now falling into my lap. I started wishing that I
had never tried to run as I'd still be wearing the cape and the torment of
all this hair would not be present on my lap, but instead would be littering
the floor. I became aware of the cape lying crumbled on the floor between
the chair I was sitting in and the door.
As she proceeded she moved the clippers over to my right side near my ear.
She gently pushed my ear forward as she ran the clippers behind it. She slowed
her pace down even more around my ear to maximize my torment. This sound was
almost too much to take and I almost started balling. The cut hair from here
slid down my jacket onto my arm. I sat there staring at the limp stands that
were long enough to hang across my arms with the cut end hanging on one side
and what was the bottom on the other.
She saw the look on my face and said "be a man". I couldn't believe the
whiteness of my scalp. As she was moving to my left side she took her hand and
rubbed it across the bald area of my scalp. This sent unwelcome chills down
my spine. She proceeded to run the clippers over my left ear, repeating
the procedure from the right by folding my ear gently over. Again she moved
incredibly slow in this process making sure the clippers stayed by my ear for
as long as possible. This left a strip of hair between my ear and the top of
my head which felt incredibly weird on my ear. Even with as slow as she was
moving this feeling didn't last long as she ran the clippers over this area
as well. Now the left side of my head was bald too. Looking at myself in the
mirror I looked like I had a really bad mullet. The only long hair that I had
left was from the top of my crown down to my neck. I couldn't believe how
fast that top of my head had been shorn even with her deliberatly slow
She momentarily took a break to admire her handiwork. I was frozen and didn't
want to move because every time I did I ended up touching some of my cut hair
and that just made me all the more despondent. She looked at me in the
mirror and asked "Do you like mullets?". I was too shocked to respond and
she really wasn't asking a question anyway, she was just having fun at my
expense. She got ready to resume her work. I was staring straight ahead
in the mirror when she took her hand and pushed the back of my head forward.
At first my whole body leaned forward, then she said "head down, chin in your
chest". At this point in the haircut I just complied as I looked ridiculous
and stopping wasn't going to make me feel any better. From this view I could
see all the hair on my lap and on the floor around the barber chair. I
couldn't believe how much hair there was lying there limp. I also couldn't
believe that all that hair moments ago was attached to my head, I never
thought I would be forced to cut my hair like this.
She took the clippers and mowed them up the middle of the back of my head.
More hair slid down my jacket and toward my lap, but there was so much there
now some of it continued onto the floor. I couldn't take seeing anymore of
my beloved hair fall to the floor, so I grabbed at the strands as they slid
down. I really didn't want to touch my hair like this but the thought of it
on the floor was even worse. I felt the clippers move up to my crown of my
head and then separate from my head. She then made another slow pass over
the same area she had just cut, just so I had to feel the clippers on my neck
for longer than actually necessary. Even with her slow speed within moments
I felt them contact my head again to the right of where they just had been.
More hair was sliding into my lap, and a big chunk caught itself in the
center of my chest on the anorak zipper and was now tickling the bottom of
I lifted up my hands with some of the hair I had grabbed. I looked at the
length and was mesmerized. She meticulously continued her work, making sure
to make each pass twice. The result of her efforts was that I was completely
bald in a matter minutes, even though it felt like an eternity.
When she finished to add insult to injury she turned the clippers off and
set them on the counter in front of me. I was glad to not hear that sound
anymore. While I sat they completely dumbfounded and in shock she picked
up the rest of the long hair off of the floor that hadn't made it onto my
lap and placed it into the hood of my anorak. She did the same with any hair
that was still sitting on my shoulders or arms. She exclaimed "there you go,
I know you really wanted to keep all of your hair." She then made me gather
up any hair on my lap or hair that was caught in the anorak zipper and place
it into the front pouch pocket of my jacket, saying "I wouldn't want you
to lose any."
I was now suppose to have a uniform issued but instead I walked back to my room
dejected and covered in a lot of little wisps of hair and some long strands.
I was no longer concerned about anything else that might happen to me.