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Sean Gets Shorn by Manny

Chapter 1 -- Gary enlists an amateur barber

Gary watched the activity on the other side of the street with interest as the contents of the U-Haul truck were unloaded by two young men. One fellow, in particular, caught his attention, as longhairs usually did. But it wasn't just the length or fullness of the shimmering mane which delighted Gary, it was his favorite color too: ginger! Not a dark auburn with a bit of a reddish tint -- no, the fellow's hair was bright orange, the color of a mature carrot. As the two struggled to offload a sofa, Gary watched the shoulder-length ginger locks dance about the fellow's face, flopping in front of his big green eyes. He obviously had a lot of experience at instinctively flicking his head a bit to send the flowing mane back behind his broad shoulders. Gary imagined the fellow caped and sitting in a barbershop -- the lovely red hair resting on a snowy white cape while the crotchety geezer barber reached for the clippers. Hmmm.....what would look best on him? An aggressive taper? A crewcut? A flattop?! No -- with carrot-top, he'd go all the way! A tight, tight butch! Yep -- buzzed down to zero all over! Oh, how the handsome carrot-top would slink out of the chair, looking shorn and feeling vulnerable without his precious security blanket! Yes, perhaps it was time to meet the new neighbors...take them some cold cokes.

As he walked towards the two carrying a couple of soft drinks, Gary called out, "Which of you is my new neighbor? Both? Or perhaps neither?"

Carrot-top smiled and introduced himself, "I am -- Sean McGinty is the name. Clyde here is just helping out for the day."

Gary quickly checked out Clyde's carefully styled business cut before introducing himself. "I'm Gary," he said, extending the cokes, "I thought you might need some cold refreshment."

Sean thanked the elderly neighbor and promised to take him up on his offer to drop by if he needed anything -- either during the move or afterwards.

A few days later, Gary was watching TV when he heard a voice calling from the outside. "Gary? Are you at home? I was wondering if you had a bucket I could borrow?"

Gary hollered back, "Come on in, the door is open." As Sean entered the room, Gary got a delightful serving of his own particular eye candy. The red locks were glimmering with sheen and quite bouncy, like they'd just been washed and blow-dried. "I hope you don't mind getting the bucket yourself -- it's in the closet in the kitchen. Age is creeping up on my and I'm not is mobile as I'd like," said Gary apologetically. The full truth was that Gary relished the chance to get an up-close look at the red locks from behind.

"I'll only need it for a half hour or so; I'll bring it right back. Got 'bucket' on my shopping list too," said Sean. "And, by the way, if there's anything you need at the store or I can do for you, please let me know. You've been so neighborly!"

Gary, of course, had something in mind....and he knew he would get it if he played his cards right!

By the time Sean returned the bucket, Gary's plan was in place. He was still in the living room watching TV, but he had placed something on a shelf in the kitchen which would be used to test the waters regarding Sean's attachment his lovely ginger-colored hair -- a home barbering kit!

"Thanks for lending me the bucket," Sean said as he re-entered Gary's living room. "Should I leave it here or put it back in the closet?"

"Actually, if you could return it, that would be great. And, if you don't mind me asking you for a favor....it'll only take a few minutes," began Gary.

"Sure, whatever!" replied Sean.

"My haircut is grown out and I've developed a kink in my shoulder that's been keeping me from keeping it clipped down nice and tight. I normally cut my own hair -- an easy butch cut. Would you mind terribly tidying me up? There's a barbering kit in the same closet where you got the bucket -- on the middle shelf."

Sean seemed a bit taken aback, but still warm and cheerful, "Never given anyone a haircut before....but if you trust me, I'm willing to give it the old college try!"

By the time Sean came back into the living room with the kit, Gary was seated in a dining room chair. "I really appreciate this. It's quite simple -- you plug in the machine over there while I attach the #2 guard. This will take me down to a crisp quarter inch length! Oh, and the cape.....just drape it around my neck and fasten the snaps at the collar. You've been in a barbershop before, I take it...."

Sean chuckled nervously, "Oh, when I was a boy.....but it's been years. Let me see if I can get the hang of this cape. Oh, there! I think that's it. Now, any special instructions about your haircut."

"Nope, just clip me down to a single length all over -- why not buzz the top down first...it'll be easier, and then tidy up the sides and back. That's the way I normally cut my own hair," explained Gary.

Sean carefully switched on the machine, "Oh! this vibration feels funny." Then he brought the clippers to Gary's head and began clipping off about a half inch of overgrowth. "I think I'm doing this right!" he said with a bit of nervousness.

The haircut proceeded in silence as Sean really started getting into his role as amateur barber, "It's coming on nicely....love the feel of this clipped pelt, Gary. What did you call this haircut?"

"I call it a classic butch. Others use terms like baldy or burr or buzzcut or even crewcut. But, butch suits me. Have you ever had a butch, Sean?"

"Heavens, no!" the lad exclaimed. "I'm quite into long hair, as you've probably noticed. Have been so since I was just a tyke."

"It's so lovely, and the color! Guys with ginger hair are quite, uh....you know, uh," Gary stammered.

"Quite what?" Sean asked perplexed. Gary detected a tinge of irritation in his question.

"Uh, quite unique. They really stand out," said Gary ambiguously. "That fellow who was helping you unload....."

"Just a friend," Sean snapped. He got the implication, and he hated the assumption that lads with ginger hair batted for the opposite team.

The rest of the haircut continued in silence until Sean switched off the machine. "There, a nice tidy butch! It's a great cut for you," he said, recapturing his warm, friendly persona.

"A million thanks," said Gary, feeling his shorn pate. "From what I can tell without a mirror, you've done great."

Sean took off the cape. "Go look for yourself. I enjoyed playing barber....so, if you approve and need my services in the future, please feel free to ask again! It really took almost no time at all...unlike my visits to the salon that can stretch to two hours or so, including the wait for my particular stylist."

"I'm sure it's fine," Gary said quickly, as he stood from the chair. Then he took Sean's arm and pulled him a bit closer. "I hope you're not upset about my comment. I didn't mean anything...."

Sean's face softened. "I'm the one who should apologize. I guess I'm just a little sensitive about that issue. With my long ginger hair, people make assumptions...." and after a pause, he added, "and I can understand why they do. Gotta run now, neighbor!" Then he quickly scurried out of Gary's house.


Chapter 2 - Gary hooks Sean on home haircuts

The next few interactions between Gary and Sean were brief -- some non-verbal....a wave, a nod or smile. Some bit of a chat as they crossed paths going to the mailbox. Gary continued his fantasy of imaging haircuts for Sean...but this time with himself as the barber administering tight butch cuts on the reluctant lad!

About two weeks after Sean moved in, Gary was able to advance his agenda forward. And, suprisingly, Sean was the initiater!

Gary was in his yard, tending to the big cluster of daffodils near the mailbox on his knees when Sean walked up and cheerfully greeted him After a bit of chit chat, Sean unexpectedly ran his hand over Gary's pelt and declared, "Seems like you're due for another haircut! You're getting shaggy again, Gary. How about I cape you up after you're finished out here and fire up the clippers? I need to get a few more haircuts under my belt to qualify as an expert amateur."

"So, you liked playing barber, eh, Sean?" laughed Gary with a twinkle in his eye. "You know, I have a nice barber's tunic that matches the cape which would fit you. I used to use it before this beer belly got in the way!"

"Cool!" remarked Sean.

"But, I'm afraid my hair is still very short. It's hardly grown at all since that nice butch you gave me. What about your friend that helped you unpack the truck? Want to invite him over and see what kind of a haircut we could give him?" asked Gary.

"Oh, Clyde? He'd never go for that -- he's quite aware of image and as an up-and-coming executive wouldn't go for a home haircut -- particularly from someone like me with no experience! Imagine him ending up with a butch like yours!" laughed Sean.

"Yes, I can see that. He did have a very nicely groomed business cut, albeit a little on the long side for someone who's interested in climbing the corporate ladder," noted Gary. "I'll tell you what, though -- I'll take you up on your offer. I was just thinking with this heat, I might take the butch down tighter -- to an eighth of an inch. You can use a smaller guard. How about it?" asked Gary.

"Really! Cut it even shorter?" Sean asked.

"Yep, you'll see -- it'll leave it like stubble -- a rough sandpaper. I was just finishing up here. Let's go in now, Sean," invited Gary.

"Awesome! You're a real sport, Gary, doing this to humor me. Actually, I just wanted to spend some time with you and get to know you better," the lad noted. "If you prefer, we can just knock down a few beers and leave the haircut for when you really need one."

"Nope, you got me itching to go shorter, Sean. I like to get a brutal butch from time to time and feel the stubble. Kind of sticks to your pillow on the first night!" he laughed. "Do you cut your hair shorter when the weather gets hot, Sean?"

Sean shifted uneasily. "Uh, sometimes, a bit, uh, but not really. There was a heat wave once and I considered having it cut off the collar, but didn't go through with it," he admitted.

"Well, you have such beautiful hair! No wonder," remarked Gary. "How much do you pay your stylist?"

"A pretty penny!" replied Sean with a shy smile.

"Maybe, one day, if I ever get into that tunic again, I could give you a trim. I would love to pull a brush through your long, beautiful hair, Sean, and snip off the tips," cooed Gary.

"Maybe, one day, I'll let you give me a trim," the ginger-haired lad replied with a sheepish smile. "But, today, you're the one under the cape. We've got to tighten up your sexy butch! The clipped head is so nicely shaped, and your haircut shows it off to its best!"

Once inside, Sean got a kick modeling the barber tunic Gary had fished out of the closet. "How do I look? Like a real barber?" he asked.

"Hardly! Not with that mane of hair! And, most barbers I know are senior citizens like me," laughed Gary. "Okay, cape me up!"

Sean was delighted to take Gary down another notch and he wielded the clippers with a lot more confidence and even authority, "Keep you head still, Gary!" he snapped at one point as he firmly grasped Gary's head and immobilized it while attacking the nape. After feeling the newly clipped nape he exclaimed, "You were right about this feeling like sandpaper. Bet it's quite easy to deal with in the morning!"

"Shoot, at this length, I don't even have to dry it with a towel! It's ready to go, as is!" laughed Gary.


Chapter 3 -- Sean is Shorn

Two weeks later, Gary saw something in the TV Guide which caused him to take definite action and initiate a plan to put a drastic end to Sean's flowing locks. He called him up on the phone, "Hey, Sean. Gary here! I'm needing my butch tightened up. Are you available this afternoon, around 3:30 or quarter to four?"

"Sure thing!" he replied eagerly. Then he continued, "Oh, by the way, I offered to give my friend Clyde a haircut....and it was just as I expected. He told me I was crazy -- and I was the one who needed a haircut! Can you imagine that?" laughed Sean.

"Totally! Which reminds me....that little trim we talked about. Are you ready for us to switch roles after you snap off the clippers?" asked Gary. "I'm getting anxious to play barber!"

"When you lose 15 pounds and that tunic closes over the beer belly, I'll be ready...that is, I might be ready!" Sean said with a laugh. "I'll see you around 3:45. Is that a good time for you?"

Sean bounded in right at the appointed time and was very eager to set up the barbershop. "Oh, Gary! I feel like we're such close friends. These haircuts have really bonded us, don't you think? It's great to have a neighbor to pal around with. You're almost like a father-figure to me....."

Despite that drippy sentiment, Sean exhibited the opposite behavior once he'd donned the barber tunic. He was very directive and authoritative with the clippers. He made Gary sit quietly and still, 'like a good boy'. Gary did as he was told and bid his time, waiting to make his move.

"The shorter your hair is, the more frequently you need it cut," Sean pontificated, like a expert. On his third time as barber, Sean was very adept in administering the haircut. "Oh, I find this butch cut of yours to be so sexy, Gary!" Sean cooed as he rubbed the freshly shorn, stubbled head. "The shorter it's cut, the more manly you look!"

"Well, given my losing battle with male baldness pattern and the fact that 60% of what remains has gone gray, I don't have many options," Gary said with a laugh as Sean removed the cape.

"Still, it gives you such an assertive look!" Sean insisted as he surveyed his elderly neighbor and gave the freshly shorn pate one was rub before Gary emerged from the home barber chair.

"I would imagine that your distinctive mane of thick, red hair is what most people would characterize as 'sexy'....not my amateur buzzcut! Your glimmering mane must get a lot of attention and comments," Gary stated.

"Oh, it does. Not all of it welcome, unfortunately. If I had a nickel for everytime someone referred to me as 'carrot top', I'd be a wealthy man. And they think it's original and funny when they mouth off, 'hey carrot top, how about...?' You get my drift, I'm sure," noted Sean.

"Most redheads, I think, tend towards curly hair which is rather coarse -- but yours is straight, dense and heavy....and so shiny!" chirped Gary. "Is that why you let it grow down to your shoulders -- to flaunt it and make us oldsters jealous?" Gary grasped a swath of the silken strands and lightly caressed it. Ever since he'd spotted the U-haul, Gary had been dreaming of stroking the lovely red hair. And, it felt as wonderfully soft and silken as it looked!

The cherry on the cake was that Sean basked in the subtle display of affection, discreetly making more of his hair available for Gary to fondle. "I guess I've always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with my hair. Of course, I know it stands out, especially at this length. I love having it pampered and fawned over at the salon," Sean said wistfully, as if he were struggling with his dilemma of enjoying his long hair but imagining other options.

"So, let me play stylist now....your hair will look so lovely resting on the snowy white cape," Gary purred.

Sean pawed at his locks, lost in thought, then continued, "Would you guess that sometimes I get tired of it. I wish I could be done with it.... Done with all the hair care and fussing. Since you've recruited me as an amateur barber, I've actually started wishing someone would take a clippers to me!" he said brandishing the same set he had used to tighten up Gary's butch.

"Oh my! That would be catastrophic -- quite shocking if you ended up with a butch!" gasped Gary. "No, Sean, my friend," he said as he grasped his young neighbor by his lovely locks more assertively and pulled them through his fingers. "No, let's not hear any more about cutting this all off!"

"Not to worry. Every time I get a bit of a hankering to get the big chop, the urge gets doused immediately. I've never considered it seriously for any length of time. It's really more of a bit of fantasy," Sean admitted.

"That's a relief! It would be more of a nightmare to imagine you shorn of your glorious hair -- a villanous set of fastfeed electric hair clippers, just like this set, chewing off all your lovely hair, right at the scalp.....leaving you clipped down to a very short, minimalist baldy cut. The feel of sandpaper instead of silk! Why, no one would recognize you without your hair!" Gary insisted.

Sean stared at the clippers with a mixture of wistfulness, fear and mystery. His mouth felt dry, "Yet, your butch cut looks so.....so.....appealing, Gary. When I rub the stubble, it feels so stimulating. And, it would...." his voice trailed off as he stared at Gary's butch with an eye of envy.

"Yes, it would free you from those bothersome taunts of 'carrot top', wouldn't it?" added Gary tenderly. "And we have everything here to make it possible...." he said as he rested his hand on the chair where his won baldy had just been tightened up.

"Yes, it certainly would," murmured Sean absent-mindedly.

"Let me cape you up, Sean," Gary urged with a tender whisper.

For a moment, it seemed as if Sean was ready to take a seat and submit to the clippers. But, at the last second, he quickly jolted back to reality and scurried to the door. "I can't...." he murmured, looking back longingly, as if waiting for Gary to persuade him to stay.

"Leaving so quickly?" asked Gary, complying to derail the exit. "I thought you might stay with me to watch a movie. There's a classic coming on in a few minutes."

Then, Gary patted the chair used for his makeshift barbershop. "You could watch it right from here. Let me fasten the barber's cape around your neck, just to see what it would feel like," Gary cooed as he reached for the cape.

Sean moved toward the chair instinctively, but them stopped in his tracks, "it would feel like a noose about my neck, that barber cape!" His lovely red locks flailed about as he avoided imminent danger.

Gary quickly back-pedalled. "Your pretty hair is such a treasure. Come here, let me run my fingers through those silken strands."

Sean blushed and hung his head a bit to avert Gary's gaze. His locks tumbled forward and caught the sunlight. They looked ablaze! Then, he cozied up to Gary and allowed the old man to fondle his cherished tresses.

After a few moments, Gary whispered in Sean's ear, "Full Metal Jacket is starting on the movie channel now. Have you seen it before?"

Sean replied softly, "Yes, and it has such an iconic opening in the bootcamp barbershop....."

"The thick, long glossy hair falling in the wake of the barber's clippers....yes, iconic is the word for it!" agreed Gary tenderly. "They look so scared and vulnerable without their hair."

"Like they've been stripped naked,"mumbled Sean timidly.

"But, after the initial shock....well, there's a lot of character development...like they discover their true selves and unleash genuine heroics," Gary added.

Sean stood paralyzed with fear.

Gary pressed his agenda. "I think you know it's time, Sean." He gently lead him towards the chair. Sean followed submissively.

Without a word, Gary took the cape and snapped it open. Then he flung it about Sean's neck and pulled the long hair up from the shoulders so that he could fasten it closed. "Such beautiful, beautiful hair," Gary murmured as he struggled with the copious locks to secure the snaps.

Gary heard his mantel clock striking 4:00 o'clock. He reached for the remote control and snapped it on. HBO flashed up notice of its feature presentation, Full Metal Jacket. "Are you ready for your little trim?" Gary asked as he brushed the ginger mane tenderly.

Sean cowered under the cape. The opening scene at the barbershop flashed onto the screen. The lovely blond, brown and black hair of the main protagonists succumbing to the clippers. Sean's mouth felt dry, especially matching Matthew Modine get shorn. He could not speak.

Gary snapped on the clippers.

Sean eeked out, "I thought you said, 'trim'...."

"You'll have a nice 'trim' induction cut by the time I'm finished with you....." Gary said as he began to follow the induction haircut scene onscreen.

Lovely sheaves of Sean's brilliant red hair fell to the cape exposing the fearful recruit in Gary's living room as the two bonded neighbors watched the flickering televion through the whole transformation of the cast from carefree longhairs to vulnerable, frightful cadets.

Sean could not suppress a tear streaming down his cheek as he fondled one of his prized locks that lay shorn on his lap.

"Oh my sweet boy!" Gary said, suppressing a laugh, as he wiped Sean's tear. "We're going to have to toughen you up something serious!"

Once Sean was bald, Gary ripped off the cape and cackled, "Give me 50 push-ups!" He forced the frightened Sean from the chair and the shorn lad complied, bringing his chin to rest almost directly atop the clumps of generous lengths of cut ginger locks.

After doing just 19 push-ups, the exhausted and drained collapsed on the floor, his face buried in the shorn ginger mane that he'd always been so vain about flaunting.

"Oh, no you don't!" snapped Gary, who suddenly unbuckled his belt. "You better be on your way before I count to three, or you'll be sure to feel the pain!"

Sean lay in a heap of non-compliance until he felt Gary's belt smack his unsuspecting buttocks with a vengeance!

"We're going to 50 and we're starting again from zero since you've had a little rest, boy!" Gary snapped.

"Yes, sir!" Sean replied as he found the strength to start again, staring at his shorn locks and imagining himself with an induction haircut.

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