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Barber's Choice by Ryan

Jason sat in the waiting area of the barbershop, nervously looking around. The bet he lost was a rather stupid one, on a baseball game. He, of course, lost. Jason was now twenty-five, and his hair was a light brown color, straight, and went a little past his eyes. The shop had two barbers, both of which were working on their clients. The younger one looked about Jason's age, and seemed to be more nervous about cutting too much off. The older one looked to be about fifty years old and was a lot more heavy handed, not seeming to care very much about how much hair he cut, as long as the customer paid.

The younger barber, named Peter, was almost done with his client, who was just getting a trim. That relieved Jason, knowing that Peter would cut much less off than the older barber, who was named George. George's client was called up only a minute ago, and was talking to George a little loudly. "You know what to do." The man said, his medium length brownish-blonde hair being prepped for the cut.

"Same as usual? You haven't been here in a while, I thought you might want something different." He said, but the man shook his head. "Alrighty." George said, turning the man away from the mirror and turning on the clippers. George started in the back, where Jason couldn't see very much. George made quick work of it though, and went to the sides, cutting them very short, tapering them. Jason assumed that was how the back was too, and he felt himself getting a bit more nervous, Peter taking more time than Jason expected.

George continued the haircut, using clipper over comb to drastically shorten most of the hair on top, leaving the bangs (which go to mid-eye). Soon, the man's bangs looked much different than the rest of the hair, the sides buzzed short enough to sort of see the skin, the top fairly short too. "You know, I got the job at the park recently, so I've been pretty busy." said the man.

"Is that why you took so long?" George asked, putting down the clippers and taking out a pair of scissors, walking to the man's front, bringing them to the bangs. The barber slowly cut a straight line through them. Now, the bangs, just as full as they were, were hanging, uniformly straight midway up the forehead. It made the man much more unattractive and homely.

Having been caught up in all this, Jason didn't notice Peter finish and go on his lunch break. As George blended and thinned the remaining hair of the man, Jason snapped back to reality. He looked around for Peter, but his stomach went into knots as the man paid and left. "Next." George said, motioning to Jason, as a couple more walked into the barbershop.

'Great. An audience.' Jason thought, as he was caped.

"So, what will it be today." George asked cheerfully. Inspecting Jason's head of hair.

Jason felt like he was going to throw up, and he wished he would so he could get out of it. "I guess I don't really know." He said, as he was told to say. "Barber's choice." He finally said, gripping the arms of the chair tightly. George nodded and turned Jason away from the mirror, which surprised Jason even though he knew it was going to happen.

"Now, I know you're probably nervous, but I won't hesitate to shave you bald if you complain once." George threatened semi-jokingly, powering up the clippers. Jason's eyes widened when they ran up the side of his head, reducing all in it's path to stubble. It lightened up a bit and stopped a little above the ear, not hitting the top area. This was repeated on the other side and back. Jason stared at the wall, but was aware enough that the man stopped cutting, and was already replacing the clippers with scissors. George ignored the bangs for now, taking much of the hair off his head. Jason assumed no more than two and a half inches remained anywhere but his bangs now. Next, much to the distress of Jason, George began to comb down the bangs, which fell a little below Jason's eyes. He felt the cold scissors touch his head, right above Jason's left eyebrow. The first snip terrified Jason enough, but he nearly died when he realized the scissors were cutting a severe angle, leaving the hair on the othe side of the bangs a little longer than stubble.

George ignored the shocked look on Jason's face, taking thinning shears and thoroughly, and somewhat unnecessarily due to Jason's straight hair, leaving Jason's previously thick hair looking significantly thinner. By this point, Jason didn't think it could get much worse, but he was proved wrong as a gross smelling pomade was caked through his hair, parting it harshly. At this point, Jason was turned towards the mirror. His light brown hair was now a dark brown, severely parted and much shorter. Jason hated it.

"One barber's choice haircut." George said, taking off the cape. Jason thanked him a bit and tipped him somewhat. "Here is some pomade, to keep your hair how it is. It won't look right without it." George told him, giving him the pomade. "See you in two weeks." It wasn't a question, it was an assumption and a command at the same time.

"See you in two weeks." Jason said, realizing what he agreed to a little too late. He sighed and glanced at the mirror. Jason looked like he came out of the fifties, and he too, like the man who George gave a haircut to, looked homely. It'd be a tough time getting used to it, Jason knew it.

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