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Just in Time by Pharaoh

"You're looking very pleased with yourself." Kerry and his best mate Marty were leaving school on the last day of term. 'cause you're going on holidays with the family?" asked Marty.

"No. Not for two weeks. You know the new birthday present bike? - well I got a job as a bike courier."

"But that's work man. This is supposed to be fun break."

"Who said it isn't fun time. I've got the house to myself for two whole weeks," advised Kerry.

"Ah. Big time party time."

"Not. Well maybe a small one."

"I should think so," insisted Marty. "That's a good reason to look pleased."

"It's more than that. Tomorrow is St Baldrick's Day -"

"No such thing. That came from Black Adder TV show. An Irish charity mob used the name to raise money by getting their heads shaved."


"What do you mean 'exactly'?"

"I'm getting my head shaved," confessed Kerry who had been growing his hair for six months just for the occasion. "That's really why I'm looking so pleased with myself. I have pledges of over $1,000 if I go bald for charity."

"You're loco. Are you really going to shave your head? No hair?"

"Yep. I've wanted to be bald for years."

"Whoa, you never told me."

"I never told anyone. But I do. Tomorrow all this goes."

"That's heavy man. But at least it's for charity. It'll soon grow again. No way for me - I'm no baldie."

"No it won't. Once it's off, it stays off."

""You're not serious?" Kerry nodded that he was. "OK can I watch?"

"'Cause you can. Only thing is I don't know when I'm getting it done. Soon as the St Baldrick's Fest opens at the town hall I hope. But tomorrow is my first courier day. So it depends when I can get a break. See you tomorrow Marty." They had reached his front gate.

"Kerry a baldie! I gotta' see that." Marty continued on his way.

The next morning was strange for Kerry. He was home alone and had to get his own breakfast. It was the first day of his first job; and it was the day he was to go bald - at last - after thinking about it since the age of twelve.

The alarm woke him early. After a quick breakfast he jumped in the shower. This was the last time he would shampoo his hair for the foreseeable future. There would be none to shampoo after this.

Then the hot water ran out with a head full of shampoo. 'Damn,' he thought. Someone must have left the hotwater tap running before they went on the trip. Nothing Kerry hated more than to wash his hair in cold water. Just a quick rinse. It didn't really matter if there was a little shampoo left - and conditioner would be wasted really.

'Whoa. I'm dropping my standards,' he said to himself. 'One more blow dry style at least.' Half way through while his hair was really a mess, the dryer gave up the ghost. It was the old one the family had not packed - rejected. Time was wasting so Kerry brushed his hair as best he could. It was not a good look. But the bike helmet covered up the hair crime as he pushed the straggling ends up and under.

As soon as he arrived at the Courier HQ there was a delivery straight away. No chance to get to the St Baldrick's Fest yet. On the delivery he drove past the town hall with its big St Baldrick's banner, and already there were a couple of guys coming out with freshly shaved heads. Bummer. And so the morning went. One courier chore after another.

Lunchtime arrived so Kerry rode as fast as he could to the St Baldrick's Feast ready and willing to have his head shaved, and hand over the pledges cheque. This was an exciting time for Kerry, especially as the local TV News Crew was shooting for the evening bulletin. Maybe he'd get his bare bonce on the box.

Just as he was sitting in the chair, the clippers already buzzing in the hand of a gorgeous blond, his pager beeped. There was a meg-urgent delivery for him to make - now. Still with his hair in tack he climbed out of the chair and onto his bike.

This was definitely a bad hair day. And he couldn't even get rid of it.

At the end of his shift Kerry had made a bonus for the number of deliveries, he was exhausted and worse, he still had his hair.

Once more onto his bike and off to the town hall. The doors were closing. The headshaving fest had ended and he was not yet bald. But nothing would stop him. His hair had to go.

Just then Marty squeezed through the closing doors. His head was nude, a gleaming white dome.

"Hi Kerry - "

"How come you're bald? It's supposed to be me." Kerry whipped off his helmet to show his shock of messy hair. "Do you think I can get in?"

"Absolutely not. I was the last and I had to con them to shave me. It's all packed up."

"Come on. How come you had your head shaved? You said no way for you."

"Yes well. It's for the Community Chest. I couldn't hang with you today, so I went around and got pledges - $1,000 - just as much as you. So now I'm bald. Do you like it?"

"Yes I do. Can't talk Marty. Got to get to the barber's. Today has to be the day for me to go bald. No option. And I promised the donors."

It was late as Kerry reached the barber shop, out of breath. His regular guy was not there, but a much younger operator, who was just about to close the door.

"OK. Room for just one more." He ushered Kerry into the shop and invited him to the barber chair. "Bit of a mess. So just shape it up a bit shorter? That should look good."

"No. I want it all shaved off smooth bald," ordered Kerry.

The barber stopped what he was doing.

"No way. I don't do headshaves. Not even military cuts. I'm a stylist. You have it shaved the shop loses a customer. How about a short style?"

Kerry stood up from the chair.

"I want a baldie!" Kerry stomped from the shop and rode home, still with his hair. By now all the barber shops he knew would be closed for the day. Anyway none of the barbers would use a razor for headshaves. No guard buzz cuts were as short as they would go. What was wrong with the world? Why couldn't he go bald? He'd have to do it himself - maybe Marty could shave him - now that he was a baldie - first - bummer.

He went into the bathroom. He had helmet hair of the worst kind, and not through choice. Choice as no hair. He knew there was an old pair of clippers in the bathroom cabinet. Yes. Broken. Some of the teeth were missing. Switch on. They almost jumped out of his hand with the vibration. Hopeless. Scissors?

It was all too hard. Kerry decided to have dinner first. Mum had left a beef stroganoff in the fridge - one of his favourites. Into the microwave it went, and with a bottle of cider he settled down on front of the TV.

He couldn't believe his eyes. There was a hypnotist telling contestants that in their hypnotic state they were having their heads shaved. The key word was 'baldie'. Their reactions were amazing, a couple were fighting it but another couple were really enjoying it. Kerry fell asleep either from a draining day on the courier run - or from the influence of the hypnotist.

In any case the dream he had was so real - having his head shaved over and over again - ah! the pleasure of going bald! Suddenly he woke up. He snapped his hands to his head. No baldie. He still had all his unwanted hair. He must ring Marty. It was too late. After eleven o'clock at night. He was just about to go to the bathroom and tackle the job with the blunt scissors and a safety razor - could he do it himself? - when a commercial for the new shopping mall not far from his home lit the screen. It was opening day and they would be trading till midnight. One of the shops in the commercial was a new barbershop. Bingo. Kerry rode to the mall like a madman and reached the barbershop.

It was all modern with a young barber - himself with a shiny shaved head.

"Am I too late?"

"No. You're that lucky last client on the first day."

"Before I sit in the chair, will you shave me smooth bald?"

"It'll be my very great pleasure. A freebee. Jump in." He patted his own hairless scalp.

Kerry did so, knowing for the first time that day - and after years of anticipation - that his plan was about to be fulfilled - baldness. Tension melted from him. The cape was around him. Clippers switched on.

"Relax and enjoy it. In no time - just like me - you'll be a 'baldie'. Instantly Kerry fell into an hypnotic sleep and dreamed his head was being shaved. And it was.

"Smooth as a babie's bum. Now that is what I call an excellent 'baldie'," advised the barber.

Kerry woke instantly. His now hairless head stared back at him from the mirror. It was an electric shock. His head was tingling. Piles of used hair were all over the cape and the floor. As he swiftly recovered from his induced sleep he realised looking bald was even better that he had imagined.

"Well, what do you think? Do you like the baldie? Nothing happened the hypnotic spell had worn off.

"Yeah! I really do." Kerry rubbed his hands all over his denuded scalp. This was good. This was very good.

He looked at the salon clock, and the hands were approaching to midnight. He had made it. The Barber patted Kerry on his firm shining white hairless head.

"Happy St Baldrick's Day."

Just a few seconds left. He had achieved his dream - and most of it was a dream of sorts. But now it was also real. He had dome it for charity, and he had done it for himself.

Just in Time.

"Yeah! Thanks. St Baldrick's Day."

For Kerry was BALD!

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