The following post was inspired by the story ‘A Full Short Back and Sides’ by Snipped sam which can be found on the site:
I have taken the liberty of editing and adding to Snipped sam’s delightful tale. If you are the author of the original work and object to this posting, please let me know and I will be more than happy to delete it. But in the meantime, thank you for your enjoyable story and the inspiration it has given me. mogg.
Uncle Clive, his Nephew Mark and a Visit to the Barber’s Shop
Uncle Clive and the barber, a Mr Harris, seemed to be getting on famously. I tried to concentrate on reading an old copy of Autosport I’d found among a pile of dog-eared magazines on a table in the corner. We’d been out walking that morning, so I was wearing my brief hiking-shorts, thick short socks and boots. I’d offered to meet Uncle Clive later at the B&B we were staying at, but he had insisted that I come with him. It would be fair to say that I was in a bit of a sulk. I would much rather have been anywhere than sat in a barber’s shop listening what to my ears sounded like the inane chatter of my uncle and the barber.
I flicked through the pages of the magazine and eventually, after what seemed a very long time, Uncle Clive got up from the barber’s chair with an extremely severe short haircut, but he was smiling broadly so I knew he liked the finished result. Mr Harris busied himself with the clothes brush, brushing the loose hairs from Uncle Clive.
Uncle turned to face me and spoke: “So what do you think then, Mark?”
“Err, it’s okay, I suppose…” I replied quietly, noncommittally and anxious not to get involved in a conversation about haircuts. As I said, I knew Uncle Clive didn’t approve of mine, although he’d not said any more about it, let alone suggest I do anything about it.
“Mr Harris has done a first class job, I think,” he continued, as he admired the cut in the mirror.
“Thank you sir, it’s been a pleasure,” the barber replied as he flicked the last couple of hairs from Uncle Clive’s shoulder.
Uncle nodded in my direction and addressed Mr Harris: “What’s your opinion of Mark’s hair, Mr Harris.”
“I can’t say that I’m impressed, sir,” he replied as he cast a professional eye over what I thought of as my stylish head of hair. I was pleased with the way my fringe flopped forwards over my eyes and how at the back my hair brushed against my shirt collar (The longest we were allowed to grow it in the fifth form). Why should it concern anyone else if my hair came down over my ears? I was proud of the way my hair looked and I didn’t like to hear anyone criticising it.
“No sir… I’m afraid I’m not impressed at all,” Mr Harris continued, “… but I think I can safely say his hair would definitely benefit from a few minutes in the barber’s chair with me attending to it, sir.”
To my consternation Uncle Clive agreed: “My sentiments entirely… Mark’s hair isn’t usually as long as this.”
I put down the magazine and indignantly told them my hair was perfect; that everyone at school had exactly the same style; that none of the teachers had raised the slightest objection to my haircut… I must have sounded like a complete prig!
I was ignored.
Mr Harris continued: “I take it you do not approve, sir.”
“No, Mr Harris I most definitely do not approve.”
“Then, sir, might I suggest that a full short back and sides with no arguments for this young man is called for?”
Pathetically I tried to intervene, whinging like a little boy: “Pleeease Uncle Clive, I had my hair cut a couple of weeks ago, honest I did… Pleeease uncle…”
“No Mark, I am afraid your hair is far too long. I simply don’t believe your school would countenance such untidy hair.”
The barber added his support: “Precisely, sir…”
“But it’s my hair,” I pleaded, in a last desperate attempt to put a stop to this before it got completely out of hand. “Please uncle can we go now?”
“It wouldn’t take me more than a few minutes to tidy him up, sir.” Mr Harris wasn’t about to let me escape what he clearly thought was an overdue appointment for me with his barber’s chair. “No trouble at all, sir.”
“A short back and sides you say?” Uncle Clive asked.
“Certainly, sir. A proper schoolboy short back and sides…”
Uncle Clive nodded his head and Mr Harris turned to get the big cape from its hook by the mirror.
I pleaded again: “But… but… It’s my hair…”
Mr Harris turned back to face me. He was holding the cape: “Not for much longer if I am not mistaken…”
“Please Uncle Clive… Pleeease!”
“No Mark… Mr Harris is right… Your hair is a disgrace… it needs a proper trim.”
“But Uncle Clive”
Mr Harris took control: “That’s enough from you young man. You are having your haircut whether you like it or not. Your Uncle has decided it’s best, so I suggest you keep quiet and behave yourself and do as you are told.”
“I hope you are listening to Mr Harris, Mark… you may be nearly sixteen and think you are grown up, but while you’re with me you will do as you are told…”
I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard what Uncle Clive said next: “And I am quite sure that you don’t want to have to touch your toes for me with your shorts down for a spanking in front of the barber… now do you?”
Stunned, I could barely murmur: “No, Uncle Clive…”
Mr Harris acted as if he heard this everyday and merely said: “Shall I take it from here, sir?”
“If you would be so kind” Uncle Clive replied.
“If you, sir, would like to sit in that chair over there, sir” he said pointing to one of the chairs that lined the side-wall of the shop, “That will give you a very good view of the haircut but the boy will not be able to see you in the mirror”
“Very good, Mr Harris…”
“That way he is less likely to be distracted. Obviously I want him to be concentrating on doing exactly as I tell him and having his haircut and keeping his head still…”
“It also might make Mark feel less self conscious if he can’t see me watching you at work…”
“Oh, I don’t think we need overly concern ourselves with the boy’s feelings, sir,” Mr Harris said with a chuckle.
“Right Mark… up you get and do exactly what the barber tells you.”
I stood up as Uncle Clive sat down. Mr Harris held out the long barber’s cape: “You may step forward young man and sit in the barber’s chair....sit up straight and sit right back in the chair”
I did as he said and he prepared me to have my haircut. Mr Harris swept the gown with a flourish over my head and it settled down, engulfing me in the all-pervading smell of a barber’s shop. He drew the gown up around my neck and tied it tightly before tucking some tissue paper between it and the nape of my neck. My arms were covered by the gown and I was under orders to behave myself. I looked at myself in the mirror to see my disembodied head ready for the attentions of Mr Harris.
He started to comb my hair. He did this very slowly with his hand placed firmly on the crown of my head, thus asserting his authority over me.
He spoke to Uncle Clive; pointedly not to me: “So sir, are we both in agreement… a full short back and sides for the boy…”
“When you say full short back and sides Mr Harris you mean very short?”
“Indeed I do, sir. Cut very short all over with scissors and thinned out. No silly pretend sideboards like he has here…” Mr Harris pulled at the long hair that hung in front of my ears, “…and then a no nonsense clipping, back and sides.”
“When you say ‘no nonsense’… perhaps short… not too severe to begin with, Mr Harris.”
“Certainly, sir… Just as you say, sir… not too severe and we’ll see how it goes, shall we?”
I was slightly relieved to think that Uncle Clive had at last taken my side, even if it was only slightly.
Mr Harris addressed me: “Right young man, I shall begin,” and he turned to pick up a pair of long steel scissors.
My haircut began and within seconds large curls of my thick mousey-blond hair began to fall into my lap. As Mr Harris snipped away expertly with his scissors, he and Uncle Clive chatted to each other. Ignoring me they talked mainly about our walking holiday. They had really got on well whilst uncle had his haircut earlier, almost like old friends, and now the barber suggested some of the lesser known local hikes for us to explore. I kept quiet knowing that I was to sit perfectly still and not to speak so the barber could snip my hair as he talked.
I found it very uncomfortable because the barber did not brush the loose hairs away from my face which really tickled. My arms were of course trapped underneath the big gown, but in any case I wouldn’t have dared to brush the hairs away with my hand. Mr Harris did eventually give me a brush down as I screwed up my face, before he selected a pair of thinning scissors prior to the next stage of my haircut.
“So far so good young man,” he said, “Now these will tug at your hair and you may feel some discomfort, but this is a very small price to pay for the benefits of nice well thinned out hair, is that understood”
“Yes sir” I replied meekly.
“Do not move your head.”
“Yes, sir…” I repeated, dreading what was going to happen next.
Mr Harris started to chop my hair with the thinning scissors and I watched in horror as big clumps of it fell into my lap. I was sure he was about to give me a ‘Yul Brynner’, which is what we used to call a bald head in those days. He cut my hair so closely that I could feel the scissors pressing against my skull as he worked away. Once he was satisfied that he had cut off sufficient hair he put the scissors down and gave me a good brush down. I sneaked a look at myself in the mirror and was relieved to see that Mr Harris had left me with some hair.
Mr Harris looked over at Uncle Clive.
“Is everything to your satisfaction so far, sir?”
“Definitely, Mr Harris.”
“Quite a transformation, sir…”
“It certainly is…” Uncle Clive concluded, “Now… with regard to the clipping he is going to have…”
“Yes sir, that’s what I will be doing next,” Mr Harris confirmed, “… in fact I was about to bend his head down in preparation, sir…”
“I wonder if perhaps a little tickle with the clippers might suffice?”
I once more felt happier that Uncle Clive was on my side. He’d make sure Mr Harris didn’t get too carried away with my haircut, I thought.
“I understand what you are saying sir. Perhaps you would like me to clip the back and sides of his head lightly… more of a token.”
“That’s it, Mr Harris.”
“As you wish, sir…” Mr Harris appeared to accede to Uncle Clive’s request. But then he added: “… however, I must point out, sir that we are due some very hot weather over the next few days. It will be much better to have his hair cut as short as possible, especially if you are walking any distance. It will keep him cool and better tempered I can assure you, sir.”
“I understand exactly what you are saying Mr Harris, but I have reservations…”
“I know, sir… and you don’t want to be the heavy handed Uncle, but, if I may say so, the boy has the opportunity to have an experienced barber take care of his hair…”
To my horror, I could see that Uncle Clive was wavering. Mr Harris saw this too…
“Perhaps, sir, if I might suggest… Why not take a little stroll for five minutes or so and leave your young nephew with me…”
“That’s an admirable idea, Mr Harris. I know your recommendation for my nephew to have a no nonsense clipping makes perfect sense, but… I think it best for me to absent myself until it’s finished.”
“That’s perfectly understandable, sir… Have no worries, your nephew will be perfectly safe in my hands… Believe me, sir you’ll be more than happy with the result of a good no nonsense clipping. You get along and relax for five minutes… there’s a shop just down the end of the High Street which has a good selection of local guides. Take your time…”
And with that Uncle Clive left. I was speechless.
Without my uncle there, what was I to do? I hesitated and lost the only opportunity I might have had to talk my way out of the barber’s chair.
With a jovial: “Righty-ho… ready for your no nonsense clipping my lad?”
Before I could answer, Mr Harris placed his hand on the back of my head and bent it as far forward as he could get it, telling me to make sure I did not move at all.
“Stay perfectly still…”
“… Don’t concern myself with what I’m doing…”
“… Just keep your head right down... Once I start the clipping I don’t want you to speak or move a muscle…”
“… I will move you head into the position I want it… understood?”
I had seen the various clippers hanging from hooks just below the mirror in front of the barber’s chair. They all looked well cared for; oiled and ready for use. I could just see Mr Harris reach out to select the first set of clippers he needed for the next stage of my no nonsense traditional schoolboy haircut.
He switched them on and the warm buzzing contrasted with the cold metal as the clippers touched my neck. I shivered…
“Try and keep still lad… if you’ve not had a no nonsense clipping before, it will feel a bit strange at first… you’ll soon get used to it and wonder what all the fuss was about…”
With those few kind words my opinion of Mr Harris changed completely. I couldn’t believe how understanding he was. I wanted to thank him, but knew I had to keep quiet… and I knew I was going to co-operate.
The clippers started their journey, travelling very smoothly up the nape of my neck and back of my head. They tickled and I tried my best not to move. Mr Harris held my head very firmly and that helped. I could feel the hair as it fell onto my neck and as the clippers buzzed away loudly, it occurred to me that as the shop door was open anyone walking past could hear the clippers in action. Looking in they could see a fifteen (nearly sixteen!) year old schoolboy having his very first traditional full short back and sides haircut!
After giving the back of my head a very generous clipping he stepped round the chair, but held my head still with the firm grip of his hand. Having moved position he pushed my head to one side and started to run the clippers up each side of my ears. It felt very strange indeed. I managed a sideways glance in the mirror and was dismayed to see Mr Harris actually sweep the clippers across my head above my ears! In my ignorance I thought the ‘sides’ part of my haircut was simply the removal of the long hair in front of my ears. I never thought it meant all the hair on the side of my head!
Now my opinion of Mr Harris changed again. I thought it was rotten of him to do this to me, but I’d hardly had time to think this when I felt my head being pulled and twisted again, prior to the same treatment being given to the other side of by head. When I next caught sight of myself in the mirror I found that my luxuriant schoolboy locks had been reduced to a few tufts of hair seemingly perched on the crown of my head… and Mr Harris hadn’t even finished!
Once he’d attended to the hair above and round my ears, Mr Harris gave me a quick brush down. He then told me to keep my head down as he selected another set of clippers. These ones were more uncomfortable than the first set of clippers he’s used and I sensed they were being used for a more severe finish. He didn’t go quite as far up with these clippers, but then I guessed he didn’t need to as most of my hair was scattered in front of me in my lap and on the floor around the chair.
Finally it was the turn of the razor which again was very uncomfortable. Then at last Mr Harris let go of my head and I was instructed to look up. He took a towel and wiped my face and head and then applied some white hair-cream from a jar before combing my hair into place with faultless precision.
He then stood back and surveyed his work.
“Well young fella m’lad I don’t mind saying that I couldn’t improve on this haircut if I wanted to… You are now the proud possessor of a traditional boy’s short back and sides.”
What else could I say, but: “Thank you, sir…”
“You can get up out of the chair now…”
“Thank you, sir…”
As I pushed myself out of the barber’s chair, Mr Harris pulled the big cape off me and busied himself brushing me down.
Quite a different boy looked back at me from the mirror; a boy with extremely short hair; unbelievably short hair; hair so short it made me look at least five years younger. My stomach knotted up as I realised that now I could so easily be mistaken for a lanky schoolboy no more than twelve years old!
“There, that’s much better, isn’t it?”
“Err… yes, sir… thank you, sir…”
As I said this Uncle Clive marched breezily back into the shop.
He looked around the shop with a rather theatrical air and asked:
“Has anyone here seen my nephew?”
He then made a great pretence of not recognising me with my new very severe schoolboy haircut and didn’t stop this charade until I piped up:
“But it’s me Uncle Clive! It’s me… Mark!”
Mr Harris laughed at the joke even as my uncle continued to pull my leg.
“No… you can’t be my nephew Mark! He had long hair… very long, straggly, untidy hair…”
“He did indeed, sir…” Mr Harris chipped in, “… but if you take a closer look at this young boy here…”
“Well I never! It is you Mark…”
I was blushing furiously, though less from embarrassment and more from a sense of pride that I’d made my uncle happy.
“You do look very smart indeed, Mark,” Uncle Clive said as he examined my haircut. “I hope you’ll want to keep it nice and short from now on…”
“I’m sure that once he gets used to it, sir, he’ll wonder why he ever thought it was ‘clever’ to have such untidy long hair…” Mr Harris concurred and added, “I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he asks you to help him find a proper schoolboy barber’s shop in your neck of the woods when you return home from your holiday, sir.”
“I hope you’re right, Mr Harris… You’ve made me so proud of Mark… indeed you have.”
I blushed again. Embarrassed, I bit my lower lip and avoided looking at uncle. I wanted to get back to our B&B, but I soon found out that our visit to the barber’s shop wasn’t quite over yet…
Mr Harris turned to Uncle Clive and asked: “Does the boy require anything else, sir?”
My uncle hesitated, unsure of the meaning of the barber’s words.
“A number of my regular clients like me to keep their boys smart and tidy… ahem… elsewhere…” Mr Harris said by way of explanation. When Uncle Clive still looked puzzled I saw the barber tilt his head down slightly and looked in the direction of my hiking shorts.
“Oh… I see…” Uncle Clive said as the penny dropped. “Yes… I see what you mean.”
“It wouldn’t take a moment, sir. I believe I heard you mention that your young nephew was almost sixteen… so many young boys become rather untidy at that age, don’t you think?”
“Yes… yes, in fact his birthday is only a few weeks away… isn’t it Mark?”
“Umm… in three weeks, Uncle Clive,” I replied, then added for the benefit of Mr Harris, “I’ll be sixteen then, sir…”
I stopped talking because at that point two boys who looked to be abut ten years old came into the barbers and sat down. One of them nudged the other and pointed at my very brief short back and sides plastered down with hair-cream. They giggled as they looked at my haircut. I couldn’t understand why they were laughing at me and I couldn’t understand why they had perfectly ordinary haircuts like the one I’d had until half an hour ago. It certainly didn’t look as if they were there for a haircut like mine; otherwise I’m sure they wouldn’t have found my haircut so funny.
The father of one of the boys came into the shop and sat down next to them. He looked at where his son’s finger was pointing (my head!) and chortled:
“Blow me down! I don’t think I’ve seen a boy with a hair-cut quite like that for a very long time… Take a good look lads; that’s how it used to be…”
The customer looked up at the barber and added: “You certainly have done him proud Mr Harris. There’s no one else can give a young boy a proper short back and sides when it’s needed… well done!”
Then he turned back to me and asked: “Did you have it done for a school play or was it for charity?”
“No… I… err…” I didn’t know what to say. It was clear to me that I was rapidly becoming a laughing-stock. I felt really, really stupid standing in front of this stranger and the two very young boys not knowing what to say.
Uncle Clive spoke up for me: “No, it’s not for charity… Mr Harris and I thought Mark could do with a bit of smartening up, that’s all.”
“Well blow me down!” the man repeated. Clearly his two young charges were not about to be given the same treatment as I had just been given. This made me feel even worse and with these thoughts running through my head, it’s probably no wonder I wasn’t paying any attention and didn’t see what else was about to happen.
Mr Harris hadn’t forgotten what he’s been talking about before the new customers came into his shop. Believe it or not, I hadn’t a clue what he was saying to Uncle Clive.
“Well, sir… shall we tidy up the young gentleman… that is if he needs tidying up?” Mr Harris said with a wry smile.
Uncle Clive made up his mind: “Yes… by all means…”
I still can’t believe that I stood there and let it happen.
By the time the words: “Certainly sir!” had finished ringing in my ears, Mr Harris had undone my hiking shorts, lugged them down and without a moment’s hesitation had them off me completely! As I was not allowed to wear underpants with hiking shorts, I leave to your imagination how this turn of events made me feel! Two seconds later and Mr Harris had my tee-shirt pushed right up, then over my head and off.
Within the space the perhaps five seconds I was standing in the middle of the barber’s shop bare-nude apart for my walking-boots and socks!
As I stood in shock opening and closing my mouth (though no words came) I must have looked like a recently landed fish. My eyes were certainly bulging like one as well.
Mr Harris was nothing if not brisk and extremely efficient. He’d quickly put my clothes out of my reach and with a crisp order to keep my hands out of the way, set about ‘tidying me up’.
I hardly need say how hilarious the year olds thought this all was. They were in hysterics. Dad did absolutely nothing to stop them giggling. He was too busy laughing himself!
Mr Harris looked at my rather pathetic pubes with a disdainful air.
“Rather a waste of time trying to tidy those up, sir,” he said addressing my uncle. “Fifteen you say, sir… why I’ve seen boys of twelve with more hairs than these…”
I couldn’t believe how humiliated I felt. Uncle Clive had to rub it in though: “Nearly sixteen… in three weeks you said didn’t you Mark?”
I managed to croak out the words: “Yes, uncle,” and stood there… yes, I actually stood there, as Mr Harris leant forwards and took my penis between his thumb and index finger. He lifted it up and pulled it this way and that, clearly looking for signs of any more hairs.
“There’s no point in trying to do anything with these few straggly hairs, sir,” the barber concluded, “May as well clip them right off. That’s my professional opinion.”
“Whatever you think best, Mr Harris,” Uncle Clive replied.
“Right, sir… we’re in full agreement once more,” the barber said so that there could be no misunderstanding, “Complete removal of your nephew’s pubic hair… Right sir?”
Uncle Clive nodded, “Yes, Mr Harris, that is correct.”
It didn’t take long for Mr Harris to leave me as smooth as a new-born babe. Using the special clippers he reserved for ‘tidying-up’ boys of my age, he soon had my straggly pubes removed. Then, as I stood shell-shocked by the day’s events, he rubbed some astringent lotion between the palms of his hands before bending down and applying it all round the base of my now hairless penis. It stung and I leapt about the shop, no doubt making a complete spectacle of myself as my penis slapped and jiggled about between my legs. Yes the lotion stung alright, but not half as much as the knowledge that the whole proceeding had been watched by two ten year old boys who had laughed so much they’d almost fallen from their chairs.
When at last Uncle Clive and I left the shop and started back to the B&B I couldn’t say anything, I was so close to tears. In every shop window we passed I saw the reflection of a gangly, overgrown schoolboy and it broke my heart as it sank in that I was stuck looking like this for weeks to come. Then it struck me! Why hadn’t I thought of it sooner…? I’d be looking like this when I started back at school in ten days time!!
My legs went like jelly. What would my classmates say when they saw me…? What would they say when they saw me in the school showers?! I’d be a laughing-stock… Stupid little-boy haircut and no pubes!!
“Is everything alright, Mark?” Uncle Clive asked. “Nothing wrong, I hope?”
“No, uncle… everything’s fine…”