Thursday, August 9, 2012

Just a little off the top

  It was one of those cold , cloudy, drizzly days. The school day was over with, and we had a basketball game in a couple of hours, so we were trying to kill some time before it was time to go get ready for the game. There was 4 or 5 of us down at the FFA hog pens behind the Gym feeding our project pigs. The usual talk was going on, you know like who had broken up with who, who liked who, why a certain teacher always assigned so much homework. After a while Bobby said "I need a haircut,I wonder where I could go and get one"? Well, at that time there was no barber shops in Darrouzett, there was a beauty shop, (my moms) but guys didn't go to beauty shops to get a haircut. Of course I had no choice, but I was a cheapskate anyway and I wasn't going to spend any money on something I could get for free! Somebody made the suggestion that Bobby could always drive to another town and get one, but Bobby said that his pickup was nearly out of gas, and he didn't have any money to get any gas.

  So it was starting to look like Bobby wasn't going to get his hair cut. We went back to talking about regular stuff when Bobby said "hey I know how I can get my hair cut and it won't cost anything". Bobby went on to explain "we can go up to the Ag shop and get the pig clippers, and you guys can give me a hair cut", " but we don't know how to cut hair" we told him. "I just want a burr hair cut" Bobby told us "so you won't have to do anything fancy!" We thought about it for a minute and decided, heck we can do that. So off to the Ag shop we go to get the necessary tools to do the job.

  After gathering all the required equipment, we head back down to the pig pens to begin the job. The Ag Department had 3 sets of shears. The 2 good sets were locked up in the tool room. The shears that we had access to were probably 20 years old. They were so worn out that the motor in them barely had enough power to keep the cutting edges moving. I know some of you have sheared pigs for competition, and some of you haven't. Well trust me when I tell you that pig shears were never meant to be used on human hair, especially old worn out ones. Along with being worn out they are not very sharp, having been dulled on the coarse hog hair over the years, and secondly they have very coarse cutting teeth, but if that is all that you have to do the job with, you make due. So Bobby sits down on a 5 gallon bucket and the cutting begins.

  The first pass down the middle of Bobby's head had to be agonizing, Those shears were pulling more hairs out of his head than were being cut.  Those shears were pulling so hard on Bobby's scalp that his eye holes were now in the middle of his forehead, and his nose skin was between where his eyes were. Bobby was yelling in pain, but we couldn't stop now that we had begun, unless he wanted a reverse Mohawk. Finally somebody says "hey, you know when we shear the pigs, we always dip the shears in some diesel, maybe that stops it from pulling so bad."  So, back up the hill to the shop a couple of us go to get some diesel. When we get back with the can of diesel we pour some in a bucket, and dip the cutting head in the liquid and back to the hair cut we go. You know, if we learned only one thing that day, it was that, diesel does not help to keep pig shears from pulling human hair while cutting, but we kept dipping and cutting until we had gotten all of the hair cut off that we could, or at least all that Bobby could stand.

  As we stood there admiring our work, I still, to this day, cannot remember a more pathetic sight than that of Bobby sitting there on that bucket with patches of hair sticking up that we had missed, and the shears didn't or couldn't cut, and then other patches on his head that had been cut all the way down to the scalp, and then of course there were those trails of red diesel running down his head and neck. Bobby took a rag, and wiped the diesel off of his head, he then ran his hand over his new hair cut. A look came over his face, and he asked "why didn't ya'll cut it all the same length?" "We tried" we told him "but the shears wouldn't cut right." "What am I going to do, we have a basketball game in just a few minutes. I'm going to look stupid" he said. We all shrugged our shoulders thinking, that's your problem, not ours!

  We gathered everything up and put it back in the Ag shop, and then we headed to the locker room to get ready for the game. Well, it got worse once Bobby was able to look at his hair cut in the mirror, and the madder he got, the funnier it became to everyone in there. Finally Bobby decided that all he needed to do was just wear a stocking hat during the game, figuring  that nobody would be able to see what his hair looked like. Then all he had to do was get it fixed before school started tomorrow. The girls game ends, and now it's time for us to take the floor. We run out on the floor and start doing our warm up lay ups. So far so good right, but then Coach comes out onto the court. Now Bobby is not the tallest guy on the team, so he kinda stands behind some of us as long as he can, but now it's his turn to do a lay up, and when he does Coach sees that Bobby has a stocking hat on. "Bobby get that hat off your head" he tells him. "but Coach my head is cold" Bobby replies. "Get that hat off, or your butt is going to be hot!" Coach tells him back. Slowly Bobby reaches up and slides the stocking hat off of his head.

  Bobby no more gets that hat off of his head than his mother spots his brand new hair cut. I'm sure everybody remembers back when you were younger, and when you would get into trouble, you know how  your mom would call out your name you knew you were in trouble, and the more of your names she used then the more trouble you were in. Well Bobby's mother used his entire name that night, yep first, middle, and last name, and when she said it, it was heard over all of the other noise in that gymnasium !

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