Buzz Brothers

Before and after buzz cuts.

Both boys got their summer buzz cuts on Sunday evening. As you can see, James (top row) had an inordinate amount of hair for a 14-month old. He’d already had one haircut several months back — a traumatic experience for all involved. He was crying, momma was crying, Sammy was scared, I was frazzled and left wondering if I should leave him half shorn, or continue on trying to trim through the tears, snot and spastic movements. It was ugly, but we got through it and at the end he no longer looked like a hippie baby.

Sammy’s first haircut was similar, except I accidentally used the No. 2 guard instead of the 4 on the clippers, so more hair was removed than planned. This did not please momma, who was already deeply saddened by the idea of her first child’s first haircut. (What is it about moms and first haircuts? My own still keeps some of my original locks in a baby book.)

The most recent haircuts, borne of necessity after two wicked hot days and two really sweaty young heads, went quite well. The clippers got stuck a couple times in the Popsicle and watermelon extract that James had massaged into his roots, but there wasn’t a single tear shed. Moving the barber chair to the back deck even made cleanup easy. It brought me back to my glory days of barbering.

I honed my hair cut skills in college, when I served as the unofficial barber in one wing of the dorm. I cut my own hair so that I could put the $20 my grandmother would regularly send for haircuts to better use. Soon, others were lining up for my pro bono services. Perhaps lining up is misleading. The majority of my appointments came on a walk-in basis directly after “40s at 4” on Friday afternoons, when visiting an amateur barber seemed like a great idea. (It’s tough to screw a buzz cut up too badly, though the malt liquor sometimes made for some crooked necklines.)

Now that I have two cooperative young ones to practice on regularly, I’d like to experiment beyond the simple buzz. Maybe racing stripes will make a comeback. I’d really like to talk Sammy into going with an Eric Montross flat top next he needs a trim.