“Bad Haircuts”

(Muttontown Follicles   Gunnison, CO   December 5, 2015)    

Continued from page 489

so that there was little left on top and a healthy harvest of grey strands on the side. For the finishing touches Wally shaved a six-inch semi-circle around the left ear and applied bootblack to the right temple. When he swung his victim around for a look into the cloudy mirror, he sat back in anticipation.

“Kill him,” said Black Bart to the members of his gang who had now succumbed to laughter. “It’ll take two months for my scalp to recover and maybe a year or two before I can rob banks again. No barber, even one who says he’s from St. Louis, is worth this!”

Wally was quick to react.

“I’m awful sorry Bart, about your hair and all. I’d be happy to start from scratch and throw in a case of this hair tonic, which, if you ain’t too picky, tastes all right besides.”

Bart took a sip, snarled and motioned toward his men to do their duty. When they got Wally outside he talked them into a simple tar and feathering instead of the termination. The entire town, especially the ones who had gone under Wally’s scissors, turned out for the event. It was the first excuse for the ladies to don their finery and the men to wear their church-going suspenders since Old Man Rathboone was lynched back in ’88.

When Wally finally came to, he was stuck to a barrel cactus some 10 miles from Rodentville. He was covered with tar, scattered with feathers and someone had shaved his head.

“I wonder who did the barbering,” thought Wally. “I could use an assistant.
Wandering off toward bright lights and barber poles Wally, engaged in some much belated soul searching.

“I think I actually enjoy giving bad haircuts,” he mused. “How sick. No wonder I’m always getting beat up or driven out of town. Maybe I should look for another line of work,” he thought, staring down at his traveling barber kit.

“I’ve been trampled in Topeka, worked over the Wabash and had both legs broken in Marietta,” he shrugged. “but I’ve seen a lot of country and met a lot of great people in my travels. Some of them even let me cut their hair!”

Wally’s barber kit was comprised of six scissors, an assortment of combs, two mirrors, a straight razor and a dozen bottles of hair tonic. It had miraculously survived his most recent ordeal.

“I can’t quit now,” he said to himself. “I have too much invested.”
After five lonely, thirsty days on the road Wally arrived in Muttontown, on the banks of the Dirty River. He walked into the Broken Dreams Saloon and ordered a beer.

“Howdy, stranger,” said a saloon hall girl from the corner. “What brings you to Muttontown?”

“I’m a traveling barber,” said Wally. “I’m in search of work.

“Really?” asked the girl sincerely. “That’s right amazing, since our last barber was killed in a gunfight last night.”

“Is that a fact?” gestured Wally.


Filed Under: Reflections on Disorder


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