Buddy’s Prize-Winning Haircut: A Humorous Flash Fiction Short Story

Updated on September 10, 2018
RonElFran profile image

Ron is a long-time writer of non-fiction articles who also enjoys writing short fiction.

In the barbershop
In the barbershop | Source

Buddy didn't want to have his hair cut; it was just that simple. But the question was, how to prevent it.

He’d been excited when his dad told him they were going for a drive. So he ran and jumped eagerly into the car, his excitement growing as his dad drove toward the strip mall where Buddy’s favorite ice cream shop was located. When they swung into the mall parking lot, Buddy was already looking with anticipation toward the Mr. Freeze store located just a few doors away on the right. But instead of turning toward Mr. Freeze, Buddy’s dad went in the opposite direction, and finally pulled into a parking space in front of Mr. Paul’s barbershop. When Buddy realized the awful truth, he felt betrayed. Although his dad hadn’t said anything about it, Buddy knew exactly what was coming, and he was outraged.

A haircut! Without even warning him, or giving him a chance to escape, his father had tricked him into coming to get his hair cut.

Buddy’s Problem

It wasn't that Buddy didn't want his hair to be neatly trimmed – he didn’t care about that one way or the other – but he loathed the process of getting it that way. Especially that part about having to sit absolutely still for an extremely long time while the barber did awful things to his head. So, as his father lifted him onto the children's board laid across the arms of the barber’s chair, you could see in Buddy's eyes a fierce determination to resist this indignity to the bitter end.

But four-year-old Buddy knew he had to be careful, or his resistance could result in some serious consequences to himself. Frank, his father, was a no-nonsense type who made sure that Buddy understood from his earliest days that disobedience to parental authority would always be a very uncomfortable proposition. So, when Buddy tried to climb back into his father's arms from the seat where he had been placed, Frank simply commanded, "Buddy, be still!" He then went and sat down as if it never crossed his mind that Buddy might not cooperate.

Even at the tender age of four Buddy was a thoughtful young man. So he sat and studied his problem. He didn't want a haircut, and he had made up his mind not to let the barber even touch him. But he knew from bitter experience that if he made a fuss, his dad would make his life very difficult when they got home. What could he do to mount a determined resistance without letting himself in for some painful consequences?

Buddy’s Decision

It was a tough problem, and Buddy became very still as he tried to think it through. He thought, and thought, and thought some more, and finally decided that there was just no choice. It was a matter of principle. If he chickened out on this, to what even deeper depths might he fall later in life? He was going to have to loudly refuse to let that barber cut a single strand of his hair, and he’d just have to take whatever consequences his father would mete out to him. After all, even four-year-olds had their dignity to uphold.

But just as he began to screw up his face into a mask of defiance, and started to open his mouth to scream out to the whole barbershop a loud, rebellious "no!", he saw that his father had already gotten up out of his chair and was moving toward him. Buddy froze. He hadn't even done anything yet. He knew that his dad was usually a step ahead of him, but this was ridiculous!

Buddy’s Surprise

As Buddy was trying to adjust to his father's prescience, Mr. Paul, the barber, was congratulating Frank on his well-behaved son.

"Yes," said Mr. Paul, "it's very unusual for a young one like this to remain perfectly still throughout the whole haircut."

"Well, Buddy is a good boy," agreed Frank, as he lifted his astonished son from the barber's chair. "He usually gives a lot more trouble than this, but maybe he's beginning to grow up."

With amazement Buddy realized that while he had sat there thinking and thinking about how to protest this whole outlandish procedure, the barber had completed his ministrations – the haircut was over!

Buddy’s Reward

Thus was born the habit that stuck with Buddy all his life. Many years later he would confess in a television interview that the idea for the novel that won him a Pulitzer Prize was worked out as he sat in a barber's chair, concentrating hard in order to forget what was happening to his head.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Ronald E Franklin

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • RonElFran profile imageAUTHOR

        Ronald E Franklin 

        3 days ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

        Thanks, Lawrence. I'm looking for that Pulitzer chair myself.

      • lawrence01 profile image

        Lawrence Hebb 

        4 days ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

        Ron

        Lovely little story. Now, where's that chair?

      • RonElFran profile imageAUTHOR

        Ronald E Franklin 

        4 weeks ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

        Thanks, Yves. Not all children are like Buddy in their distaste for haircuts, but many are. I was one of them!

      • savvydating profile image

        Yves 

        4 weeks ago

        Lol, Ron. You've somehow made us love Buddy. Actually, it never occurred to me that children are afraid of the barber. Hmmm. I remember none of it when my son was a little guy. I guess his dad took him to barber appointments. Just as well. I probably would have caved in. Haha.

        An awfully charming story!

      • RonElFran profile imageAUTHOR

        Ronald E Franklin 

        4 weeks ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

        You're right, Laura. I have it from Buddy himself that never again did he raise a fuss about getting a haircut. He realized it just wasn't worth the grief he would get from his dad.

      • Laura335 profile image

        Laura Smith 

        4 weeks ago from Pittsburgh, PA

        I can see how it could be scary between the sounds of snipping and electric razors and someone working in the back of your head where you can't see, but sometimes a warning from your parent can be even scarier.

      • RonElFran profile imageAUTHOR

        Ronald E Franklin 

        4 weeks ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

        You're right, Dora, in the long term it was very positive (I'm not sure if that's serendipity or not). Buddy tells me that what made it positive for him at the time was that after the haircut his dad took him to Mr. Freeze for that ice cream he'd expected in the first place.

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        4 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        What a positive ending to an initially unfortunate event! Is this what they call serendipity?

      • RonElFran profile imageAUTHOR

        Ronald E Franklin 

        4 weeks ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

        Thanks, Rodric. I understand your son - I'm an adult and I don't much like haircuts either!

      • Rodric29 profile image

        Rodric Anthony Johnson 

        4 weeks ago from Peoria, Arizona

        This is cute. I livef it with my three boys. One still does not like hair course and he is an adult! Thanks for this.

      • RonElFran profile imageAUTHOR

        Ronald E Franklin 

        4 weeks ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

        Thanks, Zulma. If your son was anything like I was as a child, it wasn't getting his hands dirty that was the problem, but having to clean them afterwards.

      • RonElFran profile imageAUTHOR

        Ronald E Franklin 

        4 weeks ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

        Thanks, Jodah. I'm glad there's somebody who enjoyed their childhood trips to the barber!

      • phoenix2327 profile image

        Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

        4 weeks ago from United Kingdom

        What a delightful story!

        My son never fussed at getting his hair cut, but he put his foot down when it came to finger painting. He didn't like getting his hands dirty.

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 

        4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        This was a very enjoyable flash fiction tale, Ron. Great job. I used to enjoy going to the barber's as a child lol.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://letterpile.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)