Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Moron Fills In - Finale (Finally!)

For the other Moron Fills In posts, you're going to have to visit the old Blog of Stupid to get parts ONE and TWO.

The client, a man in his early twenties wearing the hip and trendy clothes of his generation, looked up from the clipboard and smiled halfheartedly.

"Oooooohhhh," said the Moron. This wouldn't do. Not at all. "Hailey? Can I, uh, talk to you in the back room for just a second?"

Ignoring him, she waved a hand, indicating the client. "This is Martin. He's one of Megan's regulars. He can tell you how she does his cut."

The Moron put on an impressive burst of sidling and was instantly at Hailey's side. "Yes," he whispered, "but that's a dude. I don't want to touch some strange dude."

"Tough Skittles," she said. "None of us are particularly wild about it."

The Moron held his hands in front of his chest, the tips of his index fingers touching, as if each were accusing the other of being a liar. "I thought I was going to be styling lady hair," he explained, one professional to another.

"Nope. Barber shop implies male clients," she said matter-of-factly. "It's even called 'Dude's'." Raising her voice, she continued, "Martin? This is the Moron. He's filling in for Megan today."

"Hey," said Martin seating himself in the Moron's chair.

The Moron gave the back of Hailey's head one last glare and turned to size Martin up.

He didn't like Martin. His hairstyle, with the teased ends and streaks of unearthly blonde stood in total opposition to the businesslike decorum of his beloved office environment.

"So! Where do you work?" the Moron asked casually, scanning his workspace for a spray bottle.

"Oh, just in an office," Martin said dismissively.

"You don't say!" the Moron chirped, pleasantly surprised. "Do you use Excel?" This might be easier than he thought! He found the spray bottle filled with water. It didn't matter that he was a little unsure about its use, because he had a topic he could use as a tactical distraction while he worked it out.

"Yeah," said Martin. "I think Megan used a Number 2 on the sides."

This was a little odd, the Moron thought. He knew his girlfriend possessed a knowledge of hair cuttery that dwarfed his own, but he was still surprised that she was using pencils to do it. She had always used electric clippers on his own hair.

He twiddled the nozzle on the spray bottle in an extremely competent manner.

"Did you ever figure out how to make one of the little boxes turn green?" This ought to impress the fellow, he thought. He'd managed to do it by dropping the mouse, proving that even his accidents yielded greatness. He squeezed the lever and fired a jet of water into Martin's left ear.

"Geez! Yeah, I know how to shade cells. By the way, Megan always used the clippers on the sides and back before she wet the rest down. If you could sort of do that too, that'd be cool. And can I have a cape?"

"Certainly!" the Moron said. Who was he to squash this man's superhero ambitions? "This one says 'Dude's' on the front, and it's black. That makes it badass."

While Martin put the cape on, the Moron swapped the spray bottle for a set of electric clippers. He'd seen these before. Megan always turned them on and then sprayed the blades with air freshener or something. The Moron turned these on, but the counter did not have any air freshener on it. The only aerosol can in reach was a can of hairspray.

Well, anything aerosol is pretty much the same as the rest, or else it wouldn't spray out of the can like that. He gave the clippers a liberal wetdown from the can of Televangelist Strength Gillette.

The blades immediately ground to a halt. The clippers just sat there, humming, in his hand.

"Well! Looks like they're going to need a new one of these!" the Moron guffawed good-naturedly. He tossed the worthless machine into the trash can. He poked a finger into Martin's hair to judge its depth. A nice upscale place like Dude's should have a radar thingie for this, like bass fishermen have, he thought.

"Everything okay back there, cheif?" asked Martin. The Moron gave him a soothing pat on the head.

The door chimes sounded. The Moron grinned ruefully at the returning Stephanie. "You're gonna need a new set of clippers over here," he said. "These other ones just burned out."

Stephanie sighed. "Okay. You're going to have to fill out a requisition form for a new set," she said. "In the meantime, you can use Marie's. Where are the old ones?"

"Already taken care of!" Honestly, he thought. Pshaw! Phooey! As if he were incapable of throwing something away. He'd been doing that for months. In fact, The Company had recently put him in charge of every trash can in the entire office.

"Hey, do you smell smoke?" Martin asked, shifting in the chair.

"Probably just that cape you're smelling," the Moron said dismissively. He retrieved the pair of clippers from the workstation next door. "Now how did you want me to buzz off the hair back here? Any specific length you'd like it, or you want me to just use my expert judgement?"

The Moron hoped that Martin would opt for the latter, as his judgement was exceedingly good. That, and it looked like the clippers would make it difficult to maintain an even depth on anything other than a close shave. Fortunately, his judgement said that a close shave was exactly what this fellow needed.

"No, seriously, something smells like it's burning in here."

"I sincerely doubt that," the Moron said calmly, as if explaining the non-existence of goblins to a toddler.

Then he spotted a curl of smoke rising from the trash can with the humming clippers in it.

Oh yeah. Probably should have unplugged those. He leaned over for a better look.

"Seems some tissues in here got kind of hot and set themselves on fire," he explained with a shrug. "They do that sometimes. Not to worry." Thinking back to high-school physics class, the Moron recalled that heat was little more than excited air molecules bonking into each other like drunks at a nightclub. Fire was made of heat, so therefore to stop fire, you needed to get those air molecules to hold still.

The Moron made a quick judgement call and selected the can of Gillette for its maximum hold properties.

His cape on fire, Martin left the barbershop a less than satisified customer. Following Stephanie and Hailey out the door on the run, the Moron made for his car.

"Not to worry, ladies! I know just what we need!" A fire extinguisher, of course. He knew that The Company kept one in the supply closet, and The Company was only twenty minutes away.

If only he had one of those slick Chevy Cavaliers, he could make it there even quicker.

1 comment:

  1. Like. Here is my favorite line:

    His cape on fire, Martin left the barbershop a less than satisified customer.

    Reminds me a little of a Mark Twain line. Or maybe Pat McManus. High praise, let me tell you, as McManus is literary hero of mine.


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