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Sugar Hair Cut, by Larry Leon Dixon

Jerry Hardin was my hero. He was also my cousin. He was three years older and I desperately wanted to be like him. When I was in the second grade, Jerry got a flat top haircut. When mother carried me to the barber, I begged her for a flat top hair cut. She didnít approve of my hair being cut that short but she finally gave in to my pleading. When the hair is combed vertical and cut off flat on the top, that is considered a flat top hair cut.

Jerryís haircut was perfectly flat on the top. Because of the odd shape of my head, my new flat top had a bald spot on top. The bald spot on my head was snow white. Jerry applied Butch hair jell to make his hair stand perfectly straight up. He then eagerly applied the hair jell to my hair. I looked great except for the bald spot. Monday morning I was excited. Everyone at school was going to see my new and impressive haircut. Hair jell wasnít purchased so mother mixed up sugar and water in a small cup. The mixture was carefully applied on my hair. After drying and combing, my hair stood straight up. It looked great and I felt proud.

Jerry Hardin
Jerry Hardin
Larry Dixon
Larry Dixon
I arrived at school with glowing confidence. My hair was standing as straight as a wheat field on a quiet day. The sugar had made it stiff but also brittle. My hair couldnít be touched because it was as fragile as a cheap window pane. Air conditioners hadnít been invented and the windows were left open to help cool the rooms. With no screens on the windows, flying insects would periodically visit class. I was proudly setting at my desk when a house fly flew into the room. The fly buzzed around the group of students a couple of times looking for lunch. It found it when it landed on my sugar hair. Mess up my perfectly combed hair was out of the question. I carefully tried to wave it off. It wouldnít move. The fly was having a sugar feast. I reluctantly allowed it stay and eat its fill of the sugar and then it would eventually leave. When the fly got its tummy full, it flew out the window. The fly wobbled out the open window like an overfilled plane struggling to get off the ground. I was so relieved that it was finally gone.

In a couple of minutes, a swarm of house flies and a couple of yellow jackets had entered the room. A yellow jacket is a small yellow wasp. All of them were either on my head or buzzing around it. The first fly had brought his associates back for a large business lunch. It was so embarrassed. The other children had turned around in their desk and were staring at me and the flies. I canít imagine what the dumbfounded teacher thought about this little boy setting in the back of the class with a swarm flies buzzing his head. As soon as I got home, I washed my hair and never ever sported sugar flat top haircut again.

Larry Leon Dixon 2008

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