It was a hot Friday in August and I was in desperate need of a haircut before the evening began. I headed over to Jerry’s in The Heights but it was closed early for some reason. I searched Barbershop “Little Rock” and there was a handful of results. Top of the list in order of proximity was a place called the King of Fades in North Little Rock. I kind of wore my hair in a fade, more of a high and tight with a little length on top so I thought the King of Fades could handle my request with ease.
I loaded in the truck and headed across the river before rush hour hit. King of Fades is located at the end of a tiny strip center with a crumbling parking lot and not much going for it… except a great name. When I walked in it was like a scene in Barber Shop. Everyone turned their head, judged me, then continued on their business. I was wearing chacos, jorts, and a Ren and Stimpy t-shirt so I understand why they were judging me. I sat in a chair for a couple minutes then a bunch of children began streaming in the shop. They were all drinking jungle juice and eating Cheetos. Finally an old black man approached me and asked what he could do for me.
I told him to clean me up and we headed to his chair. The barber had long black hair that looked like he had used an entire can of soul glow. He had several teeth capped gold and a long pinky fingernail. His tall slender figure stood over me and used the trimmers with a masters precision. He quickly cut my hair and spun me around to see the mirror. It looked great. He looked at me with a caring voice and asked, “What do you want me to do with this?”
He looked at me with a caring voice and asked, “What do you want me to do with this?”
I didn’t know what he was talking about, he just cut my hair. I thought the services were complete. He was talking about my scruffy facial hair. He asked I wanted him to clean me up, to which I obliged. I’ve never had a face shave at a barber shop so I was really popping a bunch of personal cherries on this Friday. The barber turned his back to me moving tools around his station and moments later turned back to me gripping a 6 inch straight razor in his hand with the long pinky nail.
The barber turned his back to me moving tools around his station and moments later turned back to me gripping a 6 inch straight razor in his hand with the long pinky nail.
He lathered my neck with warm shaving cream and drew the razor to my throat. Bad thoughts were running through my head. He proceeded to shave my neck with great precision. Minutes pass and and he makes his way up to my cheeks and side burns. I can’t grow hair in either place. I told him this and he tells me he’ll make me look good. He pulled out a piece of plastic and a spray bottle and began to spray something on my face that smelled like grapes.
He pulled out a piece of plastic and a spray bottle and began to spray something on my face that smelled like grapes.
He finally completed his services and whipped me around in the chair to see his masterpiece. That grape spray was actually some kind of temporary paint… he spray painted a beard on my face and it looked decent. I tipped him out and thanked him for a job well done. Afterwards, I went to Flying Saucer to show off my new found glory. My bartender was so proud of me that he bought me a couple rounds on the house.
That’s my story about the King of Fades.