Insomniac wandered into the local tobacconist and barber shop taking a seat with several elderly, and one younger man as he waited his turn to get a haircut. The place always looked inviting. It has the air of an old-fashioned, small-town barber shop because thats what it was.

 

 The short, bald tobacconist wandered in and took up his post reading the newspaper on the counter. They had spoken several times in the street so he attempted to catch his eye so he could nod hello. The tobacconist seemed to bury his face deeper into the paper and the insomniac searched his mind looking for something he had done to offend him.

 

A few of the seated patrons had been looking as he entered the store so he'd nodded and most of them simply turned away. The younger man moved on his seat so he was angled slightly away from the insomniac. He sat in his social isolation and enjoyed the scents. The place smelled of fresh tobacco and some form of hair treatment. It's another of the things that made the place inviting.

 

They sat for a long time while the men before him took their turns. He had begun to suffer a lot of pain. A crushed hip and some spinal damage meant being seated was a problem. He started to feel nauseous from painkillers he had taken earlier. Then he noticed his skin was clammy and realized he had not had enough to eat after taking the medication for his diabetes. He had taken his sunglasses off but realized his face would be ghostly pale so he replaced them and hid behind them while he waited.

 

A man entered and took a seat, he seemed to look right through the ill insomniac . By then the shop had almost emptied and finally all except the younger guy and the recently arrived customer had been seen to. The younger guy's turn came and he gestured to the new arrival, who nodded, hopping into the empty seat! As he gestured, the younger guy turned in his seat so his back was facing the insomniac and he was totally sideways on the seat. The shop was almost empty. Insomniac wondered about the way he was facing, the guy didn’t look very comfortable.

 

There are two seats in operation and as the other barber finished his work the younger man hopped up and walked over to assist an older man from it. Barely had the older man cleared the seat before the younger popped down on it. It was becoming obvious that the insomniac was being purposely ignored. He walked over and asked if the younger guy was sure it was his turn. His idea was that it was fine for the other to give up his place to someone but no one else had agreed to giving up theirs and the insomniac was ill and in pain.

 

“Excuse me mate?”

 

The words were barely formed in his mouth when the younger man leapt from the seat, threw off the towel the barber had placed around his neck, and bellowed "Right mate, you wanna take this outside!!!" In Australia that is a universal challenge to a fight.

The pasty faced insomniac was taken aback. A simple query had turned this totally unknown person into an aggressive blowhard.  He pushed his face up to that of the blowhard and growled, "No mate, I think we can deal just fine right here. The blowhard seemed to flinch and our insomniac realized he thought he was going to get punched right there.

 

The insomniac guessed the other guy had been rude on purpose, knew the insomniac was a cripple and picked a fight thinking he would fold up in fear and now realized he was facing someone who was both unimpressed and who looked a lot bigger closer up..

The younger guy was perspiring as he roared that the guy he had allowed to take his place “had been putting his coat in the car and only gone for a moment.”

 

Several people had been sheared while the old mate had been dropping off his coat so the car must have been a few kilometers away.The insomniac was really struggling to stay on his feet so he said "Well, that solves it then, why didn't you say so?" and turned to sit.

 

The younger man was unhappy with that answer and still bellowing as though he had been truly insulted again demanded that they go outside and sort it out. The insomniac pulled an angry face gesturing to the door in the theatrical gesture of a silent-movie brawler. The troublemaker stalked out the door while the insomniac gladly sank back into a seat behind him and noticed that the retreating backside far wider than the shoulders of their owner.

 

The thought was quickly driven away as the oldmate who the ranting bully had helped from the barber chairstarted abusing him with a blustering monologue about what a bastard he was. He could see the enraged bully standing by the door with his hands on his hips glaring back into the shop. The insomniac, not wanting to seem rude, smiled and waved.

 The verbose 'old mate' used his babbling as if by talking over any replies he could make the insomniac go away. He could have stuck his fingers in his ears and gone. "la la laaaa laa." same thing.

 

Finally getting a little annoyed, the tired insomniac looked the old bullhorn in the eye and demanded he shut the F*** up!

 

Somehow at this point the male barber's brain-cell kicked in and he ended his shameful inactivity by resorting to a pale imitation of chivalry! His two mate's attempts to bully the newcomer and shout him down were making them look stupid so he pointed a furious finger at his now glowering victim and squeaked "You can't use that language in front of a woman, get out" The woman was the other barber, a delightful woman in her thirties who was standing calmly enjoying the show. She had a nice smile that warms her eyes and working in that place she probably smelled nice

 

It was obvious the male barber had used up his available brain power for the moment and he was never going to be any use anyway. To be honest his move had blown our victim away, such a simple shedding of responsibility and panicky avoidance tactic. He shifted it all onto the newcomer. The newcomer had sworn, He was evil, nothing could save him now! And yet against that fact he had been insulted, set up, they had attempted to get him outside so they could assault him. Now, with the potential attacker standing by the door the one responsible adult in charge of the premises had demanded he go out into possible violent assault!

 

 It was obvious all of the local male's brainpower had locked into willfull stupidity so he got up and walked out the door to leave. Suddenly the menacing bully noticed his intended victim was actually coming straight at him as though he wasn’t there and by the time the insomniac reached the door he seemed to have moved a good way back. With the bully looking at the ground by his feet the insomniac realized he wasn’t any real danger, turned his back in him and hopped aboard the electric mobility scooter.

 

 Thinking his intended victim had not had the heart to face him the tubby bully muttered, “look at the bastard, Ill bet he hasn’t worked a day in his life."

Overhearing that low blow made the insomniac’s ears burn and he spin the little machine about and raced it onto the road beside the car where the bully and his verbose chum had managed to lock themselves He roared. "Some people can’t work you dimwit" "Is it cripples you don’t like tough guy!" "C’mon fat-arse, He growled, "we are in the street now. People want to hear this".Both the driver and passenger seemed unable to meet his eye and looked straight ahead as they drove off.

 

Later the insomniac was informed that the bully had come back for a chat with the male barber and he found himself struggling to suppress images of them hugging each other with excitement and giggling.

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Insomniac at the Barber

Small-town barber shops are usually relaxing places where one can chat and catch up on all the local news as you wait. Insomniac found one that didn't live up to expectation

A small-town barbershop, shot at night.

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