Rats! Episode 03 – Hair, Hair!

One of the first things that happens to new cadets when they arrive at Virginia Tech is the Haircut. I should mention that the freshman cadets and cadre arrive a week before the rest of the student body, to spend time learning how to march, salute, wear the uniform, etc. It was not a fun month as I recall. Very painful in fact. We started every day off with PT, scrambling out of bed at oh-dark-thirty and into our sweats and sneakers to go for a run and do millions of push-ups and sit-ups until every freshman cadet was puking up their lungs. Well, at least I was puking up my lungs. Prior to joining the VTCC, I never did any running and certainly had no idea what a push-up was.

But on to the haircut. There was a little barber shop on Main Street near College Avenue were the upper classmen cadre took all the male rats. They went in with hair, they came out with peach fuzz. It was pretty startling, I tell ya. And then the upper classmen had us female rats rub the guys’ heads, just to get across the point how short the haircut was. It sort of felt like velvet. Or bare skin. Hair any longer than that was an upper classman privilege.

Myself, I also had very short hair back then. I had gone through high school as a sort of Annie Lennox look alike, though my hair wasn’t really a buzz cut. Yet. But then that first quarter at Tech, I had to get my hair cut because it was getting too long. Female cadets had to keep their hair off the collar and out of their eyes, and my hair was just touching the collar of my shirt. There weren’t many options for hair dressers in Blacksburg, so I went to the beauty parlor right next to the same barber shop all my male buds had gotten their haircuts at. Wouldn’t you know it, the same barber was filling in for one of the hairdressers that day, and when he saw me in my cadet uniform, he knew exactly what to do. And he said exactly what I drew him as saying up in the cartoon. And he even had the Jheri curl I drew on him in the cartoon!

That was the shortest I’d ever had my hair cut, and I started growing it the moment I walked out of that beauty parlor. Let me tell you, folks. Blacksburg in late November is damned cold, and I nearly froze to death before I had enough hair to cover the back of my head again.

Stupid barber.

About Cynical Woman

Cartoonist, Artist, Geek, Evil Crafter, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Writer. Also, a zombie. I haven't slept in I don't know how long.
Bookmark the permalink.


  1. First official day of AF Basic Military Training (BMT) as part of your in-processing, they line up the males and run you through the barbershop, where you are sheared. Since they have over a hundred trainee to deal with they are quick and not to gentle about it. At training day 15 you go to the real barbershop for a trim, which is almost as quick but less painful.

  2. That rat-in-the-headlights look on their faces is priceless!

  3. Vince,

    Oh yeah, I’ve heard plenty about those mass haircuts. With the cadets, we didn’t have nearly as many to do at one time, but damn they cut the guys’ hair short! It was like peach fuzz or velvet. No, it was more like actual baldness! Ugh!

  4. City,

    I had that look all four years in college, and still get it from time to time these days 😉

  5. Pingback: Rats! Episode 22 – Bad Hair Day « The Cynical Woman Website

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.