THE BILLY FINN BARBER SHOP was located at the old site of the Peter Pan flying machine, the Finn family kitchen. For lunch that day, Billy had catsup on bread, and whenever he got that, he knew food was scarce, and that it was right before payday. His main concern was over the rationing of popsicles. Billy had to get a job. With cardboard in hand, he walked to Annas house, and asked her to draw a new sign on the back of the piece of cardboard that proclaimed the now defunct Amusement Park. Anna drew the sign, and even put a barber pole on it. Billy was very proud as he watched her artistic endeavors. She warned him, "now, Billy, don't you be cuttin' anyones hair?" "It's only pretend, Miss Anna" he replied, like a fox.
The new sign proudly hung on the fence gate. Billy Finn was officially open for business. He had a pair of green plastic scissors which wouldn't cut a piece of paper, let alone a strand of hair. The kitchen door opened. Customers!, thought Billy. It was Tommy and Freddie Jones looking for Garrett. "He's out with my Dad", Billy told them. "We're gettin' a car." "You wanna be my first customer, Tommy?" asked Billy. Tommy Jones sat at the kitchen table in one of the chromium chairs. Billy placed a mixing bowl on his head, and gave him a trim. Tommy's hair was longer than usual, and was, in fact, in need of a haircut. He told Billy that on Saturday, his dad was taking him to a real barber shop. "For five cents, I can do it for you!" exclaimed the master barber. Tommy Jones reached into his pocket.
Billy went over to the cupboard to find his mom's sewing scissors, but they were not there. He did notice a candle and matches in the far corner. This was in case of a power failure, of which there were many. Billy was told never to play with matches. He took the candle and lit it. Holding the candle in one hand, and pulling Tommy's hair with the other, he singed Tommy's hair, and thus, invented a new way to cut hair. He burned it off. The smell was putrid, but Billy proceeded, and after each singe, he dabbed the newly coiffed hair with a wet towel, lest Tommy should catch fire. Freddy refused his turn.
Billy was so proud of himself. He earned a nickel, and his reward would be a popsicle after the train whizzed through town. He returned the matches, and the now half burnt candle to the cupboard just as Cathy Finn walked through the kitchen door. "What's that I smell, Billy?" Billy shrugged his shoulders. "And why aren't you over at Anna's?" He shrugged again, and went out in the backyard to play.
There was a loud knock on the front door. Very loud, thought Cathy as she skipped to the door "just a minute, just a minute!" When she opened the door, she gasped. Mrs. Christine Jones was holding the hand of her son Tommy whose head looked like it just came out of a toaster!
"What the hell happened to him?" asked Cathy. The incensed and trembling Mrs. Jones did not say a word. She stared right through Cathy Finn, right through the kitchen exterior wall.
"BILLLLLLY FINNNNNNN, I AM GOING TO KILL YOU!", Cathy bellowed as she tore to the back yard.
Billy got a good spanking for that, and was given the ultimate threat. "Wait til your father gets home!" Cathy told Mrs. Jones to have Tommy go to the barber shop and get his head shaved, and that she would pay her on Saturday.
At seven p.m., Ed Finn and Garrett arrived home in a 1949 Plymouth coupe. Billy was taking a bath in the kitchen. He stood naked in a tin tub filled with water as Cathy told Ed Finn of the barbershop. Billy saw his father reaching for his belt buckle, and Billy knew what that meant. The strap! Billy jumped out of the tub, dodged everyone trying to catch him, flew out the front door, and ran down Kidder Street, stark bare-ass naked! His father was in chase, and gaining ground. Ed Finn began to chuckle because of the absurdity of the haircut, and now this little boy running naked toward the coal mine. He caught Billy by the scruff of the neck and threw him over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes, lightly spanking his bottom all the way home.
The sign was taken down, and the barber shop ceased operation.