Arrival in Pascagoula

As relatively inexperienced teleporters, Glen and I were understandably nervous upon our arrival in Mississippi. Although we were relieved to have escaped the skunk ape and its stench, we were anxious about our journey through the magnolia state without a car. Thankfully, the skunk ape had dropped us by the side of a highway, and we were able to hitchhike to the nearby town of Pascagoula. At dusk, a farmer driving an old Ford pickup stopped to collect us. He didn’t ask questions. The bed of his truck was comfortable enough, and there was a cool breeze as we rode beneath the orange sky. 

Glen and Harms hitchhike into the Mississippi sunset.
Harms and Glen ride into the Mississippi sunset.

It was dark when we got to Pascagoula. “Is it usually this empty?” I asked our driver. 

He shook his head. “Buncha folks left town last week,” he answered. “They say the Barber’s back,” the driver said, relaxed, focused on the road. “Me, I think it’s baloney.” I glanced at Glen. 

“Here is fine,” I said, and the man let us out. We’d seen a motel a few blocks back. Glen and I thanked the farmer, who nodded in response. 

The sign by the motel read “Ole Miss Motel: The Finest Lodging in Pascagoula.” Fluorescent lights illuminated the battered sign. Based on the looks of the town, I believed the sign’s motto. 

An old lady stood behind the front desk. She wore beads and colorful scarves. Without speaking, she nodded and handed us a room key. As we walked away, she called, “I’d lock your door if I was you, boys. Lord knows what’s out there.” 

A Plan Takes Form

We slept well; no bed bugs at Pascagoula’s finest. Without many shops open and nearby tourist attractions closed, Glen and I didn’t have much to do.

Over breakfast at a diner down the way, we discussed the farmer’s comment about “the barber” being back in town. He’d been referring to the Pascagoula Barber, we figured. The Pascagoula Barber was said to be a mysterious, unidentified man who roamed the night, sneaking into houses and cutting women’s hair as they slept. Although he hadn’t been active since the 40s, Glen and I decided we’d look for him while in Pascagoula. We had no idea what a mistake we’d be making.

The Phantom Barber at work.

the Stakeout

The Barber doesn’t make his rounds until after nightfall, so Glen and I spent the rest of the day in the motel room mirror, combing our hair. This goes without saying, but we are very proud of our silky locks. Even on a road trip, it’s important to maintain our good looks. 

We set out around dusk, waiting in a nearby forest where we had a view of Main Street. We made a small fire, but passed the time in absolute silence. The Barber, they say, is like Santa Claus – he sees you when you’re sleeping, and he knows when you’re awake.

Our eyes heavy, we put out the fire around midnight. We decided to take shifts. Glen would stay up for three hours, and then I’d take over from there. I curled up beside the embers in my motel blanket as Glen stared at the street through the pines. 


I awoke to Glen’s snores. Classic. My iPhone read 2:46am. “Close enough,” I thought. Glen was sleeping in his blanket, facing away from me on the other side of the dead fire. I sat up. Main Street, under orange street lights, was still empty. 

Groggy, I rubbed my eyes. Glen, turning in his sleep, suddenly faced me. I gasped. It wasn’t the Glen I knew. 

The man sleeping across from me had the same blue button-down, the same rolled sleeves, the same beard, the same khaki pants. But his head was bare. That luscious brown hair, gone, chopped off.

Slowly, my hands trembling, I reached up to feel my own hair. Expecting the soft salad I’d worked so hard to grow, style and maintain, my hands felt nothing but prickly roots on smooth skin. I gasped a second time.

“Glen!” I shouted. “Wake up!” Glen awoke, rubbing his eyes. Looking up, seeing me, my bald, despicable head, his eyes widened. Glen, in shock, gasped for air, struggling for a scream.

“What the hell!” he screamed. “What…the…hell!” he repeated, feeling his own disgusting baldness.

“It was the Barber,” I said, glaring at the still-empty street. 

“Bro,” Glen groaned. “How’d I fall asleep?”

I shook my head in response. What a disaster. We’d failed. The Barber had been so close, and all we’d gotten for it were two evil buzz cuts. We’d lost everything: the flowing lions’ manes we’d cherished, and, along with those, our good looks and our dignity. 

Disgrace & Departure

We left Pascagoula that morning, hitchhiking with our heads down. Committing to the skinhead look, we’d shaved what was left of our hair that morning. Glen and I said little; we could barely look at each other. 

“We gotta get outta here,” Glen said as we left town, once again in the bed of another farmer’s pickup truck. “This region is doomed.”

I agreed. “Let’s go to Connecticut. I hear the Melon-Heads are out of hibernation.”

“Yeah,” Glen replied. “At least they won’t cut our hair. Not like we have any hair for them to cut.”

And so we left Mississippi, bound for the East Coast, feeling disgraced. We carried on with poor attitudes and a sense of duty – to continue our monstrous road trip, and nothing more. 

Looking rather sad, Harms and Glen reveal their new looks.
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