It doesn’t specify what Radbert has his sights set on slashing, but I know what I’d be contemplating if I’d been named Radbert.
Jeffrey Fisher, the author, doesn’t bother to explore the existential angst that Radbert must surely be experiencing. Where did he get the scissors? What led him to picking them up? Why does he want to cut? All of these questions are just completely ignored.
Instead, without setting up clear motivation for why he takes this action, Radbert goes immediately about the business of revenge and uses the scissors to shred his mother’s hair while she sleeps.
In a surprise twist, Radbert’s mother rather likes the new hairdo and pretty soon everyone wants a Radbert haircut.
Radbert is clearly making fun of his clients, and trying to get them to experience the misery he has had to live through by virtue of his unfortunate name. Despite his efforts to cut their hair into the most ridiculously embarrassing styles imaginable, they keep coming back for more. Who could believe there would be demand for hairstyles resembling kangaroos, aircraft, and bunny-ears?
But these horrors are not what the title eludes to. The real hair scare comes when Radbert’s reputation reaches the King who arrives at Radbert’s door for a haircut. The King is a pompous ass, prone to fits of petulant rage, but what can be said for him is he is no naked emperor.
Radbert’s ruse is through, and that’s where things get really hairy.