Here’s a fun story to take your minds off Isis and daily crises in world affairs; Trump vs. Cruz, Hillary vs. Bernie ; the plummeting Dow Jones Index, or any other serious subject that may be keeping you awake at night.
Fifty years ago, Rod Serling produced a fascinating science fiction TV series, “The Twilight Zone”. Each story was unique, creating a setting where a person would find that events in familiar surroundings no longer made sense. There were no aliens appearing as strange green creatures similar to comic book caricatures. The language was understandable when people spoke to each other. What was eerie in each intriguing story was the unfolding of the plot. It did not make sense to the puzzled viewer. The mystery continued to build until the conclusion of the hour.
Last week, I felt I was in one of Rod Serling’s television programs. Here is the beginning of the story. We live in Linwood, a residential New Jersey community. Our daughter Faith, while visiting us from Philadelphia, decided to have her hair cut at a local beauty parlor before returning home in the afternoon. She used our telephone book to locate one about ten minutes away on Tilton Road, a major business artery with malls and a variety of shops and fast food restaurants along a two mile strip. She called early and made an appointment for ten o’clock. Faith was very happy with the result and recommended the operator, Joanne. That was Thursday.
On Friday, I called my regular beauty parlor and discovered my operator was unavailable — possibly for some time due to a family emergency. She has been washing and cutting my hair for decades. She is an artist with a pair of scissors. I brush and style my own hair after a shampoo. Just give me a wall mirror, the right kind of brush and some hair spray and Voila! With the perfect short hair cut, the style always falls into place. Along with what I call natural ‘ frosting‘ in front , (no more cap or tin foil) I’m on my way.
I decided to call Faith’s beauty parlor, only ten minutes away, and make an appointment with Joanne for my shampoo. She answered the call and was available at four that afternoon. I had the address of the beauty parlor and thought I knew the small strip mall where it was located. When I pulled in to park, I could see through the broad glass windows that it was large, modern and impressive. Black and chrome furniture, many stations, large plants in the inviting décor. I entered and went over to the curved counter where a seated receptionist was on the telephone. Several operators in uniforms were seated nearby. Other operators were busy with customers at their stations. I waited until the receptionist was free. It was exactly four o’clock.
Here’s the conversation that ensued– verbatim:
“Hi, I’m Joyce Anderson for the four o’clock appointment with Joanne.” With a very puzzled look, the receptionist said, “I’m sorry we don’t have an operator named Joanne.” I took a breath and said, “My daughter, Faith Anderson, was here yesterday for her hair cut and Joanne was her operator.” She looked at her records for Thursday, and said, “What did you say your daughter’s name is and how do you spell it?” I stayed calm and said, “Faith Anderson.“ She asked me to spell the last name. I did, “A-n-d-e-r-s-o-n” By now, the two seated operators had heard this conversation and joined her. They were all pleasant but insisted there was no Joanne at the shop.
I decided to go to ‘plan B’ as Faith would say. I asked if there was an operator who could shampoo my hair. I had a small bottle of Johnson’s baby shampoo with me. The receptionist then arranged for someone to show me where I could hang up my winter jacket and a tall young man named Shaun appeared who would shampoo my hair. He was experienced and very accommodating. (I think they had decided that I was a confused lady and wanted to move me along as quickly as possible.) While Shaun washed my hair, I told him of the mix-up and I asked him about his career. He had 14 years experience and a most polite and professional manner. He was a winner.
At his station, there was a large mirror. He supplied me with dry towels, the type of brush I use and hair spray. In fifteen minutes, my hair was back in the style I prefer. When I asked about the cost, he replied with a smile. “It’s on me.” “Absolutely not!” I answered and gave him a five dollar tip. I also gave him my card with my website and recommended he read my blogs. He gave me his card, and I may be seeing him in the days ahead.
Postscript: When we drove to the local diner that evening, we drove slowly along Tilton Road and found the beauty shop Faith had gone to in a tiny mall with an odd number address on the even side of Tilton Road! A complete mix-up. I still had the phone number and called later to explain to the owner why I hadn’t kept the four o’clock appointment with Joanne. Sorry, Joanne. I thought I knew where the beauty parlor was. End of “Twilight Zone” story.