Odd’s On A Sunday Morning…A Vignette

Part 3: There was nothing to lose…

The hair-dressing saloon was a small affair – an unpretentious twelve by fifteen room with chairs for taking two customers at a time and a small bench to seat the waiting. The owner himself attended to one while the other by his boyish looking assistant. Presently the owner was engaged with a client and the assistant was free and trying to keep himself busy with this and that. And there was a guy on the bench waiting for his time. Strange that a perfectly tenable chair going vacant – quite untenable even by simple logic, not to invoke Queuing Theory and what-have-you. Why, like nature, business too abhors vacuum, void and vacancies. The guy should have filled the vacant chair, demand finding its matching supply. But he had not – he sat out on the bench unmoved.

On second thoughts, I had been hasty about the whole thing – the obvious explanation I had completely overlooked was either the second chair or the assistant or both were, for some reason, not fit to be plied for service. So I headed straight for the bench to wait for my turn and settled down with a dog-eared magazine from a pile provided for the reading pleasure of the patrons in wait. Imagine my surprise when the assistant turned squarely towards me and beckoned me to occupy the second chair. So it was fully operational! My puzzlement on why the guy was not filling in the second chair returned to my mind and was quickly replaced by a sense of appreciation at this favor, though flagrantly out-of-turn, from the management and the workforce to a long-standing client. So I did what gentlemen do under the circumstances – I turned around to the guy sitting on the bench beside me and gestured to him with an abridged bow that I was waiving my turn in his favor and that he should proceed immediately to the vacant chair and avail of the service. Now this guy turned out to be more than a gentleman and refused to seize my offer. Meanwhile the assistant rudely cut short our rounds of exchanges of favors and almost dragged me by hand to his chair. He quickly got a white towel wrapped around me marking irreversibly the commencement of operations. I caught in the mirror in the front the eyes of the guy on the bench and gave him an apologetic nod which meant ‘Look, this was not my doing.’

I got busy with the matter on hand and forgot all about the guy on the bench. In under ten minutes, it was all over – the simian aspect was shed and the human face was restored. As I stepped down from my chair, coincidentally the other chair also fell vacant and the owner called in the guy on the bench. While collecting the charges from me, the owner solved the little puzzle that was nagging me all along – he sheepishly explained some discerning clients insisted on being served by him even if it meant waiting. Now that I could put it away from my mind, the ingenuous insinuation that I was not counted among those discerning clients did not matter much. On my way out, I sighted for a mere moment the guy on the bench now settling down in the chair. Only then I noticed he was bald as a baby’s bottom! What was he doing there? Life has an inexhaustible supply of curveballs and keeps feeding you one after another. I couldn’t hang around to find out.

(To be contd.)


One Response to Odd’s On A Sunday Morning…A Vignette

  1. trisha says:

    good one. life is full of funniest experiences.


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