I have to plan trips into town based on daylight, fair weather, and the desperation of my food supply. Luckily, all these things converged today, and I spent the afternoon in Dickinson getting a haircut, groceries, some new music, and a new computer game to occupy me.
I have had the discussion with my dad about barber shops and how to choose the right one after I had been really upset with having to go to places like Supercuts in Rochester. I hate over-explaining how I want my hair cut, and being asked if I want gel in my hair. When I say short, I don't mean I want you to stop halfway and ask me how you're doing - GO FOR IT.
So I had already scouted out the barber shops in Dickinson. There are at least three on the same block in the old downtown (Google Maps lies). Last time I was down there, it was a Monday, and apparently they collude to all be closed on Monday. I growled and left. I knew better this time, and the one with the biggest barber pole and the shiniest chairs I had seen last time got my business this time. It was called "Queen City Barber Shop."
Now, I didn't put much thought into the "Queen" part of the name - this isn't Madison - before I went in. I assumed it had something to do with some sort of obscure Dickinson history*. But when I saw the empty barber chair and the wide-smiling barber wearing a leather vest waiting for me, the famous words of GOB from Arrested Development leapt into my head: "I've made a huge mistake."
But it wasn't that simple. It had all the hallmarks of a quality barber shop. First of all, the bass mounted on the wall was enormous. Plus, they had a huge mule deer mounted on the back wall. I did not notice the bear rug I learned about in later research. And, based on prior experience, these are all hallmarks of a quality establishment. Though it's hard to get any better than the barber shop in Cardston, Alberta, my favorite ever; at one point it had a live parrot next to the archaeological treasures and the cowboy art.
I sat down. Simple instructions landed, and the scent of citrus-scented spray wetting my hair, we discussed wildlife management and the extent to which gray hair has established itself on my head.
Then the unexpected twist, an unsolicited and otherwise not advertised or previously discussed service: a vibrating shoulder massage thing. "Weird," I thought. But it really helped work out that tight spot in my shoulder.
I turned down the offer for gel in my hair.