Connections: Haircut High Jinks

An amusing bungle of an attempt to make a simple appointment

   “Shave and a Haircut, Two Bits.” If that musical ditty doesn’t immediately ring a bell, I’ll tell you it is, or perhaps more properly used to be, a familiar (and jocular) ending for songs, particularly in bluegrass. I hadn’t thought of it for years, but I couldn’t get it out of my head for a couple of days recently, after making an amusing bungle of an attempt to make a simple appointment to have my hair cut.
    You know how people used to say Sag Harbor was once the bar capital of America, with more gin mills per capita —supposedly, anyway, and I suspect many port towns once made this boast —than any other place? I think we can now legitimately retitle it the salon capital of the South Fork.
    About two months ago, l had my hair done there by a woman named Jackie in a Main Street salon. I liked what she did, and it was time to do it again. My daughter-in-law had given me the phone number originally, but neither of us could remember it or find it again.
    I thought the place was called Salon 67 (it’s actually Salon 66) but couldn’t locate a listing in the phone book, either. So, naturally, I tried information. Quickly given a number, I called and made an appointment. The polite woman who answered the phone said her name was Irina, but didn’t comment when I asked to have an appointment with Jackie. (Or so I thought.)
    A few days later, something unexpectedly came up, and I found it necessary to reschedule my appointment. Once again, I had neglected to write down the phone number, and I tried information again. But this time, the operator insisted no Salon 67 or 66 was listed anywhere on the South Fork. Hm.
    Just why the talented Jackie doesn’t have a listed phone number for Salon 66 is still unclear to me; has time passed me by, and are land lines becoming a thing of the past? I gather she relies on her cellphone and business cards and is doing quite well. She has set up her shop where Marty’s Barbershop used to be —but that didn’t help me find the number.
    Now, the circulation manager at The Star knows a few Internet tricks. She didn’t tell how she ferreted out Jackie’s last name and cellphone number, but that’s exactly what she did. When I called to make a new appointment, however, Jackie was surprised: No, she said, I had not called previously or made any appointment at Salon 66.
    So whom had I called?
    I was both mystified and bemused.
    Turns out that there are more small salons in Sag Harbor than in East Hampton, Bridgehampton, or South­ampton. One of them was expecting me on Thursday at 4, but . . . which one? Hoping to find the answer, I searched the Web and came up with too many to call: Fingers Fine Haircutting, the Style Bar, the Harbor Salon, Studio 99, the Quibaldi Salon, and at least four others. I anxiously wondered what Irina would think when I rudely didn’t appear for my appointment.
    Then, to my surprise, my phone rang the day before the Thursday on which I had inadvertently made an appointment in the wrong place. It was Salon Xavier calling to confirm. Oh, dear: I owed them an explanation.
    When I finally got to Jackie’s, we had a good laugh.