[*Author’s Note: This is a work of fiction. Any similarities between a character or the establishment in this tale and any person or animal living or dead or any actual establishment are merely coincidental.]
A poodle, a walrus and a goat walked into a beauty salon. A duck was at the counter, attending to customers. The duck asked, “How might I be of service?” The poodle said, “I would like something stylish, like I have.” The walrus said, “I would like my moustache trimmed.” Finally, the goat said, “I would like my goatee shaped; it’s looking a bit messy.”
The salon was very busy on this particular occasion. The duck was multitasking, meeting customers at the front of the shop, assigning them to the appropriate beauty technician and answering the perpetually ringing telephone. Anyway, the duck said, “Follow me,” and brought the poodle, the walrus and the goat to three distinct workstations, where highly trained individuals would work on each one of them.
Time passed. The three were attended to. There was banter. There was music playing in the background. Espressos and cappuccinos were offered and accepted. At times, magazines were read. Then, after about an hour, the three were told that the work on them was done.
It is important to note that this was no ordinary beauty salon. The interesting thing was that there were no mirrors at the workstations. The poodle, walrus and goat were so busy listening to the music, talking and drinking coffee that they hadn’t noticed. After the stylists were finished, they went to the front of the shop to pay the duck. However, when they looked into the salon’s only mirror, positioned behind the cash register, they were in shock.
The poodle had all his fur shaved off. What remained was an exceptionally long, droopy handlebar moustache. The walrus now had a somewhat scraggly looking goatee, befitting a rocker of sorts. Gone was his long moustache. Last but not least, the goat was sporting a very sophisticated hairstyle that looked like it had been thought up in a stylist’s studio in Paris. Gone was his goatee.
The complaints began. The poodle exclaimed, “What have you done to me!!!” The walrus wailed, “My big moustache is gone!!!” The goat bleated, “I look ridiculous!!!” Then, the duck began to speak, “What is the name of this salon?” The trio looked at each other, blank expressions on their now modified faces. They had been given the directions to the salon by a friend but not its name. They had failed to look at the name of the establishment when they came in.
The duck continued speaking, “The name of this establishment is Ducky’s Totally Different You Salon. It says so outside. You should have also noticed that the stylists’ workstations have no mirrors. “So what!!!” the trio cried out in exasperation.
The duck, who was actually the owner of the salon then said, “I asked what you wanted done when you came in, so that I knew what not to give you. The purpose of this beauty salon is to allow you to expand your horizons and see yourselves in different ways. Isn’t life too short to be stuck seeing yourself in just one way?”
The poodle, walrus and goat were unconvinced. They complained more. The duck said, “Even though behind me here at the counter there is a sign that says you must pay even if you do not like your new style – which it did in fact say in big bold letters – I will tell you what. Don’t pay now, but if you like your new looks after one week’s time, come back and pay. The trio, still angry, agreed.
A week later, the poodle, walrus and goat returned to the salon to pay. The duck said, “I knew you’d be back.” The poodle said, “Before everyone thought I was inaccessible. They said I came off as pompous and full of myself. Now they say I am a lot of fun.” The walrus said, “Before, everyone thought I was a lot of fun, but they didn’t think I was hip. They thought I was old fashioned. That’s changed.” And the goat said, “No one took me seriously before. Now they say I seem very sophisticated.”
The duck spoke to them as he took their money, “A wise philosopher once made the observation that appearance is not apart from reality; it is a part of reality. I believe that how we are perceived often dictates how we are interacted with. From time to time it is good to try something new and see the reaction.” The trio nodded in agreement as they finished paying.
The duck made a parting comment, “The New Year is coming. Remember it is new. Consider that you can become new too. Your looks have changed. Consider how you might positively change in other ways.”
Image courtesy of Phil_Bird at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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