SALON CONFIDENTIAL: Big Bird and My Package

Posted: May 18, 2014 in Salon Stories, Uncategorized


If you’ve read my blog titled “A Chair and a Pot of Sauce”, today I’ll be leaving you with a perfect salad to compliment this Sunday Italian meal including a healthy homemade salad dressing. One of the key ingredients to this salad are the toasted pine nuts, or “pignoli” nuts.

Speaking of nuts, have I got a story for you!

Let me start with a little background of the tipping etiquette that I have come to know behind the chair. Typically clients will graciously show their appreciation for the service you provide by tipping you. For those of you who don’t know what the letters in TIPS stand for, it’s To Insure Prompt Service

Let me introduce you to my standing 5:00 Saturday appointment. Let’s call her Anita Smokenapancake, or better known as Big Bird to us in the salon. Now, with no disrespect to my clientelle, Anita got this nickname because she had the likeness to the Big Bird character on Sesame Street. Standing at least 6ft tall, with her long neck, strange eyes, curly hair and yellow skin from shitty fake suntan cream, Anita could have been related to the bird.

Now, you should probably know that by the time Big Bird became my client, she already had a reputation in the salon. She had been thrown out of several other stylists chairs because she was considered high maintenance. Quite frankly, no one wanted to deal with her neediness EVERY Saturday as their last client of the day. Now Big Bird, well, she took a liking to me immediately. I did my best to treat her like gold and make her feel special, cause I figured, ya know, I could use the money and she didn’t seem all that bad.

After this first time of styling Big Bird, she approached me to tip me. I reached out my hand, but to my surprise, she bypassed my hand and went straight for my front pocket. Plunging her entire hand deep into my pocket she deposited her tip. In some ways, this is the nature of the beast in my business because clients putting tips in our pockets is not all that unusual. Big Bird however, had a special lingering that made her tipping quite eye opening to say the least. At first I thought, maybe she is robbing me, or maybe she was looking for a lung…but then I realized…her goal was MY PACKAGE!!

Week in, and week out the package probe continued. Each week she went a little deeper and staying a little longer. I found myself purposefully trying to be seated when she would come to tip. But, on occasion, I would be working on another client and she would get her golden opportunity to probe. My final retort was to leave a surprise for her in my pocket. This was the only way I could imagine I could stop her from this weekly exploration. Sooooo, being Italian, what’s better than pignoli nuts?

Saturday arrives, it’s almost 5:00 and I fill my pockets with pignoli nuts. Upon completion of Big Birds hairdo, the entire salon is watching through their mirrors for the tipping point..the instance where Big Bird takes the plunge. Over time, this exchange had become the entertainment for the staff. Of course, by now the nuts are no doubt warmed and ready for delivery. Diving into my pocket, Big Bird is surprised by the package waiting for her. She pulls her hand out, full of nuts! The look on her face was that of shock and the rest of us could not control our laughter. And so, the package was delivered. It was funny, and I wish I would have done it sooner. The sad part is, believe it or not, it didn’t stop the bird from pecking…
And so the story goes…..

Sunday Salad…(to be honest, we prepare this salad every night because it’s so damn good)
all organic of course and use as much of each ingredient as you wish

Spring Mix lettuce
Red, orange and yellow baby peppers
Snack sprouts
Black olives

Garlic salt
Fresh Lemon
Olive oil
Rep pepper flakes
Fresh basil leaves (chopped)

Top with Pine nuts (toasted lightly golden)

Chop and prepare all vegetables. Sprinkle garlic salt, red pepper flakes, and fresh basil over salad. Squeeze lemon on top, being careful not to let any seeds escape ( we use a net to squeeze the lemon in). Pour a little olive oil on top and toss. Finish it off with toasted pine nuts and serve.

By the way, You can’t make this shit up….Pine Nuts aren’t for the birds!!!

  1. Art says:

    good stuff!!!

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