For years, I've been getting haircuts at the Great Clips in Buckhead's Peach Center, then heading across the parking lot past Publix to the Barnes & Noble. Today, I once again carried out the ritual.
Waiting for my "stylist" to finish with others, I learned something about today's Internet world: making a haircut appointment online places a person ahead of someone who walks in. An attractive woman came in as I was seated and went ahead of me because she had reserved a time either via app, laptop, Kindle, Iphone or whatever.
I was called not too much longer, but apparently if four folks had arrived after making online reservations, I would have had to have waited for all of them. Guess my years of patronage don't count.
I was tempted to go all Larry David about the situation, but I didn't wait very long, and I couldn't quite come to a conclusion about the fairness or unfairness of online vs. walking in. Apparently, though, I just beat another online usurper to the chair. If bumped again, I would have walked out, probably never to return.
Next time, I suppose I'll try the online route. Or, I'll get my hair cut at the place near my home to which I can walk, if it's not 95 degrees, as at present. That place, a Supercuts, has not yet decided to push online appointments, although I'm sure it's coming.
Walking into the Barnes & Noble, I again felt that I was entering an endangered museum. Still, the bookstore always has its customers. How many buy books is unclear; many patrons appear to spend hours seated at tables reading, or in the adjacent Starbucks spinning their paranoid fantasies. The B&N's strategy feels very close to that of the old Borders down the street before its demise. Two paperbacks for the price of one, check. More puzzles, games and toys. Check. Fewer CDs, books, magazines. Yes, you've got the picture.
Browsing the newsstand, I recalled magazines and journals I used to buy at the store that have vanished from its shelves: Times Literary Supplement, Southern Review, Commonweal. Once a clerk told me that if a magazine doesn't sell well, it goes. Yet, I see many magazines that don't sell that keep returning. Distribution undoubtedly is the main factor.
For a couple of weeks, I've been unable to find San Francisco magazine. I fear it's gone too. Thank goodness I spied the familiar blue cover with heavy black italic type of the Sewanee Review.