The new clerk at the local Aubuchon has a green Mohawk. The non-Mohawk part of his head is clean-shaven. The clerk looks to be about twenty years old. He couldn't tell me in which aisle to find a S-hook.
I'm surprised but not offended by the Mohawk. I wonder, though, how the would-be clerk dressed for his interview? Did he come in full war paint, or did he secure the job looking like Joe HighSchool and then later switch to the foppish hairstyle? Or was the regional manager, or whoever pulled the trigger on the hiring, more tolerant than your run-of-the-mill mid-level corporate executive. Hey, maybe green Mohawks don't cut into profits? I'd guess so, but perhaps I'm wrong. Vermont's a tolerant state.
Unlike tattoos, Mohawks can be ephemeral. In six week, green Mohawk guy could revert to being plain old Thurston Sleeper. But a green Mohawk is a curious, labor-intensive affectation. it takes work to keep it erect and keep it green. To me it says that the clerk is far more interested in making a fashion statement than in doing his job. He's in the epater le bourgeois business -- but it's M. Bourgeois who's going to come to the hardware store searching for just the right kind of wood chisel.
When we first came to this town, back in 1968, Aubuchon was the second-line hardware store. Everyone who wasn't just passing through shopped at locally-owned Gove and Morrill, which carried three or four times the number of items as Aubuchon, including all the hard-to-find stuff that nowadays you can only locate on the Internet. Moreover, Bart Morrill and Lester Wakefield knew how to fix everything. Not only would they gladly learn and gladly teach, but they had a bit of a machine shop in the basement and would whip up the odd part when necessary. Now they're both long gone and so is their store and the new guys at the Aubuchon don't know nothing -- although they're gussied up in ways that Bart and Lester could never have dreamed.
The new waitress at The Perfect Pear sports the usual nose ring but she also displays a hefty piece of bone in her left ear lobe. It looks, to the unsophisticated eye, like the tooth of a small shark.