Thursday, October 21, 2010

Good customer gets feather in cap

I went to Meyer the Hatter at lunch yesterday.  I have enough hats, so I wasn't in the market for another proper topper.  I just needed some new feathers for my fedoras.  The South's Largest Hat Shop has a box on the counter toward the back with a selection of feathers for sale at 35 cents each.  They are a three feather affair, wide in the back, more narrow in the middle, and the front feather is a little, flourish-y tendril in a contrasting color.

I went in and there were five other customers and three staff.  The customers were trying on hats and asking questions.  The youngest of the hatters asked me if I needed help and I replied, "No, I'm just here for feathers."  I pawed through the box, careful not to crimp the merchandise and picked two hand-bound feather confection as artful as a trout fly and as dashing as one of Fred Astaire's handkerchiefs.

When I made my way to the register, a hatter was waiting for me with a small paper bag.  "That will be 70 cents plus tax," he said.  I apologized for my "whopping purchase."  "You came in and you knew what you wanted, knew where it was, and bought it.  That kind of customer is a luxury we don't often have here.  Come back anytime," he replied.

Being right off Canal Street, I suppose the staff at Meyer's is used to gawkers who take up their time without spending any money.  The staff is gracious and attentive regardless though they aren't quick to make eye contact.  They've been around a long time and know that sales will be made for their specific niche products eventually.  The same was true of the curmudgeons at L.J. Piretti in Boston.  The same was true of Parade News at 68 State Street, New London, Connecticut, about the only shop of interest that sold sundries and magazines and cigars a block from the ferry and train station.

What?  No Magazine Street photo?  Pshaw.  Here you go:
We've got one more sign to go until this series crosses the street and doubles back.  Pshew!

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