Astral Nomads

One man, one woman, one rabbit......traveling with the stars.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Haircuts, Laundry, and Subs

Even for the Astral Nomads there are pedestrian days. Today, we needed to catch up on laundry, I needed my head buzzed since I left my trusty Conair in the van, and we needed to visit the Post Office. When we finish a book, we mail them back to our kids, who are all avid readers. Today we posted Jane Eyre and The Girl Who Played With Fire. Quite a combo, right?

Our favorite laundromat (laundrette for UK readers) in Hagerstown is the Universal Laundry (pictured below), the pink facade of which just screams cleanliness. When you are used to doing laundry at home, it's easy to be unaware of the expense involved in using laundromats. It's two bucks a wash, seventy-five cents apiece for one-wash detergent packs, and the dryers drink up quarters like a sailor on a bender. Of course, one of the side-effects of living on the road is the constant accumulation of coins and we've learned to hoard our quarters for the laundry machines.

After we got the wash started, I walked down the street in search of a barbershop. I found one a few blocks away at Cecil's Salon. It was an old-school hairdressing salon catering mostly to the ladies of downtown Hagerstown but one chair was operated by Tom, who had been cutting hair for over fifty years. As I sat and let him buzz the fuzz off of my head, I listened to the chatter of women under these massive Jetson-era hair dryers, under the watchful eye of Cecil, a hair dresser of a certain age. The discussion was primarily entered upon the amount of fat in a McDonald's Happy Meal. Tom asked if I wanted him to shave behind my ears and I said sure. The hot lather felt good on my neck but it's always an act of faith to let anyone stand behind you with an open straight razor.

After finishing the laundry, (the drying really takes forever and I noticed that the dryers reset to medium heat if you let them stop, in what I take to be a snivery attempt to maximize coin input) we felt compelled to satisfy our now potent jones for more of the sweet pickled peppers at Turtles's Sub. This time we were smart enough to split one of the massive turkey hoagies. I told the guy we came back for the pickled peppers and I think he added extra. Massive win!


  1. This is too funny!
    If you should make it to Charleston, SC ( if you can escape Willoughby)
    stop in the Robert Lange Gallery and check out the Women Painting Women show. It is running until the 30th of November and I hear Charleston is a great city.

  2. @sandra: Willoughby escape planned for next week. Sure hope it's not the twilight plot. ha!

  3. I think laundromats are the work of the devil.

    I remember my laundromat days back when I was in my early 20s. The dryers did the same heat reset thing in Key West, Fl. Still, it was worth the hassle to avoid getting your clothes sun-bleached on a clothesline.

  4. @Vanessa: Yes and that work seems to be to exploit the non-washer-dryer owning folks. It becomes a lot easier to wear things a couple of times. Maybe my clothes will last a lot longer. ha!

  5. @Barbara: Thought about it, but for me nothing beats the feel and smell of a book, especially an old hardcover. If I want to read off a screen, there's always Project Gutenberg.

  6. Hey Ger you didn't happen to run into a Willoughby version of Man Hands did ya? Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!

  7. @dale: No, but I did notice, in retrospect, that the guy missed a couple of large patches of hair behind my ears. And this after he asked if I wanted him to shave behind my ears. Sheesh!