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Marty parked his motorcycle at the curb and went into the barbershop. He was the only customer, and the barber (who shall remain nameless) asked him to sit right down.
“Just in for a touchup trim,” Marty told him.
“Okay,” said the barber. “Here’s a photo of my breakfast today. I like the random arrangement of the strawberry slices over the corn flakes, don’t you?”
Marty was surprised, but he agreed.
The barber launched on an account of his aching knee, his semi-delinquent son, his daughter’s marital woes, his wife’s diet. He went on to talk about his grandkids first steps, first tricycle rides, and first days of school—all with pictures. Marty tried to pretend he was interested.
He asked Marty for pictures of his family and Marty obliged, reluctantly. The barber was careful to tell Marty that he liked each of the photos. Marty was quite puzzled by the time he got the pictures back in his wallet.
Then the barber got personal and told Marty about his favorite movie, scene by scene, and his most-watched TV show, starting with the first episode. Marty squirmed in his chair and wondered how his hair looked right now.
When he started talking about his childhood traumas and fear of the dark, Marty had heard enough.
“Hey,” he said. “Why are you telling me all this?”
“I don’t use Twitter or Facebook, but I try to apply the same principles in my barbershop.”
“How’s that working out for you?”
“Well, maybe not so well as far as customers go, but a couple of policemen follow me into work and home again each night. I’ve had calls from a social worker and a shrink, and an FBI agent just sent me a letter.”