Once upon a time, there was a very small town with two barbershops. The first barbershop was right on the town’s main street. It had a flashy neon sign in the huge plate glass window and two motorized, lighted barber’s poles out front on either side of the door. Inside, everything was gleaming with chrome and kept brilliantly clean.
The barber had all the latest equipment and kept his waiting area stocked with fresh fruit and an assortment of beverages for his customers. His shoes were always brightly polished, his clothes freshly pressed, and he had one of the best haircuts of anyone in town.
The second barbershop was in a small alley between an abandoned department store and the town’s bus depot. It would have been easy to miss since the hand-painted lettering on the small sign above its door hadn’t been touched up in quite some time and were quite worn and faded.
The barber’s chair was comfortable but worn. The vinyl seat was ripped in a couple of places, and every now and again the pedals to raise and lower it would get stuck. The waiting area was really just a couple of hard plastic chairs that the barber had found at a flea market many years ago.
This barber’s clothes never seemed to fit him quite right. They were always rumpled and frequently stained—especially after he went to lunch at the bus station diner. Perhaps his shoes had been polished at one time, but from the look of them that was a long time ago. His haircut was also about the worst that anyone in that town had ever seen.
So, the question is: Who would you rather have cut your hair?