Business Management

Read 'Em and Laugh

If you think there’s nothing funny about the salon business, think again. NAILS ’readers recount some of their most unforgettable moments.

When NAILS called for readers to send us their funniest salon-related anecdotes last May, we had no idea what to expect. What we got were tales of embarrassment, fear, and general stupidity, recalled from a comfortable distance. In other words, humor. Ironically, it’s life’s awkward momets--- whether they’re ours or somebody else’s---that get us through the day and put smiles on our faces.

Our original plan was to select the funniest response for publication, but the task of agreeing on which story was funniest proved too much for the NAILS staff. Instead, we offer up a sampling of responses with the hope that at least one tickles your particular funny bone.

Our first contributor, Suzanne Bensen, has had more than her fair share of funny moments.

Suzanne Bensen, Ventura, Calif. I glued my mouth shut once while attempting to open a bottle of glue with my teeth. For a half-hour I rehearsed my speech to the 911 operator. Luckily, the glue began to loosen and my one chance to become a ventriloquist was lost.

Then there was the time I was asked to do nails on the weekend at a nudist colony! When I asked what I was supposed to wear,  I was told that clothing was optional for me, but my clients would likely be fully nude. After envisioning myself in People Magazine as “America’s nude manicurist,” I decided to explore other, less drafty options on the weekends.

The funniest thing that has ever happened, though, occurred one Saturday just this year. A client had accidentally flushed her false front teeth down the toilet and her dentist couldn’t see her until Monday. She was desperate and asked if I could make her a temporary tooth, I decided to try. I sized a nail tip to fit the gap, overlaid it with acrylic, and sculpted a deep, perpendicular ledge that would conform to the roof of her mouth. We soaked it in coffee until it matched the color of her other teeth. It was a masterpiece! She affixed it with dental adhesive and it worked like a charm. Her dentist was very impressed, and the client kept the tooth I made, just in case.

Candie Gordon, Manalapan, N.J. Upon entering my salon, Bonnie was directed to sit down, and I immediately began removing her nail polish. When she asked, “Why are you doing that?” I replied that I was giving her a manicure. Where upon she replied, “I came for a job, not a manicure!” I hired her.

J.V. Capers, Jersey City, N.J. it was my first day on the job and I was about to do my first client I was standing at the wash area getting water for my fingerbowl when suddenly I lost control of the hose, which was connected to the sink. It was like the hose had a mind of its own and wanted to be set free. Well, I was soaked, my customer was soaked, and so were the other customers waiting to have their hair done. Even the floor and walls were wet. I handled the situation by forfeiting my first tip and treating my customer to a cup of coffee.

Judy Weinberger, Orland Park, III. I do nails in my home. Early one Friday morning I met with a new client who wanted a full set of nails for her daughter’s wedding later that day. I was into the procedure talking, laughing, and listening to the hectic routine of the mother of the bride. I looked up after a long bit of silence and saw that the woman had fallen asleep! I let her snooze until I was done with the one hand. When I reached gently for the second hand, she woke up. I told her I must have bored her with my chitter chatter and we both laughed.

Betty Vegas, Minneapolis, Minn. Seven years ago, quite early on a Sunday, I noticed three men looking in our salon for quite some time. I called security on them! Shortly, they appeared with the security officer, who introduced me to the perpetrators. All three were members of the Minnesota Vikings football team Anthony Carter forgave me and returned with an autographed photo. He and his wife still come here and the photograph is still on display.

Beth Townsend, Gainesville, Ga. I was working in a local nail salon when we ran a “help wanted” ad in the paper. One morning a man walked in the salon for an interview for the “nail tech” job. He thought it was a sophisticated title for a carpenter! We just told him to come back later, but he never did.

Lori Matisi, Carlstadt, N.J. A client brought in her 4 ½ -pound iguana. To match her owner’s nails, we polished the long talons of the iguana (named “Skittles”) a lovely shade of red. Lo and behold, before I could stop my next client from touching a supposed “stuffed animal,” she let out a shriek that to this day remembering puts me in stitches.

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