Background

The Monday Conundrum

Posted on 17 August 2012 | Narrative

In this story, Daniel Travers explores something he’s noticed in his neighbourhood.

“At the start of my second year at university, or, more precisely, at the end of the first, I moved into my current house, just off Hull Road. A few weeks in, me and a housemate decided to explore the surrounding area a bit more.

Near Badger Hill we came across a little parade of shops. On this parade there were about seven shops. Three of these shops were hairdressers. All of these hairdressers were decorated exactly the same. None of them opened on a Monday.

Now, being new to each other, this place and I couldn’t share an understanding on this. It seemed to me a gross over-saturation; did they really need so many? I wasn’t an expert on the demographics of the place, but I took a punt that this populace’s hair grew at pretty much the same rate as any other’s. The Monday thing was even weirder.

You’d think, in such an exceptionally competitive situation, the advantage of an extra day would be snapped up.

I think the problem was that it’s hard to know new places at first, as the transition to them is nearly always sudden. The understanding is not organic, like the place of your childhood, where knowledge has grown as you have. It has to be applied haphazardly, in a piecemeal manner, so it’s very easy for confusion to slip through the gaps. The intricacies of this new place couldn’t be known to me.

Perhaps a covenant existed between the three, of peaceful co-existence, defined by fair and equal limits. Perhaps there was originally a fourth hairdressers, that burned down once on a Monday, tragically killing everyone inside, resulting in the remaining three voiding that day as a mark of respect. Perhaps when we find such things out, places stop seeming so new.”