Ralph Melton (ralphmelton) wrote,
Ralph Melton

The Case of the Misplaced Haircut

This little mystery began when I noticed a charge on our bank card. It didn't name a merchant, only an address in West Mifflin. Googling for the address indicated that that was the address of Century III Mall. I knew that Lori had been out that way just before Valentine's Day, so I asked her about it--she didn't remember any such charge.

On Saturday, I was going to the bank, so I decided to ask about it. First, I asked Lori again if she had remembered making that charge--she did not, and pointed out that the date was February 21, well after she had been anywhere near Century III. Hmm.

So I asked the bank manager. He pointed out that this purchase was made using our PIN, so was probably authentic. He called someone who did further explanations, who gave him a phone number that was supposed to be associated with the account. He called that phone number, found that they were Sears Optical, and gave me that answer.

When I told Lori about this, she did not remember any trip to Sears Optical. This left me still perplexed. I felt that I would have remembered any visit to Sears Optical, and that Lori would have remembered any trip of hers--particularly once the words 'Sears Optical' were added as a reminder. She did not believe she had even made any purchases at Sears. So I called the number the bank manager had obtained. I spoke with a very nice woman there who was somewhat perplexed by my call. She told me that
- this was Sears Optical
- she did not think the same ATM system was used between Sears and Sears Optical
- There was no record of either of us coming for an eye exam or buying glasses
- The number we had dialed was not actually Sears Optical's main number, but the individual number of one of the doctors.
It was rather odd.

Lori had the leap of insight that led to our current hypothesis. She realized that the price of the transaction was about the price of a haircut at Philip Pelusi that she had had that day. But she had gone to the Philip Pelusi in Squirrel Hill...

We discovered, though, that Philip Pelusi does have a location in Century III Mall. So perhaps (I'm guessing here) all their ATM payments everywhere get marked only as '3075 Clairton Rd West Mifflin PA'.
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