Click any letter for a look at my prize-winning essay from the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. You don't even have to buy a vowel.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Splitting Hairs

At craft night I am issued an "audience only" permit to enter. Over the years I have proven myself untrustworthy with adult scissors, craft glue, construction paper, and the ever-popular multi-colored glitter.

The family hushed up an incident with the hole punch that resulted in a cunningly shaped scar in the webbing between my thumb and index finger, and once, before the authorities caught me and issued the proper warrants, I sewed a soccer banner to the leg of my pants.

So why, in a blast of optimism and excitement, did my husband, who has not previously shown signs of dementia, say, "Why don't you cut my hair?"

Excuse me? What part of "head trauma" does he not understand? Has he been watching 25 years of medical shows and hasn't learned anything about blunt instruments or pointy objects or crime scene tape? Didn't he learned anything from George Clooney on ER? If I am legally obligated to refrain from cutting out paper snowflakes, why is he giving me a license to plant a new part where his cow lick used to be?

But if he's willing, who am I to refuse his final request? I fired up the weed eater and revved the motor.

"Okay. How about in the kitchen with Professor Plum and the lead pipe?"

"Don't be silly. All you have to do is run the electric clippers over it. How hard can it be?"

"How hard can it be" is the second leading cause of death and disfiguring injuries in the United States.

"The first is "Hey, man. Look what I can do," which generally follows, "One night, we were drinking beer." The Surgeon General suggests that no one under the age of 18 be allowed to utter these words unless accompanied by a responsible adult who gave birth to them or by a First Responder authorized to wield the Jaws of Life.

I was considering my options as a single widow, rounding off possible life insurance benefits to the decimal point, and deciding whether I would have to initiate the grapefruit diet before I could win the affections of the wealthy bachelor at church, when the Captain of the kitchen shears cast the deciding vote.

"I'll give you the twenty bucks I would have spent on a haircut."

I dropped the weedeater. "Show me the money."

He proffered a wrinkled picture of Andrew Jackson on a bill. I don't know where he got the thing, but he and Andy must have been schoolmates in the little one room schoolhouse at Possum Trot. I snatched the money before he realized that I would be wielding what amounted to whirling electric razors aimed at his head.

He settled into the chair and, since it would be a first offense and I would likely get off with a stern warning and have my clippers booted, I agreed to give it a whirl.

He grinned. "Take it off Sweeney Todd."

From the looks of things, he was ready to go to the big barber pole in the sky.

I set the shears to stun and felt the power of 50,00 volts run down my arm. I raised the clippers high in the air and laughed maniacally as lightning bolts pierced the night air.

"Stop giggling, would you? It's creepy. And turn on the lights so you can see what you're doing. You almost Van Goghed my ear."

The haircut proceeded uneventfully, even if I did have a little trouble with control around the neckline. He'll have a brand new patch of sunburn when August rolls around.

Glad to avoid a trip to the barber, he gave me a kiss and headed for the shower.

From the front, he can't really appreciate the fact that his new neckline resembles what erosion does to beachfront property. I don't think the stylist police will hand out any jail time, though. With the amount of hair we're dealing with, it's not like the crime of the century.

But I'll cop to a misdemeanor.


Anonymous said...

All I can hear is "Oops did I do that? Don't sneeze while the chipper, I mean clippers are plugged in."

Amy Mullis said...

Ahhhh-choooo! Oh! How did that crater get there?

Anonymous said...

This is one of the funniest things I have read in a long time. From the crescent-shaped scar in your poor hand, to "Take it off, Sweeney Todd." Masterful!
- Linda and Birdie Puggins