Sunday, August 10, 2014

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

GiGi’s husband took off and didn’t come back. She showed me his note.
     “I have fallen in love with Jolene, who cuts my hair down at The Hairem
     so I’m leaving you for good. Hasta la vista. ~ Otis out.”

I poured GiGi a large glass of wine while she cried into a ragged Kleenex. “Otis did everything for me. Washed my clothes, painted my nails, even paid the bills. I never had to lick a stamp.”
Heavy black eyeliner was missing from GiGi's puffy eyes and her hair was flat as a communion wafer. Up until today, a 747 could easily have landed on that lacquered mop of hers.
Back in the day, her sole reason for living was to enter and win the most beauty contests in pageant history. She was crowned “Miss Boiled Peanut” in Charlotte and was favored to win “Miss Outer Banks Sea Nymph,” almost a done deal until fate stepped in and pulled the proverbial plug.
GiGi’s talent presentation that auspicious day was a water ballet beginning with a swan dive. She wore a slinky black bathing suit and black patent-leather high heels. When her head popped out of the water, her teeth sparkled like a new porcelain toilet and every hair on her head was still in place.
After completing the ballet, she climbed out of the pool and shimmied over to the microphone for the next phase of her talent exhibition. She planned to sing Handel’s “Water Music,” to which she had written her own clever lyrics.
Flashing her white choppers at the judges, she grabbed the mike as if it were the Miss America scepter failing, however to notice that she was standing in a puddle of pool water. In ten seconds GiGi was boogieing with enough electricity to power a small substation. Her body shimmied and twitched but her hair didn't budge. In less time than it takes to microwave a jellybean, Miss America Wannabe morphed into Miss Southern Fried Medusa.
 “Forget about Otis,” I told her through her tears. “Get yourself a job that shows more backbone than cleavage. I'm sure there’s something you can do.”
She hiccupped. “Don’t you get it? I'm a professional beauty contestant. I can’t do anything but smile, wave and cut ribbons at mall openings. If I knew how to do anything else, don’t you think I’d do it? I told you I've never even licked a stamp.” She let out a turbo sigh. “Otis did everything for me but chew up my food.”
I looked at my pitiful friend and tried my best to feel sorry for her. How could a female in the 21st century not have as much usefulness as a plug of tofu? Today’s women are brain surgeons, nuclear physicists, astronauts. At my kitchen table sat Queen GiGi, sobbing like the tail end of a country western song: “My baby done left me for that tacky hairdresser, Jolene. I’m too dumb to live so I might as well curl up and die.”
I felt like slapping her into the middle of next week, but I snatched up a roll of stamps instead.
“Simmer down, Miss Boiled Peanut. I’m fixing to air mail you into the present century. What I am holding in front of you is known to the rest of the civilized world as a roll of self-adhesive stamps. If you’ll stop that carrying, I’ll show you how these little puppies can change your life.”
She shot me a baffled look. “Huh?”
“GiGi, peel off the sticky backing and you will take your first step in licking the entire world.”
Her baffled expression got even more baffled. “Lick the world? Why would I want to do that?”
At that moment, I realized that she would always be as dumb as a box of really big hair. Reaching across the table, I grabbed her untouched glass of wine and downed that sucker in one gulp. Some days it’s better to just go with the flow.

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