07 April 2012

A Hair-Raising Easter Memory

1961 Pontiac Tempest

Plain Grandma drove one of these. It seemed an appropriate memento of Easter weekend for the year I woke up with gum in my hair after being told explicitly to spit it out and brush my teeth before bed. (I did brush my teeth but I put the gum back in my mouth afterward, then went to bed).

Waking before anybody else the next morning, I discovered an nasty, tangled lump of hair and bubble gum on the back of my head. I panicked. With a pair of blunt-tipped scissors, the kind kindergarten-aged kids were allowed to have, I sawed it out. I thought this move would help me keep the secret that I didn't do as I was told.

When my mother noticed this offensive, nearly-bald spot on my head she asked me what happened. I really didn't want her to know that I kept the gum in my mouth. At that point I began fabricating the the most vivid, imaginative, colorful tale I'd ever told. That explanation was followed with a day-long question and answer session that would have given any interrogation on Law and Order a run for its money.

Today, like then, I cannot offer any real reason a random, black Cadillac-driving, plaid-suited, flame-haired, busty woman would bring her hateful, blonde-haired, pigtailed daughter to our house on Easter Sunday where they would tie me to a chair to steal a plug of locks from the back of my head.

After several performances I was instructed to repeat this lie to Grandma when she arrived with Easter baskets. Her hysterical laughter should have been my cue to give it up, but I persisted until I was threatened with being left behind for our upcoming vacation to Florida.

This story has become a celebrated part of our family history and it's always good for a laugh or two.

Happy Easter, everybody!

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