A Hairdo Suspense Thriller
The ending is so spectacular it's crraaazzzy.
There was only one acceptable hairdo for twelve year old dudes in my town. It was the same hairdo that Officer Poncherelli "Ponch" had on CHiPs. You know it but I'll describe, it was feathered hair with a part straight down the middle. It was a handsome hairdo and I had it. I had to have it. All twelve year old dudes in my town had it. You had to have it ---- or you were dead meat. Everybody knew that the rule was: Try something unique, and get the crap kicked out of you by Pat Yazzi , a big, fat, mean, fourteen year old Navajo man whose family parked rusty cars where their brown lawn was supposed to be and who had Big Wheels™ and diapers on the low roof of their ugly house. Everyone saw the beatings all the time, if Pat was busy or tired of pounding and smunching, his sister Elaine would take over. She was bigger, tougher and stinkier. Those two Indian warriors enforced the dress code in my town. (Along with the "you're too short" code and the "don't look at me" code.)
What is it about being twelve that makes you suddenly want to take a shower in the middle of the day when just months earlier you would lie, cheat and sleep over at a friends house just to avoid a bath? Anyway, that's how it happened , One certain afternoon after school, I became a twelve year old man. Because for some magical mystical reason, out of nowhere, I, by my own free will, thought it might be a good idea to take a shower,,,.. not a bath, baths were for kids ---- a SHOWER --- like a man. So I took a shower --- like a MAN.
It was great, fantstic, more than I had ever hoped. Warm water was raining down on me. I could turn around without banging my knees on the soap dish thing (although slipping --- sheesh -- this shit was dangerous --- definitely not for kids). Oh and then there was the steam, the magificent steam. I imagined it was smoke. I was cooking. I put my face directly in the stream of water and grinned some grins of satisfaction just like in the shampoo commercials, like I had a really tough day down in the mineshaft. I lathered up with far too much soap and shampoo. Bubbles and suds were flopping out everywhere. I was getting clean, really really clean. I was washing off all that childish dirt I had accumulated throughout my long long life. Sitting in a tub soaking like boiled cabbage just won't get rid of that stuff. You gotta scrub that stuff hard and rise it off immediately. "See ya later you stupid dirt. Have fun going down the drain you jerk!" Is what I was thinking. You can't give dirt even one tiny opportunity to re-cling. That is what adults realize, that is why they, --- um --- we take showers.
I stepped out of the shower, cleaner than ever (I think I actually squeaked for real), grabbed one of the "good" towels that we were only supposed to look at, and instead of draping it over my head and shoulders like a silly little child, I wrapped it around my waist like a man. Then I looked into the foggy mirror. Oh yes, you heard me -- it was foggy --- Foggy like, after a man's shower foggy -- it was superbly steamy in my bathroom. The days of non-foggy mirrors were past me. I took my hand and wiped out a little circular window in the fog and I saw my whiskerless yet very manly wet head. Adults had been doing this for years and I could see why they liked it. I saw in the mirror that my head was floating in a cloud.
It was 3:30 P.M. on an autumn day in 1979 and it was time to comb my wet hair. Earlier that year, I think it was May, I discovered my favorite new band called Devo. Now those guys were unique. They wore plastic yellow suits and red plastic flower pots (energy domes) on their heads. They wouldn't be afraid of no Yazzis. Needless to say, it was no coincidence that by that day in October, I had grown tired of my *middle part* hairdo. I raised my big, fat, tortoise shell Goody™ comb up over my head, lined it up dead center like always, but then the spirit of Devo came to me and whispered:
"Screw that,----- man."
The voice was right.
"Screw this --- man." I said to myself.
Then, instead of lowering that comb dead center, I did something revolutionary, something that was sure to get me killed: I moved that big, fat, tortoise shell Goody™ comb over to the left an inch and a half, lowered it to my scalp and swiped it all over. Then, It truly was all over. I was now a *side part* man in a *middle part* town. I felt tough and scared all at once.
I walked very quickly from the bathroom to my room, I didn't want to get in trouble for using one of the "good" towels. Then I spent the rest of that evening in seclusion monitoring the attempts of the bitter middle part to regain control. I squelched every effort with a reinforcing swipe of the comb.
I had a restless sleep that night as I worried about what torture would be inflicted upon me the next morning at school. For all I knew, Todd, my evil step brother, and one of Pat Yazzi's loyal deputies, may have seen me while I dashed into my room and leaked information about my sudden change of part to Fat Pat Yazzi or worse, Elaine Yazzi and they would be waiting for me at the bus stop to administer punishment. I would have tossed and turned all night long but I didn't want to mess up my hair. So I just laid there motionless- - - - planning for the battle and planning the rest of my new life with my new hairdo.
My hair faired quite well overnight. The side part -took-. I left for the bus stop early to scout the area for Yazzi's and possible escape routes. My adrenaline was running high and I felt that I was ready for the impending fight. Lucky for me, the only other person dumb enough to arrive at the bus stop 20 minutes early was Mary Elliot (a.k.a. Very Smelliot), the half retarded girl who carried a flash light in broad daylight. If she started any shit, I could probably kick her ass, as long as she didn't blind me with her flashlight and konk me on the head with it I mean. You can't be too careful with the half-retarded. Strangely, I was a bit sad that she didn't notice my new hairdo but then again, she really was half retarded and her flashlight was off. Besides that, this was no time for whimpering sadness, I should be rejoicing.
Ten minutes in and no sight of a Yazzi.
I boarded the bus a little more loudly than usual. I stepped more heavily. I was grown now. I was heavier. I kept my teeth clenched, my eyes peeled and my ears were scanning for any sounds of flying objects. People must have been able to tell that I was on a hair trigger (no pun intended) because the bus ride went without incident, except that Mary Elliot sat next to me.( I was the only person who would ever say hi back to her. I had to, I was kinda friends with her younger brother.) Sitting next to a half retarded girl and all the shit that comes with *that*, made me even more ready for the hair confrontation. My heart was beating so fast I felt a bit dizzy.
But nothing happened on the bus, which was great. I needed to save my energy for the big war at school with the Yazzi twins, for whom I had devised the perfect plan.
In my sleeplessness the night before I had resolved to;
1) surprise kick Pat Yazzi in his Navajo nuts at first sight if he so much as looked at me,
2) poke Elaine Yazzi's yelowish eyes out when she stepped in to take over,
3) I would then run to their ugly house, throw a match on the roof, igniting the diapers and melting the Big Wheels™.
4) I'd move back to Canada where I would live as a fugitive with a *side part* hairdo. They are more accepting of people with side part hairdos in Canada. (Or so I wrongly thought. Check out the official hockey hairdo and you'll see just how wrong I was.)
The bus arrived at school on time and it may as well have been a B-52 bomber dropping it's load. I was ready to explode at the first hint of taunting, the distance between the last step on the bus and the safety of my home room classroom seemed like a hundred miles, with each step the ground wobbled and my heart pounded. Defiantly, I walked straight down the middle of the hallway with my *side part* hairdo. And the children , the teachers, the lockers, the classrooms, the doorways, the pencil machines, and ---- and everything all seemed to swoosh and swirl past my new head. I was drunk with adrenaline.
0kay, maybe I'm exaggerating, but it makes the story better. Because, this is the part where I wish I had that spectacular ending I promised. But I don't. Because, Excepting the fact that I developed a massive headache due to lack of sleep and way too much adrenaline combined with the fact that my hair follicles and scalp ached from a condition I call "new hairdo shock", nothing really happened.
As it turned out, Pat Yazzi was expelled and sent to a boys ranch the week before for helping his older brother steal Mr. Mulliners V.W. Bug (what a dumb car to steal). His sister moved to a reservation in Arizona so she could clean up her act and learn the mysterious ways of the Navajo.
And that was that. Nobody noticed. Except David Jacobsen , a total nerd and fellow Rubix cuber, who gave me the two thumbs up sign and called me Fonzie or something stupid. I almost would have rather been beaten up.