“Ewww, what’s that on the side of your face? You didn’t fall asleep in a puddle of urine again, did you?”
You know, you can live an exemplary life full of joy and good deeds and it just doesn’t matter how many joys or good deeds one has done if somewhere, somewhere in the dim, dim past, many years ago, one perhaps overdid it with a bottle of tequila or two and failed to be persnickety about where one passed out.
“No, I did not sleep in a puddle of urine, unless Sandy peed on my pillow which he has been known to do, but, then I’d exchange it with one of yours, so the short answer is no.”
Poor Sandy, the old cat. He gets blamed for all sorts of stuff, although lately I’ve been thinking about investing in a company who manufactures a feline Depends. Incontinent cats: don’t let it be a stain on YOUR cat’s reputation.
The non-sequitur of the subject, however, grabbed my interest like a rabid ferret in my trousers. “What brings up the subject of sleeping in urine, Light of my Life, been sniffing camphor again?”
“No, it’s just that the side of your face is all yellow.”
Instinctively, I rubbed the left side of my face and smelled my palm, relieved that Essence du Cat was absent. I turned and headed down the hall to the bathroom to find a mirror.
It was subtle, to be sure, but definite. My beard was definitely yellow. Also my eyebrows and part of my hair. Not exactly yellow yellow, but more like light tan or blonde.
Oh my God, I’m going blonde! I thought of all the blonde jokes I’ve told over the years and I couldn’t believe this was happening to me.
Granted, I’ll have more fun but at what price? I had to think but nothing was happening. It’s twue! It’s twue! I’m blonde!
Then I took a deep breath, calmed down, counted to ten (by threes) and looked around the bathroom. The answer had to be here somewhere. But where?
There lying by my sink was the answer in the form of a plastic tube. I grabbed it and ran back to the kitchen.
“It’s this!” I shouted, “Here’s the culprit!”
Triumphantly, I held up a tube of (expensive) skin cream with “Tanning Action.”
Breathlessly, I read aloud the label. “Expensive Skin Cream with Tanning Action. Get months of tan overnight. Simply rub into skin to moisturize and get the added benefit of a glowing tan!”
Better living through chemistry. I always say that. Why lay outside basting like a rotisserie chicken when you could slather on Expensive Skin Cream with Tanning Action and wake up perfectly tanned, and with moisturized skin in the comfort of your air-conditioned house? Seemed like a simple choice to me.
Let’s go for Tanning in Air-Conditioning for 500, Alex.
So, last night I went for Tanning Option A and slathered on the Expensive Skin Cream. What the heck, let’s moisturize the beard and eyebrows. Oops, a little in the hair. Not to worry. Hair doesn’t tan, does it?
Ah. The key thought.
Hair. Doesn’t. Tan. Does. It?
That is true. Hair doesn’t tan.
I stared at my face in the mirror. Obviously, I was not even-handed with the application of Expensive Skin Cream with Tanning Action because the left side of my face was definitely light brown, hair and all, while the right side of my face was not. Ironically, my beard picked up all the color; my skin looked cadaver pale as usual.
“Uh, if you get breakfast ready I’ll join you soon. I’m going to take a couple of showers.” I trotted off to the bathroom to wash the mess out of my beard.
Later, I returned to the kitchen for breakfast.
“Looks the same.”
“Thanks for the observation. Pass the cherry preserves.”
“You going to spread that on your toast or your beard?”
“You’re enjoying this, aren’t you? You revel in the afflictions of others. You should be ashamed of yourself.”
“Why, because you rubbed dye into your beard. I think your only option is to rub that stuff all over your head so you at least have a consistent color. Right now you look like a blonde zebra.”
“Oh, thanks for the support. In fact, I have a plan. I’m going to get one of those whitening shampoos and just bleach it out.”
“You mean a blue rinse?”
“You have a low opinion of me ever since that urine thing. No, not blue, white. See you in a while, I’m going up to the store.”
“If you get lost, call me!”
Geeze, I’ve been blonde for one day and already I hate the World. Memo to self: start a blonde support group asap.’
Later I returned with a very expensive shampoo designed expressly for “seniors.” Of course, the marketing department would have prevented a full description of their product, “for seniors or the blonde afflicted” but I’ll give them credit.
The label proclaimed “guaranteed to wash out yellow, faded, hair and restore luxurious silver luster.”
Yep, just what the doctor ordered.
“This is a blue rinse.”
“No it is not. It’s a senior shampoo specially formulated to fix yellowed hair. I have yellowed hair. This is going to fix it. How difficult is that to understand?”
You know, being blonde gives you a different perspective on the world and, like, the people in it. I mean people are so, you know, to blondes. Like, you know? I am happy with myself and everybody else is just jealous. That’s why I’m, like, getting all this hassle about shampoo. It’s shampoo, people, not rocket science. If it was rocket science it would be all fire and stuff, but this is with, like, water. Get real!
I grabbed my senior shampoo and headed to the shower. Finally, we’ll take care of this once and for all and life will go on.
I turned on the shower, bathroom fan and got ready to end this charade. Hopping into the shower with my senior shampoo I was, I’ll admit, unprepared for what squirted into my hand when I opened up the stuff.
Bright blue shampoo.
Most shampoo is white or, occasionally, golden, but never blue.
This stuff was blue.
Through the steam I read the side of the bottle again.
“Wash out that dull yellow with our shampoo especially formulated for seniors. Brighten that dull grey hair and say good-bye to yellow.”
Well, I certainly wanted to say good-bye to yellow so I lathered up.
Rinse and repeat.
I did that several times. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat.
Finally the water started to cool and I got out of the shower and toweled off. Checking out the mirror I could see that the yellow beard was definitely whiter. Maybe not so much white as different. It will probably look a whole lot better when it dries.
After blow drying and combing, it was no better.
“Well, at least your beard isn’t yellow any more. I warned you about the blue rinse but, no, you didn’t listen. Blue and yellow make what, Mr. Scientist?”
“Green?” I croaked.
“Yes, green, like the side of your face. So, instead of blonde thoughts you’ll be having Kermit thoughts. Is it not easy being green?”
My hair was blue and my beard was green. I was like the Incredible Hulk without all the muscles. I looked like a Picasso after a bad night. I was like all those old ladies who invade casinos in Vegas, but if they were Leprechauns. Suddenly I had a hankering for Lucky Charms and an AARP membership. Wayne Newton, did I miss the show?
“You could always shave it off, including the eyebrows,” was the only advice I got, “There’s a razor in the drawer.”
Yes, that was the only solution at this point. My hair was blue, my beard green and my eyebrows yellow and my complexion pale. I’m not even sure there’s a country flag with those colors, certainly not one with a soccer team. I was well and truly stuck.
“I’ll tell them at work that I had a Bad Tequila Night. They’ll understand. I’ll tell them I visited a nuclear reactor, or swam in the bayou or it’s drugs. They’ll understand drugs. Lots of people have blue hair.”
I looked for support but there was none. “Where are you going?” I asked.
“Outside. I need to work on my tan.”