Thursday, November 21, 2013

You'll Comb Your Ear Off, Gal!

Is it time for that 24-hour marathon of A Christmas Story yet? Because I was thinking of it, just this morning. No, I was not cursing my porch barkers like Ralphie's dad cursed the Bumpus hounds. I did not make The Pony put on a pink bunny suit. I did not accidentally dust Hick's leg lamp to pieces. Nope. I almost severed my ear.

Oh, a BB gun is perfectly safe in my hands. I've had one since I was a child. Nobody ever told me I couldn't have a BB gun because I'd shoot my eye out. What I wish I'd been told is: "You'll comb your ear off, Gal!" As in a refusal to allow me the use of a hair pick. Those things are deadly.

You might wonder why Val even has a hair pick in her bag o' beauty accoutrements. It's all about the LIFT. Hard as it may be to believe, Val's limp old-lady hair needs some impetus to get up off its duff. A gently combing does not even make a blip on Val's hair's radar. Forget a blow dryer. That's just asking for trouble. So Val tempts her tresses, entices those Salvador-Dali-clocklike fronds to puff out their collective chests, rise to the occasion, to stop all that scuttlebutt about Val's hair being applied each morning with a paint roller or magic marker. So seal-like smooth is Val's head that 10 million Vals stuffing 10 million heads in 10 million faculty bathroom sinks could not make one of them catch between the faucet and drain, thus requiring a rescue call by muscular firemen.

The hair pick is just the ticket. It adds air. Like a fork beating an egg. Only not so violent. The tine on the end makes the part, then they all join together to whip Val's hair into shape, with only the assist of a round brush to turn the ends under. Oh, stop it! I'm blushing. I know what an attractive hairstyle that is. Don't hate me because I'm beautiful. Hate me because I have two ears. Which was almost not the case this morning.

Over her many years of perfecting the morning beautification ritual, Val has grown complacent. Some students have even dared to hypothesize that Val is able to complete her daily coiffure toilette without a mirror. In the dark. So cavalier has she become that every now and then, Val forgets she has two ears. That pick has a bite, my friends. It's like the Cujo of the bathroom counter. One lapse in judgement, a mere millimeter of error, and Val's ear bends like a Chinese acrobat. Thank goodness it clings to her head like a barnacle to the hull of a boat left too long at the mooring. The pain and redness subside over the course of a couple hours.

If only my parents had warned me of the dangers of using a pick when I was still in my formative years. If only they had specifically forbade the presence of a pick in the bathroom drawer. If only I had thought to ask my parents for a pick for Christmas, my misery might have been avoided.

"A PICK? You'll comb your ear off, Gal!"


  1. Can you get off amazing hip shots with a hair pick?

  2. Was it a pick or a scratch...wrong show.

    Nice post, got me longing for that Jean Shepard classic.

  3. I am curious--can you share a picture of the pick? I cannot visualize it (said the frump-ette as she tried to yank her head out of the sink).

  4. Ha! Besides loving this post, as always..I laughed at Joeh's comment above! Love the Jerry Seinfeld reference!! I must admit, I've attacked an ear or two in my time, and sure does hurt. I think the pick in the olden days wasn't as dangerous as today's is!!

  5. A Christmas Story gets watched over and over in our house. We have the movie memorized.

    Be careful with that pick. You could pick your eye out.

  6. Picks have long been banned in St Louis public matter how much Michael J hair you can't hide it from a metal detector.
    Try flipping your head upside down and blow drying your wet'll have fluff alright or vertigo.

  7. Was there no end to this conspiracy of irrational prejudice against Red Ryder and the hair pick?

    Personally my ears fear the curling iron! Momma never warned me about it. But my granny should have. Hers not only set ears on fire it set hair on fire.

  8. Stephen,
    I am sorry to report that I cannot. At least I can rest assured, one-earred though I may be, in the knowledge that my newly-lensed glasses are safe from falling icicles.

    It was pick of a different kind. Not a furtive scratch in traffic. You know what to do for a bad case of itching, don't you? Get a girlfriend with really long fingernails, and when she is not available, go across the hall to your neighbor's apartment, and use his spatula between your shoulder blades.

    I will not reveal my ear-lopper. In the wrong hands, it could be dangerous. As dangerous as a sink in a faculty women's restroom.

    It's a safety pick, really. Completely made of plastic. Rounded ends with little slick caps on them. I'm surprised they're not marketed for babies. Talk about fine hair that needs a lift!

    Maybe I could use it to pry my tongue off the flagpole.

    Wait! You expect me to bend over? Just for fluffy hair? That is entirely too much like exercise. I'd sooner go to work with bedhead.

    Curling iron! I am quaking at the thought. I hear bacon sizzling. Which I might not be able to do if I used a curling iron.

    1. Val, oh yes....I have extremely in baby in looks like I'm going bald in And I don't mean "fine" in that good, "You look fine today!" way, either. It takes a lot of freezing hair spray to get my thin little strands to do anything other than look like your morning, "cat dipped in the fish pond" way.

    2. Becky,
      I just gave the babies picks. We can't give them hair spray as well. That would lead to spoiling.

  9. Val, gosh anything I have to say cannot top what you've just said. I have picked my ear in the days when perms were all the rage. Consider yourself lucky that you could do your hair in the dark. I have what is called wild hair in the morning and I certainly could pull a Sioux and get my head stuck in the sink!

  10. Lynn,
    You sink people must be morning Einstein heads. My wake-up hair makes me look like a cat dipped in the fish pond.