Brassy Overtones

Free tip from me to you: when your wife's finished putting blonde streaks in her hair and she's standing there with the half-empty mustard bottle of that foul fluorescent bleach, do everyone a favor and smack it out of her hand into the wastebasket.

I've long felt that there is no greater force for evil and regret in the world than leftover paint, and that goes double for bleach.

Fortunately, Vince the Dog and both cats escaped being bleached. Blessed with a decent amount of sense and sensitive noses, they all steered clear of the whole fiasco. In fact, when I suggested we stencil an 01 on Vince's side and start calling him the General Lee, I'm fairly sure he hightailed it to the basement. But as for me and my head, well, we're not as discriminating.

Penny didn't even need to take off the gloves - before I knew it she was just squirting blue spirals out onto my noggin with one hand and smearing them all around with the other. By the time the bottle was about cashed, my scalp was burning pretty good, my head was blue and my wife had this cockeyed grin I'd never seen before. I waited the prescribed half-hour before heading into the bathroom to rinse, reading magazines and stinking up the joint.

In what has to have been the most ridiculous turn of events for the evening, we fervently assured one another that it wouldn't look so orange once it was all rinsed out. "Oh yeah, I'm sure that's just a - uh... reaction, or something. Wait'll it dries."


Holy joe, I looked like I'd swabbed out a rusty barrel with my head. There was no getting around it, either - no tactful deflections or guarded compliments. Penny just stared and apologized, and apologized again. The bathroom lights glared off me as the cats cocked their heads in disbelief.

I ended up having to go to the grocery store at eleven o'clock for some brown hair dye to try and restore some kind of human tint. The cashier said it didn't look that bad, but she was lying. We dyed it this morning, and it doesn't look too weird now, sort of like the fuzzy mold you find sometimes on neglected cheese, but man oh man do I ever wish I'd just taken Vince's lead and hid under the staircase.

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