The Bed Hair Trilogy – Part Three

The Grand Finally

(As in “it’s finally done”)

Click here to start at the beginning (Part One)

In the first two segments of this series, we have almost thoroughly discussed the subject of Bed Hair.

We have seen the manifestations of the condition.

We have learned that our pets are, for the most part, immune to its ravages, and that they will almost certainly go out of their way to keep from warning us that we are in possession of a good case of the stuff.

We have determined that some fortunate historical figures have been able to turn their Bed Hair disadvantage into a vehicle for achieving huge success in the fields of art, music, science and military domination.

But what about the rest of us? What about the guy who has no aspirations of world domination? Or the woman who is content being a bank president? What about those of us who just don’t want to be the objects of ridicule and laughter when we venture forth into public?

And what about the guy who just wants to be better off than his dog?

Unfortunately, we can’t all be Einstein, Genghis Kahn or Marie Pres d’le Porte, so we have to find a way of fixing Bed Hair. But how can the normal, every day citizen of the world be set free from the heartbreak of Folliculus Disruptus? Is there any prospect of deliverance?

Yes, in point of fact, there is. And this brings us to the promised land known in scientific circles as Methodicus Folliculus Fixus – Methods of Fixing Bed Hair.

In this paper, we shall investigate an experimental “cure” for the dreaded ailment. We will also be made aware of some currently available “home remedies” which you can try yourself for little or minimal investment.

Before we embark on our discussion of the experimental permanent cure, it must be prefaced with the:

Obligatory warnings and disclaimers relative to any attempt by any person or persons unqualified to perform the following procedures on him or herself, or other human person or persons living or dead, with or without written consent, either written or oral or sign language in either English or non-English language; or on any non-human person, whether canine or feline or any other non-human species either living or dead, existent or non-existent, with or without consent, either written or oral or sign language, in any language, either English or non-English or paw strokes on the ground or in the dirt; or any attempt by any non-human person or persons unqualified to perform the following described experimental procedures on itself or any other non-human person or persons, either living or dead, existent or non-existent, with or without consent either written or oral or sign language, in either English or non-English or any non-human language; or on any human person living or dead, existent or non-existent, with or without consent, either written or oral or sign language, in either English or non-English language or any non-human language, being dangerous and hazardous to your health.

THESE PROCEDURES MUST ONLY BE PERFORMED BY PROFESSIONALS –

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

Now, on to the real crux of the matter: How do we fix this thing?

The experimental procedure was developed by Dr. Biff Smothers of the Biff Smothers Hair Restoration Center in Hairlip Falls, MN.

One day in the spring of 1979, Dr. Smothers awoke at his usual time of 5:00 A.M. He hit the snooze button his customary thirteen times, and one hour and fifty-seven minutes later he came to his now normal daily realization that he was running a tad behind. The fact of the matter was that he was supposed to greet his first patient at 7:15 in the morning, and his clinic was twelve miles away.

Each day he found himself in the unenviable position of having to decide whether to take a shower or get dressed before he mounted his trusty steed (he drove a 1967 Mustang, blue with rust colored trim) to the office. Invariably, he arrived at the office fully dressed (though, more often than not, his socks didn’t match).

This, of course, meant that he did not take time to shower. Or shave. Or comb his hair. And this, of course, far more often than not, lead to public displays of Bed Hair of varying severity. In fact, on a scale of one to ten, with ten being extremely severely severe, he was usually about an eleven.

After about five years of this routine, he began to notice that his client base had dwindled somewhat. In fact, of the one hundred thirty-seven regular patients he had developed over the years, he had only nine left…  Three receding hairlines, two Friar Tucks and four early teen-agers who wanted desparately to grow beards so they could be “real men”.

Business was so bad that he had to let all of his help go, but to maintain his image as a successful hair practitioner, he told his patients that his entire staff was either out to lunch, not in yet or on vacation, depending on what time of day the question was asked.

Dr. Smothers was more than a little dismayed at this gradual turn of events. Even his own brother had finally decided to let his hair fall out naturally (a condition we will discuss later in the treatise). And as luck would have it, it was this very same wayward (and balding) brother who finally provided him with the insight and inspiration that he would need to save his practice and develop the currently experimental, though very promising, technique of artificially curing Bed Hair.

It seems that on this particular day, Dr. Smothers’ brother was taking his dog to the dog groomer for his bi-monthly pedicure, and decided to stop by and visit with his brother.

When he arrived, he found his brother in the doldrums over his failing practice and, after a rather lengthy exchange (the details of which I have already deleted from this account), it was finally revealed that the reason for Dr. Smothers’ business problems was his own terrible case of Bed Hair.

What’s that I hear? “Give me a break!” “How could even the worst case of Bed Hair possible substantially contribute to anyone’s business failure?”

I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s absolutely true. Making a long, long, long story short, here’s what happened…

For years people came to Dr. Smothers to get help in saving, or if necessary, growing new hair. He became known as a genius in the ways of hair preservation. People came from thousands of miles around to have the good doctor facilitate their follicles. Hair loss was stopping, baldness was reversing and fame and fortune were his…

Life was good.

Then, in 1974, Dr. Smothers took up writing short stories and articles in magazines. He did this in his off hours and would stay up late into the night (early into the morning, actually) writing away.

This caused him to be too tired to get up in the morning to properly prepare himself for the day at the office and, consequently, his severe bouts with Bed Hair.

Now, when his patients began seeing his outrageous problem, they began to stay away in droves. Why? Because – and this is the truth – they figured that they would rather be bald than have a full head of hair with even the remotest possibility of looking as ridiculous as their former hero, Dr. Smothers.

“Bald is beautiful,” they proclaimed, “or, at least, it’s better than the alternative!” (Now you know where that saying came from.)

At the exact moment of his realization of this new found truth, Dr. Smothers coincidentally cast his eyes upon his brother’s dog, Fabian. His hair-trained eye meandered along the entire length of the beast, observing the perfect arrangement of every hair. No frizzes. No unruly curls. No kinks, points, horns, spikes or un-natural waves…

“You must spend hours combing Fabian’s hair,” he said to his brother.

“Not at all,” his brother replied, “we never touch it.”

“Come on,now! You must! Just look at it – it’s always perfect!”

“Nope! That’s just the way it is. All dog’s hair is like that – except for the Rhodesian Ridgeback Hound.”

Click.

A light went on..

“Do you mean to tell me that dogs don’t get this hair thing?”

“That’s right. Why?”

Ring.

A bell sounded…

“I wonder,” he wondered. “Could it be done?… Is it possible?…”

We now know that it is indeed possible, thanks to Biff Smothers, his brother and his brother’s dog, Fabian.

Today there are forty-seven former Bed Hair victims walking the streets of America. Forty-seven people taking part in one of the greatest medical experiments of the past two centuries. Forty-seven who not only volunteered, but who actually paid to have this procedure done so that the world might be able to rid itself of the scourge of Bed Hair…

Dr. Smothers has named his procedure ‘Canis Transplantus’…

Here’s how he made it work…

First, the patient’s head is completely shaved in a procedure called ‘Cranial Folliculus Disappearus’.

Second, several plugs of canine hair are extracted from a willing dog.

Third, the plugs are surgically implanted into the scalp of the patient in a procedure called ‘Cranial Folliculus Insertus’. And…

Voila!!!!!!! The patient is now virtually immune from Bed Hair!

Q: So, if this is so good, why is this procedure only experimental?

A: Good question. There is a downside to the procedure. About 23 per cent of patients who have had the procedure done have reported some minor side effects. These can include, but may not be limited to:

    • The urge to stare hypnotically into the speaker horns of old Victrola record players.
    • The urge to make sudden stops at fire hydrants, trees and telephone polls to mark you territory.
    • The urge to chase cars, both moving and parked.
    • And the urge to lift one’s leg when using restroom facilities (it’s wise for these people to carry a mop and a plastic bag with them wherever they ‘go’).

These are being worked on even as you read this report.

In the interim, there are a few things you can do to minimize the negative effects of Bed Hair in your life. I take the liberty to list some of them here:

    1. Have someone who you really trust perform the ‘Cranial Folliculus Disappearus’ procedure on you.
    2. If you are fortunate enough to be going bald naturally (Scalpus Kojackus), continue to do so, and don’t worry about it (that’s easy for me to say).
    3. Go Punk (Folliculus Stupidus Punkus) – nobody will be able to tell the difference anyway.
    4. Sleep on satin pillow cases (Folliculus Slidus). This will almost eliminate the friction of your head against the pillow – a major cause of Bed Hair. (There is the problem, however, of your head slipping all over the pillow throughout the night, thereby keeping you awake.)
    5. Wear a wig (Folliculus Fakus).

And this brings us back to out hero, Dr. Biff Smothers because…

In the mean time, Dr. Smothers has created an ancillary business utilizing the doffed hair remaining after the ‘Cranial Folliculus Disappearus” procedure. He has developed a way to take the shaved hair, implant it into a synthetic mambrane (also of his design), and grow new hair! In effct, he is now growing thirty acres of living wigs on what could be referred to as his ‘removable hair farm’, but which he prefers to call…

Biff Smothers Doff Crops..

Ahem…

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I was talking on the phone with a friend of mine (I’ll call her Judy) the other day (actually about 20 years ago, at this point, but something happened to me this morning that made me think of the conversation) when the subject of an early morning knock on the door came up.

It seems that her husband had somehow locked himself out of the house while releasing the dogs for an early morning constitutional in the backyard dog run. Being dressed only in his shorts and a small (but not unattractive) apron which proudly proclaimed “I’ll never be barefoot and pregnant”, he, quite naturally, was hesitant to go to the front door of their house to gain entrance. (Being new in the neighborhood, he was concerned about first impressions, and moseying through the front yard in such attire would give him unwelcome exposure – so to speak – to curious eyes.)

He did manage to get back into the house through a small, but rather high, window in the laundry room.  This was most fortunate because, had he knocked on the front door expecting his wife to let him in, he might still be waiting there today.

“Why” you might ask, “might he still be standing on his front porch dressed in half his underwear and scandalizing his neighborhood?”

“Why”, you may wonder,” would his otherwise loving wife allow him to remain in this vulnerable situaton indefinitely?”

“How”, you may inquire, “could years of loyalty and trust be suddenly replaced with callous disregard for a spouse’s dignity (or lack thereof)?

In truth, the answer lies in understanding (or at least awareness of) one of the most malignant manifestations of the human condition suffered by mankind. Throughout human history, few afflictions have struck more fear into the hearts of men and women of puberty age or greater than this one cataclysmic malady. (Although young boys also suffer from this condition, but don’t seem to be at all bothered by it.)

It is truly insidious in that you never see it coming. It happens overnight.

While you sleep.

You don’t feel it. You can’t see it happening. It creeps silently, stealth-fully, undauntedly over you.

While you sleep.

Oddly, it seems to ignore most of your body, save your head which it encompasses with tranquil ferocity.

While you sleep.

As you awaken in the morning, you are unaware of the appalling transformation which has befallen you. It’s not like morning mouth – you can’t taste it or smell it.

Even if you have had it before, you can never know for sure you have it until you have done one of two things.

The first, which you will only do one time in your life unless you are a complete moron (or a pre-adolecent boy), is to get out of bed, put on a bathrobe and stroll out to the end of the driveway to get the morning paper. This, in and of itself, will not cause you to become cognizant of your disease.

The light will begin to faintly glow when your neighbors’ dogs start to howl. It will become a little brighter when you notice the three year old next door is standing twenty feet away staring at you, mouth agape, while his two year old sister points, starts to cry and turns and runs away dragging her stuffed toy orangutan named Oswald, screaming “Mommy! the Booger Man ate the next door neighbor! And now he wants Oswald!”

And finally, you will know that something is terribly wrong when the animal control department shows up ten minutes later to check on a report of a large rodent seen in your driveway making off with your newspaper.

The second thing you can do to test for the dreaded disease is to look into the mirror. This will give you immediate knowledge of any sign of sickness. Indeed, there will be no doubt of any resident infection.

What is this demonic intrusion into the lives of billions of people world wide? And who is safe from it?

The epidemic: Bed Hair.

Who is safe?: Nobody.*

*With the minor exception of bald people. However, those ‘fortunate’ folks have to watch out for ‘Bed Dome’ – not covered in this paper.

Yes, it is sadly true. No one is safe from this scourge. Not rich or poor. Not old or young. Not male or female.

It doesn’t care what other diseases a person has, either. If you ever go to bed, for any reason, the chances are you’ll get at least a mild dose of the stuff.

Oh, I know, “what about all those movie stars? Their hair never gets messed up!” Get real. When was the last time you went to a movie? Movies are now into ‘realism’, and realism means Bed Hair.

But what is Bed Hair, anyway?

Bed Hair is all the unnatural curls, points, waves, horns, spikes, flips and frizzes you see when you look into the mirror when you first get up in the morning. It is truly a universal occurrence. No, it’s not a pretty sight, but some very famous people got to be very famous people because they took a positive attitude toward their own Bed Hair.

(Story continued below the image.)

This man has just discovered that he has a severe case of Bed Hair. Note the pained expression on his face. That’s because he has just come back in from walking his dog around the neighborhood – and he did it before he looked into the mirror.. Pray for him. And the neighbors. But pray mostly for the dog, who attempted to hide his face the entire time he was outside with his “master”…

“Who?”, you ask.

Well, let us take a brief look at a few historical figures.

First, let’s look at one of history’s most famous barbarians, Genghis Kahn. You’ve seen all the pictures of him in his hat with ring of fur around his head and the point in the middle. That hat is one of history’s cruelest hoaxes. You think that’s a hat? Nope! Bed Hair.

That hair caused Genghis Kahn to become barbaric in the first place. Really…

He started as a mild mannered yak herder, but he took so much flack over his hair that he finally lost it and started killing anyone who as much as smiled in his presence because he thought they were laughing at his Bed Hair. Because most people, at some point, laugh, he ended up killing off a lot of people in a lot of places and got the (rather undeserved, I might say) reputation as a barbaric, murdering conquerer. Give the guy a break – he was just an overly sensitive yak herder!

Next, we will discuss another famous conquerer in history, Napoleon Bonaparte.

Those curls decorating his famous forehead? Yep, that’s right.  Bed Hair. At least, they started out that way. Here’s what happened…

He and Josephine woke up one morning when Napoleon was a mere private in the French Army. When they did, surprisingly, he had his now famous locks curled just as they are pictured in all of the paintings. Josephine was so taken by them  that she immediately grabbed Napoleon and cried out “Oh my conquering hero!”, etc..

Well, as it turned out, this was just the encouragement that Napoleon needed. His self confidence went through the stratosphere and the rest is history.

By the way, Napoleon’s curls were easily maintained by introducing humidity into the process (relying on the ‘bedtime process to perfectly replicate a specific case of Bed Hair is a pretty difficult task. It just doesn’t strike twice in exactly the same way.). Being as it was not always humid everywhere he went, he had to bring his own humidity with him. He was able to do this by carrying a spray bottle full of water with him whenever he went out of town to conquer some other nation. He was a bit protective of his ‘secret of the curls’, so he always kept it hidden under his coat, ready to be employed at a moments’ notice.

(Sadly, for him, he didn’t bring his spray bottle to Waterloo because he thought the name implied that there was going to be enough humidity so that he wouldn’t need to artificially create his own. He was, obviously, wrong in that assumption. No humidity = no curls = loss of confidence = defeat.)

Now let’s look at another famous French national, Marie Pres d’le Porte. So who was this so called famous historical figure? You may not know it, but you have seen her a million times. Well, you may not have seen her, but you have seen the statue for which she modeled.  Yes, Marie Pres d’le Porte was the model and inspiration for the crown of our own, beloved Statue of Liberty. That crown is NOT what most people think it is. That’s right- Bed Hair! One of the most observed and least recognized cases of Severe Spiked Bed Hair ever recorded in the long, illustrious history of mankind.

Let us now jump to the Twentieth Century. Do you recognize the phrase “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds”? No? How about this: E=mc2?

Yes, that’s right! One of the most famous and recognized cases of Bed Hair in scientific history, Albert Einstein.

You all know that he was one of the greatest minds of the last century, but did you know that he failed math in high school? And he did poorly in grade school, too. So when did he become so smart? When did he become recognized as a genius?

I’ll tell you…

One day he woke up late for work at the post office, so he didn’t take the time to brush his teeth. By not brushing his teeth, he also neglected to look into the mirror. And when he didn’t look into the mirror, he didn’t notice his now famous case of Bed Hair. Coupled with the look of sheer terror  at the thought of losing his job, he sped to work on his bicycle.

Along the way, he passed the local university and narrowly missed hitting the Dean of Physics. Well, the dean took one look at him and declared him a genius on the spot!

Ergo, E=mc2.

Our last example of famous people who made it big with Bed Hair is the musician/singer/songwriter Art Garfunkle. While it can be argued that his case is not strictly Bed Hair, I will endeavor to demonstrate that it is close enough.

We have seen Art playing his acoustic guitar and singing with his partner, Paul Simon, but it is not widely know that he actually started out playing electric guitar. Now that it is just a bit more widely known, it may be wondered why he gave up his electric guitar. Nobody is really sure, but one widely accepted theory Among those in the know about Bed Hair is that – well…

One night Art was so intent on practicing on his guitar that he failed to notice that he was falling asleep. As luck would have it, he happened to be practicing right next to his bed, onto which he collapsed upon falling asleep.

As luck would further have it, when he zonked out, he was still holding his beloved electric guitar, and it was still plugged in.

Well, as luck would still have it, he left his bedroom window open for air circulation.

And, as luck would inevitably have it even more, it started to storm outside.

And when this happened, rain entered the room, flooded the floor, hit the guitar, completed a circuit and created new opportunities for fame and fortune for Art Garfunkle.

When he woke up the next morning, Art felt completely drained and he ached all over, particularly in the area of his groin. He went into the bathroom, started the shower, got undressed.

As he passed the mirror, he noticed that his hair looked a little different. He got into the shower and started singing in his now famous beautiful high voice…

After about three notes, he stopped – he realized that something was drastically different… and then it suddenly hit him –

When he went to sleep last night, he was a baritone – and now he was a soprano!

Shocked (no pun intended), he jumped out of the shower and ran back to the mirror to see if he could detect any physical change that might explain what had happened.. The only thing he could see different was his hair… He wore a crew cut in those days, and he could plainly see that his hair had started to grow out a bit – it must be about a quarter of an inch long now…

Well, it’s about 1:30 in the morning now, and I have to go and work on my own case of Bed Hair. But let me close with this final warning…

Bed Hair has caused more people to remain in self-imposed exile within the safe confines of their own homes than all of the plagues and epidemics to ever sweep across the face of the Earth put together.

There is no safe sanctuary from the devistation wrought by this unruly curse.

Unless you are a dog.

Maybe…

__________________________________________________________________________

Next up… Why Dogs Don’t Have Bed Hair – Click here to go there….


Becoming  Megowan

Part 1

Posted 4/11/09

Well, I gotta tell ya, getting to this chapter has been difficult… Not because I didn’t want to write it, but because I’ve been busy… distracted… unavailable… lazy…

So, ready to proceed to the next chapter, I showed up at the front door of the Megowan estate…  It was the beginning of  just about the best year of my life up to the time I went into the Navy… It was a blast!

I must have knocked on the front door, and somebody must have answered because I ended up inside the house. Honestly, the first thing I remember is not getting to the house from the bus station, not being greeted, not walking into the house, not meeting everyone in the family – I don’t remember any of that stuff…

The first thing I remember is Mr. Megowan and I alone in the rec room with the door shut… He had a pipe in his mouth…  I had teeth in mine…  He looked me in the eye… I looked him in the eye… And Then it began… The inquisition…

“So tell me about yourself”…

“So tell me about yourself.”?

I wasn’t actually expecting that exact question, and I went into an immediate Brain Fart – and it was about a twelve on the Richter Scale… This wasn’t just a deer in the headlights moment.  I don’t believe that the analogy has yet been developed to adequately describe whatever it was… I literally saw my life flashing before my eyes in an attempt to pick out something good to say…

So, with Kathy from the seventh grade in mind, all I could think of to blather was “Well, there’s not much to tell.”

Looking into Mr. Megowan’s face, I could easily see that this was not really the answer he was hoping for, so I continued the mental review of the events of my life in hopes of, quickly, coming across something that might be more acceptable a response…

Finally, after a mercifully short eternity, I clearly remember picking out what I thought would be appropriate facts about Bill.

  • I told him that I was the oldest of eleven living children.
  • I told him I was heavily influenced by my Irish Catholic grandmother.
  • I told him that my dad worked for Sears.
  • I told him that I played the guitar.
  • And, culminating my litany of self aggrandizement, I proudly proclaimed that I was way out of his daughter’s league…

Of all of the facts I had just put forth, this last one seemed to brighten his face up more than the rest…

I should interject here, that when I was in high school, I was the guy that all of the girls mothers wanted to have date their daughters.  Why was that?  It wasn’t because I was rich, or smart…  Pathetically, it was because, when a parent got to know me, I was generally considered to be safe.

Yes, I was the safe choice for a boyfriend for your daughter… Some parents even had a nick-name for me.  I was called… (Eesh – Do I really want to do this?)

They called me… They called me… This is difficult… They called me…(Deep breath)…

“Harmless”…

Yes… “Harmless.”

And, for better or for worse, it was true… I had never met a girl’s mother who couldn’t trust me.

Anyway, the point is that Mr. Megowan allowed me to stay.  The deal was that I could stay until I found another place to live…  That actually happened about a month or so down the road, but I’ll get to that later…

Just about immediately after my initial conversation with Mr. Megowan, I was made to feel right at home.  It was almost as if Mr. Megowan had exited the rec room and loudly proclaimed to the entire family that “You can all relax! This guy is way out of Colleen’s league!”

I would be bunking in with Colleen’s younger brother, Patrick, and one of her older brothers, Blair.

Pat was just starting the seventh grade, and Blair was home from college for the summer…

Blair had an interesting summer job, actually.  He was a courier for the blood bank (I think – or maybe the local hospital), and was on call just about 24 hours a day.  If I remember right, a shipment of blood would arrive at the Greyhound Bus station, Blair would get paged, hop in the car, get to the bus station, pick up the package and deliver it to the hospital or other appropriate place.

The interesting part was that he often got paged in the middle of the night, and being roomies, when he got paged, I got paged. There were some sleepless nights until he went back to school…

Being the curious sort, I asked him if I could go along with him sometime just to see what a blood courier did… Who knows? It might be something I might be interested in pursuing some day when I went away to college (it could happen – I was already away at high school, and it didn’t seem like that much of a stretch to going away to college.  As it turned out, it was a pretty long stretch…).  And it wasn’t long until I got my chance to get a first hand look at the intricacies of moving blood from point A (the bus station) to point B (the hospital).  (It would be a few years before I got to see the journey from point B to point C (the patient).)

I remember it like I was awake at the time…

…3:00 AM – the pager went off.  Blair and I each sprang from our respective beds, put on our respective pants, etc. and headed out the door…

What we encountered when we walked out the door was exactly reminiscent of the phenomenon known as Tulle Fog (pronounced “tooly fog”).  Tulle fog is an extremely dense, low lying layer of fog that inhabits the Central /San Joaquin/Sacramento valleys of California during the fall and winter seasons. I have driven through it from below Bakersfield almost all the way to the Oregon border.  The stuff may rise only ten feet above the ground or go as high as a thousand feet, but the altitude isn’t what gets you…

For those of you who haven’t experienced tulle fog, imagine a thick coat of oatmeal spread out over your windshield as you drive down the road.  Visibility can range from literally zero (0) to maybe six hundred (600) feet.  Most often, I have experienced between ten and twenty feet…

Ventura doesn’t get much, if any, tulle fog, but they do get sea fog, being on the coast. For some reason, tulle fog is what the sea fog was pretending to be on this particular edition of three O’clock in the morning…

Blair drove slo-o-o-o-wly…

We eventually got to the bus station where he picked up the package and headed out to make the delivery at the hospital…

We quietly drove along the freeway, not seeing where we were going but doing a good enough job of getting there anyway.  After awhile, we actually started a spirited conversation…

The topic of the newly invented and installed “lane bumps” came up immediately after we woke up…

__________________________________________________

Next… Chapter 24 -I meet my replacement…

 

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