Thursday, April 2

I wish they did make hamster balls in my size

Standing in the grocery store line this morning [where I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time lately since management has taken it upon themselves to cut down on cashiers in the morning instead of perhaps taking out one of the three morons behind the deli counter who ignore everyone waiting for deli magic as if they are the Deli Wizards and you must earn their respect to get served], yes well while I was standing in this frustratingly long line waiting to pay for my precious coffee cream which I cannot live without [I'll give up chocolate before I switch to milk in my coffee, that's how serious I am about my 10% cream], the lady standing in front of me reminded me of a bus route I used to take when I was a kid.

I grew up in the 'burbs but went to school downtown so I spent a lot of time on the bus. Because we were in a newer 'burb, the routes to get home were limited: it was either the 16 or 80. My brother and I had nicknamed the 80 "the freakshow on wheels" because well, essentially it was. It was also always crowded, prone to strange smells, and once even held at gun point and no one really noticed [who robs a bus? really do you think the patrons of a bus carry lots of cash and gold?]

Anyhow, obviously the 16 was the bus we preferred to take whenever possible but it meant transferring, and to a lazy person like me, transferring sometimes required too much effort. But it happened during bursts of youthful vim and one day my brother and I ended up sitting behind a university student with the biggest afro you have ever seen. Seriously, the late seventies produced some of the best hair EVER.

Case in point:

So, this woman was sitting there reading her advanced calculus text with the window open on a fine Spring day - just like today actually - when a wasp flew in the window.

Only she didn't see the wasp. But we sure as hell did. My brother and I both leaned back as it buzzed around, maybe even swatting it away as it made it's rounds. Actually, I was probably frozen in terror. Eventually though, the bug decided to land and it chose the lovely lady's afro as it's surface.

I remember being transfixed on this bug, partially to make sure where it was AT ALL TIMES and the fact that it was like watching an astronaut walk on the surface of a new planet. It landed so softly on her hair and the woman, who made up the magma centre of this bug's world, was completely oblivious. Because HELLO! there was about 12 inches of hair between her scalp and this wasp, so there wasn't a chance in hell of her feeling it unless that bug was wearing boots. [for the record: he wasn't]

This bug landing incident happened very close to our stop, and due partially to my bug terror and my brother's and my total shyness, we didn't say a thing before we exited. And wouldn't you know it, that story has stuck with me and each and every time I see someone with their fly down, smudged mascara, bats in the cave, or any other situation like that. Because of that wasp incident, I make an effort to tell folks - even strangers - about whatever it is stuck to them, because I know that I'd appreciate it PLUS I want to make up for the fact that I never told this lady about the wasp that was going to make a nest in her lovely locks. Which I'm sure it did because that's how a child's brain works.

Anyhow, fast-forward to present day motherbumper mayhem: this morning the lady in front of me at the grocery store had beautiful (seriously it looked unreal) long, straight, shiny locks and as I admired her almost borderline Crystal Gayle locks something caught my eye.

OMFG she had a worm in her hair. More like a caterpillar actually (don't click on that link if you hate bugs - and this looked nothing like what was in her hair but I love scaring myself and then spreading the joy) - BUT IT WAS IN HER HAIR.

So after I threw up a little bit in my mouth, I lifted my shaky hand to tap her on the shoulder because I was fortified with idea of finally making up for the sin of leaving that wasp in the afro more than thirty years previous.

"Excuse me, you have something in your hair... I think it's a bug..."
[oh my... I just told a pretty stranger that she has bugs which isn't very polite methinks]

She looked at me, smiled, and shook her head - not hard enough to rid the bug but enough for me to know that she is giving me the "no English" head shake.


Redemption is going to be harder than previously thought. Do I smack the bug off her? Do I pantomime a bug in the hair (is that anything like charading snakes on a plane)? What to do, what to do.

Thankfully - partially due I think to the mo'fo' unreasonable line-ups at the grocery store - the man behind me spoke up in another language, stepped up behind her AND proceeded to knock it out of her hair. Also, being an obvious gentleman, he squashed it as soon as it hit the ground. I wanted to lick him.

But I didn't.

So... have I been redeemed? I'm not sure, but this is for certain: I know will begin wearing my bug suit each and every time I step out the door of my hermetically sealed bubble that I just ordered off of Amazon. The end.


Domestic Extraordinaire said...

no need for the full bubble, just wear an astronaut bubble helmet around and you should be gravy!

cat said...

We had a teacher in 7th grade that wore a beehive. In, like, 1981. (Long ago, but not BEEHIVE long-ago.)

Everyone would speculate about what might live in there - telling horrific "I swear it's true" urban legends about whole nests of the foulest of foul bugs...

I could go on, but it is just to horrific to contemplate.

Neither the caterpillar nor the wasp made permanent homes there. I am sure of it.

Also, that Bubble you ordered? It won't fit on any bus. Or even through the doors of the grocery store - which should save you all kinds of troubles.

for a different kind of girl said...

I nearly choked with glee on my delicious Reece's peanut butter cup egg (at 10:30 a.m.)(do not judge me) reading this line - " was like watching an astronaut walk on the surface of a new planet." That is bliss! Bugs are not. You were very brave to even attempt to tell her. The copious amounts of hair alone would have terrified me, let alone the addition of something with more than four legs nesting in it.

p.s. I may have actually owned that copy of Dynamite magazine back in the day. I didn't then, but today I can really appreciate how the masthead seems to be cradled by that Mr. Kotter dude's afro (I'd look up his name, but meh). It's as though it says, "Come. Rest on me. I know I look wirey and perhaps uncomfortable, but I am a follicle folly for your weary bones.")

(also? I am hopped up on chocolate at 10:30 a.m.)

Anonymous said...

I tend to lean toward redemption in this case, but with pause. I believe it depends on the fate of original fro-girl. For instance, if she was allergic to wasps and it managed to work its way through the Juan-Fro and sting her, she could be dead. If that's the case you're going to hell and no amount of de-worming foreigners in the grocery store can change that. I'd focus on having fun with the hamster ball before you burn in eternal fire. I totally want one now.

Karen Sugarpants said...

I held my breath reading that entire entry. Now I'm itchy. THANKS KATIE.

Anonymous said...

I think holding yourself back from licking the guy in the grocery line was enough redemption for one day.

Mayberry said...

Is NO ONE going to make a joke about the relative size of hamster balls (anatomical) and hamster balls (transportational)?

I am NOT UP to the PRESSURE.

Mandy said...

Scratching my head now as I write this (damn you woman).

I am still stuck on your deli observation, 'cause seriously, is that not totally the code of all deli workers everywhere? People, you're working with hunks of meat. Cut it up, hand it over and be done with it already. Yeesh.

Heather said...

See? Now there is a benefit of cutting my hair that I didn't even think of.

Lotta said...

Oh that's nasty!

Jana said...

Redemption is yours. 'Course, I'd probably say a couple Our Fathers and prayers to the patron saint of bug-phobes to be safe, but yeah.

I love 'fros. Not sure why. I especially love when little children have those soft disheveled 'fros that sway when they run.

Ali said...

my god, i was so hoping that wasp was wearing boots...


currently checking my hair for bugs. thanks for that. i will tell my scared co-workers that it's your fault. heh.

Chag said...

I have no problems with bugs. It's those little germs you can't see that get to me. So if you can get a 2 for 1 special on human-sized hamster balls, let me know.

musing said...

If it had been me who had the caterpillar in her hair and you pointed it out to me, I'd be doing the fire dance until that thing was out of there!

Kyla said...

I'm so scared of wasps, I'll probably have a nightmare tonight. My children mock my wasp fear, you know you are lame when your 3 year old is mocking you. LOL.

kittenpie said...

Wow, I wouldn't want to meet the hamster whose balls are that big. Oh, wait..