All the talk of 80s fashion and fire reminded me of a story from my childhood.

Remember 80's bangs? Remember the volume of Aqua~Net it took to get one's hair up to said, er, volume? And hairspray is exceedingly flammable, right?

So I will tell you this story as I confessed it to my mother: backwards.

I am sitting on my mom's bed with my hair still damp in a towel at the ripe old age of 10. Mom is ironing and I am trying to figure out how to confess to her my actions and get the most optimal result using my carefully balanced formula to increase the 'comic relief' side of the ratio and minimize the 'trouble' side. Telling a story backwards often has admirable results.

Gretchen: I stuck my head in the toilet.
Mom: (pause) Why?
G: Because my head was on fire.

See, in my parents house, which was built in the 1910s, there is no central heating, just floor furnaces, fire places, and open-flame heaters. It also still had the plumbing from that era, so you could turn on the water at full-force, go watch a 30 minute TV program, then return to about 6 inches of water in the tub--enough to almost wet your entire leg at the same time. Trust me, you'll need this information later.

As the water was running for me to take a bath, i squatted to light the heater. I lit the match and turned on the gas, but as I brought the match to the stove to light it, the flame went out and it took me a little while to fumble through the process of lighting a new match.

WHOOSH. Did I mention the flammability of Aqua~Net?

I was crouching there with my head aflame and started to head towards the bathtub, then I remembered that the water had only been running for 10 minutes and I didn't trust the four ounces pathetically puddled at the bottom to be sufficient after I'd headed across the room quickly and air had fueled the flames, enhanced the Aqua~Net. The sink had similar problems because it relied on the same plumbing. Where could I find a source of water, already pooled?

I was a mere 18 inches from the toilet. So I stuck my head inside of it. Gross, maybe, but I still had most of my hair to show for it. Have I mentioned what a stellar housekeeper my mother is?


Kate said...

OMG - have to admit that I've been reading your post on the August board (seriously, I'm beginning to think I have a "thing" for you August mom's) and always thought you were funny. Now, I found your blog through Ashleys and just spent a half hour reading. Thanks a bunch! If its not enough to check Ashleys blog everyday, now I will have to check yours. Hmmmm, work = getting paid to read and write blogs, right??? Think my boss will buy it?

Anonymous said...

LMAO! Butt I'm laughing WITH you, right?