By Mark D. Crantz
Laguna Beach. Another perfect day in Paradise, but oh no, there’s big hair. According to friends (yes I have two and I pay them dearly to maintain that status), “Steel Magnolias” is a terrific show now playing at the Laguna Beach Playhouse. I’m afraid I’ll have to take their word for it because I’m too afraid to see it. It’s another neurosis of mine, so pull up your barber chair, sweep your hair behind the ears and listen up to a hair-raising tale. It’s worth a listen to because you’ll learn nothing, but you do get a lollipop at the end for reading this without moving your lips. Do you need a booster chair?
My therapist, Dr. Arnie Paypal, advises me that, if I want to get to the root of my hair problem, I’ll have to pay him in advance. He recommends that I take out a second mortgage, so he can pay off his first mortgage, finalize his divorce from wife number three, and make wife number four happy with a new house on the right side of PCH. He says that I shouldn’t think that his happiness depends on me. That would be highly unethical. His problems and my problems are separate issues and must remain that way to assure that he adheres to crazy-high mental health association standards that nobody in his profession can live up to with four, five, or six wives in tow. Notwithstanding, appearances must be maintained. So before I can begin, he introduces me to Benny Bagmein, his physician associate, who handles front office arrangements. ccording to new Obamacare guidelines, Bagmein will provide a cursory physical exam and demonstrate the importance of kneecaps and how that body part sets in motion the need to pay for the sessions in non-sequenced numbered Canadian bills. Bagmein explains to me that the Canadians’ obsession with polite-ness, sets them apart from other sovereign nations that just take your deposits and never say thank you, whereas the Canadian loon is a fowl that flies straight and is never afoul of the law like so many other banking birdbrains. Bagmein riding shotgun and I conclude the financial arrangements with a quick trip to Toronto, where I withdraw $9,999,999,999 and purchase a new couch from Ikea as an incentive to Dr. Paypal to get to the bottom of my big hair fear, as well as, cushion my bottom for what appears to be a long ride to my mental well being.
Now that money talked and mine said goodbye, Dr. Paypal hypnotizes me and directs my subconscious to isolate the triggering event that makes me scared of big hair. Bagmein assists by checking my pockets for any loose change still unaccounted for, while muttering thank you-s in the Canadian language. I am deeply under hypnosis and unaware that the first trigger that’s uncovered is my ATM pin number. This discovery saves Bagmein many future solo trips to Toronto, which would have been difficult to do from the shotgun position. After several sessions and many withdrawals later, Dr. Paypal has a breakthrough when I hit upon the split end trigger.
Be alert readers. The tollowing is the only true thing about to be said so far. I had buried a horrible memory from junior high school. Two teenage girls in ninth grade made a habit to seek me out, a lowly seventh grader, during classroom changes. They had big hair kept that way with hair spray that Marge Simpson would have given her first born for, which isn’t saying much because its Bart. Nonetheless, these six-foot hellions, two feet of it being hair, would get me in the crowded stairwell and knock out all my books from under my arms. I was very studious in those days and carted around a lot of books and papers. To their utter delight, my pursers kept these high jinxes going because I couldn’t alter my course or I would be late for class. I finally solved things by hiding out in the boys’ locker room until they graduated and moved on to high school. That outcome took several years longer than the average students’ stay due to their obsession with big hair and the long hours needed for maintenance instead of general studies.
Thank you modern medicine. I’m cured. I’d go the Laguna Beach Playhouse and see “Steel Magnolias,” except that I don’t have any money left to purchase a ticket. Oh well, be sure to say hi from me to Dr. Paypal and wife number four. I know he loves big hair.
Here’s your lollipop.
Mark is a transplant to Laguna from Chicago. He occasionally writes the guest column “Pet Peeves.” His recently deceased Border Collie, Pokey, is his muse and ghostwriter.