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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hair Dye, Smelly Dogs & Tornado Warnings

Dump one bottle of smelly ingredients into the other bottle of smelly ingredients. Don the stylish gloves and shake shake shake shake shake. Squirt and drip and make a mess of your towel and a few surprising spots on the counter and floor to be discovered at a later time. The sun is shining, the skies are blue, and grays are disappearing - how much better could this day get!?

Loosely pile the short, smelly locks on top of your head. Let’s be honest here. If it were loosely piled, it’d be hanging over your ears and forehead and making a mess of things. Smathered, slathered, and stuck to your scalp is how we mostly look when we’re dying our own hair, be honest.

A phone call comes in and I maneuver the telephone so as to avoid depositing splotches of unseen hair dye that could later be found smeared across my ear or better yet, my face. The news is... there’s a tornado warning for an area about 30 miles away.

I look out my kitchen window to see my dog in an anxious state. Seems he has caught himself around a tree and cannot get back into his house. For crying out loud… I haven’t a clue why he insists on behaving in such a moronic manner about trees and other immovable objects. He just refuses to acknowledge that if he goes round and round he will NOT win a contest of wills by simply looking pathetic and refusing to go back around said object. The wind is picking up and he’s looking quite disturbed by his predicament.

“Damn”, I breath out. Here comes some hail to further exacerbate the situation. I throw on my shoes and grab the umbrella. Out the front door I go, clutching at the umbrella stem to keep my “loosely piled” and disgustingly permanently staining hair from touching the umbrella, AND to keep the umbrella from being blown from my hands. I don’t know exactly how much time out in the hail/rain it takes to make hair dye run down my face, but I’m not taking chances.

“Come on Mac. This way.” I untangle him from the tree, but now his desires have changed. His house is a substandard arrangement. He wants to go with me. Next door to him is the big baby of our canine family. She hates storms and wind and gun shots. Now she is running laps in her kennel, believing Mommy has come to save her and take her into the house. “Damn!” What if the tornado comes this way? I feel cruel leaving them out here. I unclasp Mac’s lead from the kennel and head over to Molly’s. She’s loose inside, so I simply open the door and out she bursts. 89 pounds of tenacious ferocity when running down an animal. 89 pounds of yellow-bellied cowardice when a strong wind announces a weather change.

At this point, my hands are being distorted, twisted and crushed by Mac’s cable winding around my fingers. I drop the lead and hope he heads to the house. They both do. I struggle along behind them with my unwieldy umbrella. They await me outside our basement Bilco door. I open it and 150 pounds of smelly canines about kill me rushing into the enclosure. The umbrella does nothing to improve the situation.

At this point, I’m remembering that the inside door to the upstairs is open and I’m not sure where my cats are. Molly would happily find and terrify them for me, but I pass on that thought and squeeze past the two excited dogs to get through the basement door alone. Tossing the umbrella aside, I run up the steps to close the door to the kitchen, only to be met with 2 felines frantically trying to go down the stairs because they are freaking out about the howling wind as well.

Think fast! OK, now I need a lead for Molly to maintain order and prevent an expensive and inconvenient emergency veterinarian visit. I scramble around the upstairs looking for a leash. Got it! Back down the stairs.. Cardiovascular workout for the day - Check! I block the door with my foot, leg, all of my body weight while I stick two hands through the opening to secure Molly. Got her! I grab Mac’s collar and follow it to his lead. Got him! They're finally in, but I need to hang onto them while I struggle back up the steps to close the bilco doors.

Whew. Storm is outside. Dogs are under some sort of control and are inside. Cats are quietly cursing me somewhere in the basement.

Hmmm. My hair is going to need rinsed, which means taking both dogs upstairs with me. Their feet are soaked and muddy, so we walk all around the basement trying to dry them and get them somewhat clean before taking them up the unfinished wood steps and across my pale carpet to one of the bathrooms. I opt for the smaller bathroom.

Being the graceful beasts that they are, the three of us barely make it up the steps without one or all of us going off the side. I haven’t a clue where the cats are, but if one shows itself at this point, I’ll kill it myself! We’ve made it to the kitchen, back the hall, and now 2 incredibly smelly dogs are in my bathroom. I give each of them a towel to lay on and drop about 20 feet of leash & lead onto the floor, imagining the worst entanglement to deal with later. One ignores HER towel and messes up the other one. I resmooth them and we try again. They each lay down on command. I reach for the door handle - they get back up. I squeeze through the door while telling them to “stay”, which they are ignoring as they try to squeeze their noses through with me. I escape and run to the other end of the house to collect my watch, the lovely latex gloves, the extra thick creamy conditioner, and another towel.

It’s only been 20 minutes. I need to make it to 40 minutes for the maximum gray coverage. I sit here telling this story with those stubborn grays peeking through, and it’s only been a couple weeks, so you know I didn’t make it. At the 30 minute mark, I’m back in the small bathroom pondering whether doggy smell or permanent hair dye is stronger, and how long the interesting combination of fragrances will last once this ordeal is over.

OK, on my knees by the tub. Dogs are respectfully NOT smelling my butt, for which I say a small thank you. Rinse, rinse, rinse some more. Until the water runs clear, right? Do you really rinse that long? I never make it. Weak tea water and that’s clear enough for me. On goes the extra thick conditioner. Again, I wonder why they don’t sell that stuff in bottles. It’s amazing stuff! Rinse again - no I didn’t make the 2 minutes that you're supposed to let it "condition". It was on and then off. Ta Da! Wrapped in a towel that I hoped not to ruin with my haphazard attention to clear running water, and surrounded by dogs that I no longer could smell, I sit on the toilet lid and take a breath.

Being the spoiled natural dogs that they are, I figure the blow dryer isn’t going to make me any friends here. I squeeze back past the insistent and persistent noses into the hallway and make my way to the other bathroom to dry my temporarily ungray roots and otherwise light ash brown hair. (Light in this context means - this isn’t black, so it’s “light” ash brown.)

Newly dried and silky and shiny and not as smelly from the hair dye, I look out the window to notice that the sky is blue, the hail has stopped, the sun is shining, and no tornado has ripped away those dog kennels at the back of my yard. Figures!

Now to put the dogs out and look for those surprise little hair dye spots around my bathroom before I walk through them with my slippers and polka dot my carpeting. One couldn't make up the frenzied multitude of activites I survive during my day.