Monday, July 10, 2006

I remember discovering what burning hair smells like...

I'm not sure how old I was in this memory, but I remember it very clearly. I was probably 9 or 10, when we still lived out on the prairie. Our family was invited over to another's family's home for supper, and I was excited because these people actually had kids I liked near my own age. As a pastor's family, we were often invited over to the homes of people with no children at all, and we'd have to be good, and it was SO BORING!!!

But these people had Janelle, and she and I got along great. After supper, she and I were playing in her room...we were playing with Barbies, which usually went against my grain, but I let it slide in order to be friendly. All of a sudden, all the lights went out, pitch darkness--no big deal, just a power outage. If you live on the farm or in the country, the power could go out during any little wind storm, and we were all used to it. Janelle's mom came bustling with a candle for us into the room where we were playing...she set it on the dresser. Then she bustled out to take candles all over the rest of the house.

As soon as she was gone, we realized that the small light of one lone candle didn't reach down to where we were playing. We moved the candle down to the floor beside Barbie's Dream House and continued to play, doing our best to be careful and not knock the candle over. All of a sudden, we both stopped. Eeeew! What was that awful smell? I was turning my head to see what was so stinky all of a sudden, when Janelle noticed that my long hair was decidedly shorter in one area. We took the candle into the bathroom so we could inspect my hair with the help of a was all frizzly on the ends. I must have moved my hair through the candle flame when I was reaching for Ken or something!! I could have lit my head on fire!!

For some reason we felt incredibly guilty, and had an overwhelming urge NOT to tell our mothers what had just happened. Surely trying to light your own head on fire was a punishable offence! We used fingernail scissors to trim off the frizzly burnt parts, but how to hide the smell? We scrambled through the bathroom looking for something, anything...hairspray! That stinks pretty good! Janelle and I sprayed first my head, then her entire room with hairspray.

No, we did not set the house on fire. Somehow in our ignorance of the flammability of aerosol propellants, we managed not to spray near one of the open flames. To this day, the smell of burning hair gives me the delicious sneaky feeling of getting away with something. Unless my mom starts reading this blog, which is unlikely, she will never know I burnt my hair that evening! Ha ha ha!!!


papa herman said...

I remember in the Lutheran Church that I grew up in that my friends Bobby and Lori were Acolyting (lighting candles.) As they came out of the robing room Lori must have stopped short and Bobby bumped into her head with his lit taper, causing a little hair sizzle.

Recently I watched a documentary about a bookstore in Paris. The owner of the bookstore, and older man, showed how he trimed his hair with a candle... on purpose.

It seems the bbq takes it's toll on the hair on my arms.

Fire and hair do not make good friends.

GA said...

If it weren't 10:45 p.m. and if I hadn't already spent too many hours reading blogs, Prairie Geeks, Bloggus Canadianus, and now yours, I would read more of the back entries, but I better plan to hit the hay instead. I too reminice, Actually trace my "biography" with the idea of understanding why I am what I am based on the influences of home, church and school, etc, from infancy onward. That is on my site, and my blogspot site has at the moment 4 installments of my "Kingdom Koncepts" message given in PHS. I also am a blogspots so I could interact with a professed "agnostic" and he in turn interacts with my LiveJournal entries.
Catch you later. XTracker let me know you visited BUT DIDN'T COMMENT on Xanga. But it is the comments on which I thrive.

Spoke said...

Back in grade 10ish, I shared a few classes with my dim brother. We were in a welding class one afternoon continuing to learn the ins and outs of Oxy-Acetylene welding.
To digress, my brother and hygene were not best of friends. He didn't stink by any degree, but his hair was a wee on the greezy side most days.
Anyway,I happened to be in the shop wandering around my brother's stall one day as I heard "Jack", a bully, mock my brother for being all set to weld before putting on his goggles. My brother brushed him off and grabbed his goggles and began to pull the elastic strap over the back of his head with the goggles over his eyes...he hadn't put his lit torch down.
I watched in a state of horror and joy as he unknowingly brushed the blue oxygenated flame thru his grease-mop while pulling on the gogs.
Jack pulled off a leather welding gauntlet and began beating Alan's head to put out the fire. Still unaware fully, my brother dropped his torch at his station as he jumped up and started punching Jack in retaliation for his "attack"...bloody brilliant!
Anyway,the shop stunk to highest heaven and the mini rumble subsided with the help of the instructor. Alan didn't believe the situation until he heard it from me. Priceless I tell you!

Karin said...

We experienced this" phenomena" on the farm at Youngstown. One would turn on the hot water tap and before any water came, there would be this hissing and blowing. Long before I arrived on the scene my mother-in-law decided to test this as she ran a bath. She lit a match and held it under the tap. I guess this was before the papers were full of news about methane gas affecting water. She experienced singed eye brows and hair but lived to warn the rest of us about the dangers of the gas in the water!
Sometimes I wonder how people survived without all the agencies warning us about all the dangers that we will experience as we live our ordinary lives.
I hope no one takes me seriously on that one.