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 mirror...it 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!!!