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  Texas : Features : Columns : "The Girl Detective's Theory of Everything"

Crazy Head

by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
The moral of this story is, "Never let a crazy person near your head." I donít even have to tell you the story for you to know that this is very good advice. In fact, I can think of no possible scenario involving heads and crazy people when this advice would not be absolutely sound.

There is a story, as you surely knew that there must be. It involves a haircut. I use the term loosely. There was hair and parts of it were cut. Other parts were buzzed. Some parts were hacked. Some was left alone entirely. Now, while I know that there was hair involved, I do not necessarily know for certain that there was a crazy person involved. You cannot just decide that someone is crazy based on, oh, I donít know, their behavior, their manner of speech, their grammar, or their hair cutting ability. You just canít jump to a conclusion like that. So I will stand firmly behind my statement about letting crazy people near your head, but I will not go so far as to say that there was a crazy person near my head. This is where the word "apparently" becomes very, very useful.

Sometimes when a person has a unique artistic vision, and when that vision is different from the mainstream, they are viewed, initially, before they become famous and admired and lauded, as being crazy. Take painters for example. Vincent Van Gogh. People thought he was crazy. Because he was. Koo-Koo for Cocoa Puffs. But that was okay, because he was a painter and not a hairdresser. Unless he had aspirations to hairdressing that have been lost to history, in which case the whole unpleasant ear incident makes much more sense.

So, one might argue that if one got Ė oh, I donít know Ė say a really horrendous haircut just to pull an example out of the blue, why one might say that they were serving an important role by supporting the arts. That person might boast about the masterpiece that was her coif, and pass out cards to all her really good friends and have her picture taken for the arts section of the newspaper and become the envy of everyone far and wide. She might look into the mirror and gasp Ė GASP! Ė "my heavenís! It is sooo completely and absolutely . . . random. It is like you took manís uncertainty about his role in the Universe, his relevance Ė is he nothing more or less than a virus floating on a mote of dust in an endless expanse of Nothingness? Or is there a meaning? A mission? Are we each here as individuals for some holy Purpose? And to think that you have translated the existential angst of an entire species, suffered throughout the long history of that species, and translated it into this piece of living, breathing, breathtaking art on top of my head. I bow to you. I am humbled. I must go out and share this with humanity."

Or, when handed the mirror and spun around in the chair with her back to the mirror she might feel her soul swell within her. She might say, "Oh. My." She might stop and realize that she must be very careful, that it was possible that this particular haircut was some kind of spiritual challenge Ė something similar to the old ugly lady at the well in the fairy tale, who asks a series of handsome young men to draw her water from the well for her and they all refuse because she is repulsive until one comes along who is not only handsome but Good, and Kind, and Brave and True as well. He draws the water for her even though she has chin hairs and tuna breath and something appears to be crawling along the part of her hair and then it turns out that she is the most beautiful woman in the world, but was in disguise trying to find the last nice guy around. So he wins. Maybe it was something like that. So the recipient of the haircut might say, "Hmm. All done? Well thank you so much. No, thatís okay, you donít have to do the front too. Uh-uh, donít worry! See, this way I feel like I got a good bargain because I have two completely different hairstyles on my head for the price of one! In fact, I have been getting my hair cut every couple of months or so my whole life and you are the very first person who ever even asked me if they should do the front too! I think you are really on to something, you know, asking that and all because it gives people options. So, Iíll just be running along. No, honestly, youíve done enough. Bet youíre ready to take a little break. Have a soda or something, some medicine or something. I mean because sometimes people have to take medicine to help them. Thatís all. Ooops! Look at the time! Have to run!" And then RUN! Some people might do it that way.

And then maybe come home, take a shower. And make a hair appointment.


© Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
"The Girl Detective's Theory of Everything" April 24, 2008 Column
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