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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the HUMOR genre (04/12/07)

TITLE: Cream Rinse is Extra
By Loren T. Lowery


“Anita, I think we should leave,” Sylvia whispered to her best friend as they waited in the lobby of the hair saloon. “You heard the clerk, your stylist is sick today. Who knows who I’ll get and what kind of hairdo I’ll end up with.”

“Don’t be silly, this is Cabella’s, which means beautiful hair in French.”

“I studied French for years and I never heard of that word.”

“Well, maybe it’s Spanish or something. Don’t worry, I’ve been coming here for ever and have never been disappointed.”

Sylvia looked at her friend’s hair. “Really?”

“Well, maybe once or twice, but they always gave me a discount on my next visit.”

“Anita, this is my wedding we’re talking about. There’s not gong to a next time. Besides I’m nervous enough without wondering if I’m going to walk out of here looking like Aunt Pity Pat from Gone with the Wind.”

A large woman of about forty, dressed in a black polka-dotted muumuu with bleached hair and dark roots walked into the lobby. She caught Sylvia’s wide eyes and said, “Sylvia? Hi, I’m Rose.” She extended a hand with a rose tattoo. “I’ll be doin’ your hair today.”

Anita pushed her friend up. “Go on, everything will be fine.” She looked at Rose. “My friend’s a little nervous. It’s her wedding, but the lady doing her hair had an emergency. That’s why we’re here.”

Rose smiled broadly, showing a gold tooth. “A weddin’? Now ain’t that grand and don’t worry ‘cause weddin’ hairdos are my specialties. Why in beauty school we must have studied,” she counted on her fingers,” at least a whole week on wedding dos.”

“I…I don’t know,” Sylvia stammered.

“Don’t worry, Honey. I have enough gel and shellac back there to give that hair of yours just the lift and shine it needs. I can even do curls if you want. Course it might not take with your kinda hair.”

Sylvia flushed, running her fingers through her hair. “Anita,” she said, turning to her friend. “I’m not sure about this.”

“What time’s the weddin’?” Rose asked.

“Three,” Anita replied.

“Plenty of time - you know in case things don’t work out. Course we shouldn’t do a perm ‘cause that might not wash out if you don’t like it and then you’d have frizz and pink highlights like some kinda poodle.”

Sylvia’s eyes grew wider and Anita touched her shoulder reassuringly. “It’s getting late and we’re here. Besides, I can always fix the veil to hide everything.”

“Pink poodle frizz?” Sylvia mumbled silently behind Rose as she waddled back to her station.

“Uh, I like your flip flops,” Sylvia said for lack of anything to say.

“These ole things? One of my ex husbands gave ‘em to me.”

Sylvia sat down in the beauty chair and shirked when she saw her reflection in the mirror. Instantly she began fussing with her hair.

“It’s the spotlight, Honey. Makes everyone look like Freddy Kruger going bald – not that he isn’t already bald. Can’t seem to remember him without his hat, but the spotlight does that, so it’s not just you. I kinda like Freddy myself; he’s just misunderstood.” She grinned, gold tooth shining in the mirror.

Sylvia swallowed hard and looked down at the counter. “I...I see you have a Chia Pet.”

“Yes, Scooby Doo. Just love him. One of my customer’s gave him to me for inspiration. Would you like some coffee? I can’t seem to get started without coffee. Already had six cups this morning. Woo hoo,” she laughed, pulling an imaginary long-haul truck whistle in the air.

Sylvia didn’t answer so Rose continued. “Will you want a cream rinse? That’s extra. Don’t know why they can’t tell that to customers up front, but no, they leave it for us. But, seeing as it’s a special day, I won’t charge you. I’ll even treat you to something I make up at home, in my tub. Wonderful stuff, use it myself.”

The lights in the saloon flickered and went out. There were a few nervous screams. “Don’t be scared,” Rose said, “it’s just the rats. Kinda like them myself, but they can be a terror sometimes.”

“Thank-you, God,” Sylvia prayed in the darkness.

“Did you say something, Honey?”

“Yes, silly me. I just remembered my wedding’s next Saturday.”

And, with that, Sylvia jumped out of her chair just as the lights flickered back on and gasped as her bridesmaids and original hairdresser gathered around her giggling and shouting, “Surprise!”

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This article has been read 1166 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Rita Garcia04/19/07
This was a fun read!! The ending is sooo funny!!
Julie Arduini04/20/07
Priceless. This will be a favorite of mine, I loved every word. The funniest was the flip flops one of the ex husbands. The ending was perfect, just like the entire work!
Dolores Stohler04/20/07
Funneee! Just what she needed for her wedding jitters. Hope you won't mind my pointing out it's salon, not saloon. Unless you did that for added laughs. A good job on the whole.
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/20/07
The surprise ending was great. I kept wondering what would be the final straw to get her out of the salon.
Sharlyn Guthrie04/21/07
You're a great story teller...had my attention from beginning to end. Your humor and timing are terrific. I would only suggest paying more attention to punctuation, run-on sentences, etc. It would make this creative entry truly shine!
Jacquelyn Horne04/23/07
Oh! I'd get you! What a trick! You took me in too. Good job.
terri tiffany04/23/07
Very cute - descriptive writing with a good attention to some perfect details:)
Pamela Kliewer04/24/07
You got me! That was great! I laughed out loud at the end. Very well told.
Sara Harricharan 04/24/07
LOL! I have to love this piece...it is simply too funny. The replacement hairdresser was a real hoot! No wonder poor Sylvia was worried about her hair...nice twist at the end, maybe a tad bit extra would've helped to make it a little more. It's so quick, if you skim through the front it might be missed. ^_^ Love the title...
Myrna Noyes04/25/07
Sooooooooo funny and very creative!! :D Great characterization of Rose the hairdresser! In fact, I think I've seen her where I get my hair cut! :) Enjoyed reading this immensely!!
Ed VanDeMark04/25/07
This is wonderful. I love a good prank and this is a good one and it is well told.
Back in the days when men wore white walls I went to a new barber. I chose him because I was a poor college student and he had the lowest prices in the neighborhood. This guy stood in one place and kept the chair moving as he used the clippers. I must have done ten or twelve revolutions before he finished using those clippers. He gave me a good haircut and I continued to go to him until I graduated. Once every two weeks I lived in fear that this time he would mess up...it seemed as if it was destined to happen one of those days, but it never did. Thanks this is a great story and it should finish in the top 40.
Myrna Noyes04/26/07
CONGRATULATIONS on your "Highly Commended"! You deserved it! This was so well-written and one of my favorites this week! :)
Cheri Hardaway 04/26/07
Congratulations on being highly commended. I loved your story, and was totally unprepared for the surprise at the end, which made it even funnier. Be careful with proofreading, spell check won't catch them all -- forever is one word and you wrote gong when I think you meant going. Other than that, it was perfect. I felt like I was right there in the salon with her. And almost as nervous too! Blessings, Cheri
Ed VanDeMark04/26/07
I read about 25% of the humor stories from all four levels. It was a toss up for me whether your story or "Want an Apple" was the best I read. I'm glad that you placed in the top five. When I read "Cream Rinse is Extra" I was sure the writer was a woman. This makes your accomplishment that much better. Most men couldn't pull that off just as most women would have difficulty speaking with a male voice. Congratulations and thanks for your kind remarks.
Deborah Porter 04/29/07
Hi Nathan. Please forgive me for contacting you this way, but I need to check something about your entry in the Inspiration/Devotional challenge. I've sent you a PM, but not sure if you have access to that service.

Could you send me a PM with your email address as soon as possible. Then, if you have a hotmail, yahoo or aol account, would you mind checking the junk or bulk mail if you don't hear back from me fairly soon after.

Love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)