Norman Fleedlemyer will never forget the amazing day that catapulted him into a real life crime drama, and then, into real life. He had been ambling down the street minding his own business when Willie the Whacker rushed out of First Branch Bank brandishing a pistol.
Norman stood between Willie and the get-away car so Willie was forced to give him an incentive to move, which resulted in a rather nasty clunk to the right side of Norman’s head with a heavy money bag. At least he didn’t take a bullet, only an aching bruise.
Every federal, state, and local constabulary from the Sheriff’s office to the FBI wanted a piece of William Woppleby; aka Weasel, aka Whacker, aka Whistler. Norman, armed with his firsthand knowledge of Willie’s quite distinctive face, had no choice but to be their star witness.
Norman worried about his premature baldness and dreaded exposing his follicle-challenged head. Mostly he wore a hat and tried not to think about it too much. All the hassle of going undercover was about to be worth it. The protection program included a classy disguise. At first it seemed merely exciting, but eventually caused a stunning change in his understanding of TRUTH.
The new toupee was a work of art. He could barely stop looking at himself in the mirror he was so enamored with the incredible difference. He usually wore a beard to balance out what was missing on his roof, but as soon as he had hair again, a clean shave followed.
To reward his enthusiastic cooperation, they allowed him to choose his alias. He opted for what he considered a cool name: Rock Stonefield. The G-men winced but figured it wouldn’t hurt. So, good-looking Rock, with wavy hair and a baby-smooth face, moved into the FBI’s safe apartment and began the wait for Willie’s trial.
During the long delay, with a temporary new identity and location, Norman’s confidence soared. Single women from his building made up every excuse they could think of to meet him, since he looked so foxy; the perfect guy for a shampoo commercial.
In view of Rock’s popularity, his room-mate, undercover agent Tom Smith, decided the protection assignment could be compromised. He advised his evidence treasure to stay inside the apartment, especially since the incident at the pool when the fancy hair piece tried its best to make an escape. Poor Tom had to fake a near drowning to get all the attention away from Norman’s ridiculously lopsided manly mane.
Confined to quarters, Norman began to spend more time online talking with a woman-pal he had never met. Lucinda had been a connection for a project at work. After the business part was concluded they had struck up a pleasant and platonic friendship and had been writing to each other for over a year.
She had no idea where he was or about his new found good looks. In view of his on-going reluctance to meet her, she concluded he might just be hiding something. She tried to make him understand how the outside of a person did not matter to her. Somehow he doubted that, having had his head turned by some shallow Barbie doll types lately.
After Norman testified at the big trial, all confident and brave under his silky tresses, his rather large dog chewed up the wonderful wig -- the thing that had made him feel like Superman. Now, without the fake hair, he knew what it must feel like to be in a room full of kryptonite with no lead wall in sight. The worst part -- Lucinda was due to visit that very day. All he could do was plop his old baseball cap on and go.
After they exchanged a warm hug at the airport, his perceptive friend reached up and removed the offensive covering.
“Now, that’s so much better. Why hide behind a silly hat when you look amazingly handsome without it?”
He couldn’t help but smile all the way down to his toes and reply, “Why indeed?”
Good old Norman realized he owed a debt to Willie’s stupid felony for forcing him into pretend hair to begin with. Its newly applauded absence was exactly what he had needed to march forward, sans rug. The freedom was exhilarating.
At last he dared to believe an irrefutable TRUTH: When a person really loves you, it’s your heart that counts, not any of your temporary fleshly packaging; and especially, not what’s hiding under your hat.
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