Video, Hat, Hair, Chewed Up Manuscripts, and Humphrey Bogart

First, the BOTA Sealy film festival was a singular event. A little underwhelming for David’s video.

During the “offensive” block, two policemen stood, then sat, in the back of the room. I don’t know whether they were monitoring language or potential riots. Before long, they were looking at their cell phones. There were no riots. Language would have amused seventh-grade boys–although the seventh-graders I dealt with were polite when I was around.

It was explained to David that his film was mid-offensive to provide laughs between offensives. The audience was small. I don’t remember anyone laughing at anything. The poIlicemen would have laughed at David’s video if they hadn’t been looking at their phones.

I laughed. When I asked David how he got Ernest to come up and stick his nose in the lens, he said he knew if he put something different in the living room, the cats would do something.

That was a long time ago, when they were kittens. Now they run under the bed, mostly for the maintenance man. Ernest disappears when he hears leaf blowers. William is not impressed by lawn care.

The highlight of the weekend for William and Ernest was visits from the kitty tech, who fed them, gave them their insulin injections, and played with them. She brought them a peacock feather. William’s interest is minimal. Ernest tries to eat the feathers.

Ernest also pulled a couple of loose pages from my novel manuscript, which is in a binder on the floor beside my chair, and chewed the corner off one. Last night he slept on the other one. I haven’t had the energy to pick them up. Anything he eats can be reprinted, and paper biodegrades inside cats. I hope. As long as he doesn’t eat string or thread or anything else that could cut into his GI tract and require CT scans and possibly surgery. So far we’ve been lucky. Just scans and enemas.

The highlight of the weekend for me was the booths set up on Main Street. A vendor who displayed a hat that wasn’t for sale–it was hers–told us about Images Boutique, around the corner, where she bought her hat. Because mystery writers need hats, I went looking for a fedora.

The owner had to open both doors to get my wheelchair in–it was a wheelchair kind of weekend–and the store was so packed with merchandise that I couldn’t get more than six feet into the store. It’s an “upscale” resale shop. Because I almost couldn’t get in, I received 25% off on a hat (not a resale). And the owner and I had a long and delightful conversation about everything but hats.

When I got out, I realized it wasn’t the kind of hat I wanted–the top is fedora but the brim is wide and circular, not the kind that turns down in the front and up in the back. I wanted the kind my father and Humphrey Bogart wore.

But it’ll keep the sun off, and it will be excellent for bad hair days. I have a lot of those. I’m going to my hairdresser and tell him I want my 1972-2010 cut, and if it doesn’t work, I’ll tell everyone it’s not his fault.

In the 1980s, a woman in the row behind me at a performance of Die Fledermaus at Texas State University leaned over and said, “Who cuts your hair? The back is perfect.” In the 1990s, a woman sitting next to me at a library conference said, “You have the perfect haircut. And my husband was a barber, so I know a good cut.” In the mid-2000s, a woman waiting on the porch at East Side Cafe asked, “Who cuts your hair? They do a good job.”

Chemo and another drug have done a lot to my hair, even after it grew back in. But I want my old hair back, or as close as I can get to it.

That’s a nice hat, but I don’t want to have to wear it every day.

Well, we’ve gone from videos to cats to hats to hair.

One more thing about hats: I have a snapshot of my father holding me in the yard the day they brought me home from the hospital. He was wearing his fedora and looking at Ime as if he didn’t know what he’d gotten himself into. It didn’t take him long to find out.

I also have some snaps of myself wearing the hat. But I’ve been having bad face days.

And about videos: David is working on a screenplay. I can guarantee it will not be offensive.


Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay


I’m author of short stories in anthologies Murder on Wheels, Lone Star Lawless, and Day of the Dark. One of my stories appears online in Mysterical-E,

I’m working on a mystery novel that will soon be finished if the cat doesn’t eat it.

Doodle #4. History of Hair

Doodle #4.
Doodle something you love about yourself.

Doodle #4. Something I love about myself. Had to think about it for several days.
Doodle #4. Something I love about myself. Had to think about it for several days before doodling.

Doodle #4: I thought about skipping #4 because I couldn’t think of anything. But skipping one might lead to skipping two or three, or… It’s a slippery slope. So I settled for the question mark.

Then  I remembered hair.  We’ve had our battles, but for the most part I like it. Neil, my stylist, told me if he ever puts on a show, he will take me along as his model. I’ve been taken to spelling contests, declamation contests, prose reading contests, ready writing contests, and typing contests, but at each I had to do something. Neil is the only person to suggest I could just sit and let people look at me.

About that typing contest: Friday morning, my teacher thought I could type. Friday afternoon, she knew I couldn’t. She never said a word of reproach to me, but I’m sure she wished I’d just sat and let people look at me. What she said in the teachers’ lounge I can imagine.

But back to hair: Here’s a personal chronology:

*Bald plus curls.

Scraggly ponytail, but it was Christmas morning and hair wasn't a priority
Scraggly ponytail, but it was Christmas morning and hair wasn’t a priority

*In vogue: the ponytail.
My ponytail was so successful that the neighbor’s granddaughter, Connie, wanted one and wanted it now. Her mother, thinking way outside the box, pulled up what hair Connie had in back and put a rubber band around it. Then she cut strips of newspaper and stuck the ends under the rubber band. Instant ponytail.

*Gone with the ponytail.
Weary of doing battle every morning over tangles, my mother and I agreed a new ‘do was in order. Dixie at the beauty shop whacked off the ponytail. Somehow, the curls went, too. Cowlicks stayed.

Pink foam rollers. Brush rollers. Bobby pins. Hair dryers. Teasing combs. Hairspray. Hairspray combined with high humidity. Wishing for the ponytail.

c 2006 throwback to 1971
c 2006 throwback to 1971

*Short and…  Short and straight. Short and Afro. Short and straight. Short and gray. Short and rinse. Short and gray. Curls are back. Don’t know why.

Buzz. © MKW
2016 Buzz. © MKW

*… shorter.