Turning the trick on grandma

Published 5:51 pm Friday, May 5, 2023

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Back in my childhood, grownup people played tricks on little children.

They tricked us into believing in the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and the Stork that brought babies. But, we, the children, wised up and tricked the grown-ups into to believing that we believed in Sandy Claus until we were in 10th grade.

But, tricking our grandma, was tricky.

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Our grandma, mine and Net’s, said she had a surprise for us. She was going to take us to Miss Rachel’s beauty parlor to get permanent waves and our mamas would be so surprised to see how pretty our curly hair was.

We’d never had a permanent wave and didn’t want one.

But, sharing a banana split with a cherry on top at Uncle Fernie’s drug store was good enough reason to get in the car and go to the beauty parlor.

Miss Rachel started saying how pretty were going to look with our permanent waves …until.

“That’s an electric perm machine,” Miss Rachel said. “You don’t want that. It gets real hot.”

It looked like real fun to us. We wanted electric perms.

Miss Rachel didn’t know enough words to trick us out of getting electric perms. Our grandmother had said whatever we wanted.

I got mine first. Pinch, hot, hot and BURN! I pretended an electric perm was fun. Net wasn’t as good a pretender as I was but she didn’t cry either.

When Miss Rachel dried our hair and combed us out, we looked like the Bride of Frankenstein! Even Miss Rachel was scared of us.

We waited out on  the stoop for our grandmother and our mothers to drive up and see how pretty we were.

When Aunt Jeanette saw us, she slammed on brakes and slung our grandmother up on the dash and Mama from the back over into the front seat.

They sat there “craning’ their necks with faces that looked like they were getting electric perms. We weren’t burning anymore, so our curly selves smiled real big.

The banana spit was good. We each had a cherry.

We had really tricked our mamas and grandmother. But, all the children at school laughed at our frizzy hair. Our trick had backfired on us. It took until Christmas for our curls to grow out.  That was a long time to be called Frizzy Lizzy.