Reading a recent comment from David Zarkin reminded me that I almost lost consciousness during his wedding due to the fact that my wig was too tight. Okay, i admit this is another absurd but true story torn from the pages of my family's real life — a life as unreal as real life really is..really.
David was getting married in St.Paul in the summertime when the humidity was 2000%. This meant we landed underwater at the airport, picked up our luggage in scuba gear, and wore flippers to slog our way to baggage claim. Did i mention we were perspiring? The men did, anyway. The women "glowed."
I was honored to participate in the wedding party (no, not as Ring Barer) but as the family of the bride was not emotionally prepared to encounter a counter-culture rock n roll DJ whose hair looked as if on rental from Tina Turner, David's sister and her hubby suggested I buy a wig and stuff my long hair up underneath it. Brilliant idea! The three of us trotted off to a wig shop in Seattle at the last minute prior to flying off to St. Paul, and I purchased the only wig they had that was "man hair' and sort-of fit. Sort of, in terms of blood flow to the scalp and brain, is not sufficient. My wig was too tight, the blood flow stopped at the elastic cutting into the top of my forehead. By the time David slipped the ring on his bride's finger, I was ready to slip into unconsciousness and flop on the floor like a grounded flounder. Somewhere there is a lovely picture of the wedding party — including Burl Barer wearing a short hair wig, smiling through a migraine fog. When the wedding reception began, I was rescued by a pair of nail scissors — we cut the elastic, my brain once again had blood flow, and I had a delightful time devouring the refreshments and dancing with a cousin of the bride. My sideburns, which were real, were not the exact same color as the wig. A waitress at the reception said to me, "I've never seen a man wear paste-on sideburns before!" Sheeeeesh!
"No," I explained, "the sideburns are real, it's the hair that is pasted on!" tsk tsk…she was very sympathetic that a man as young as I would already be so severely bald. "Well, it happens you know, but as you can see, I have remarkable stamina and virility despite the hair loss." That didn't earn me any points with either the waitress or the dancing cousin. This event was the highlight of my one visit to St Paul. The #2 highlight was the tour of the Betty Crocker Kitchens, a pop culture event no longer available to the general public, most likely due to recent restrictions imposed on Americans by "Fatherland Security" and the Patriot Act.