Time and Time Again
“Where have you been?” were the first words screamed at Mr. Mathew Schultz upon entering the school.
“What do you mean?”
“Classes started three weeks ago. You are supposed to be in there teaching right now!”
Schultz swooned. Panic gripped his innards and yanked them down hard, while a freezing chill blasted through his body. Three weeks ago? Where had he been? Why hadn’t he known? Why did nobody tell him anything? Everything was fuzzy. None of it made sense. The screaming administrator briefly seemed to have three heads, each berating him for a different malfeasance.
Things hadn’t even begun yet at his new job and it was already falling apart. First impressions already ruined. His incompetence proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Students, colleagues, and other random people started to gather round, laughing at this poor shrimp of a man.
His life was falling down in a giant puddle of absolute failure. Soon his wife would go, his children would disown him, he’d loose his house, and end up a bum on the streets fighting rats for hardened cheese stuck to the top of discarded pizza boxes.
“And not only that, you’ve forgotten your pants.”
Schultz looked down. He had been in such a rush to get to work that he had indeed neglected to wear slacks. That’s when he woke up and all the stress evaporated. Schultz’s wife hit him in the face with a pillow.
“Get up,” she snorted into a pillow. “Don’t want to be late.”
At that he had to agree. Following the lyrics of the old Beatles song, he got up, fell out of bed, and dragged a comb across his head. That last part took the longest.
Having a rapidly thinning top, Schultz worked a complicated weave around his skull to double and triple flop the hair on top of each other. His hair was incredibly thin, but there was a lot of it, so Schultz had grown it out very long on his left side, in order to bend it all back over the spots nature had cursed with baldness. Once the complicated do was balanced on his scalp, he used an entire bottle of hairspray to keep it all in place.
He stood back to admire the results and gave himself two thumbs up.
“Still got it,” he lied to himself.
“Hurry up,” his wife snorted from the other room.
But now he was no longer dragging. After the hair ordeal, Schultz was always fully recharged and ready to go. For some it took a hot shower. For others a steaming cup of coffee. For Schultz, he was never as awake as when he had cemented in his deceptive hairdo.
Now that the hair was cemented into place, Schultz needed to finish up all the other gross stuff one needed to go through to make a middle-aged man beautiful. All that unsightly ear hair was poking out like punji stakes in a Vietnamese jungle. He got in there with the electric ear and nose trimmer and rooted out most of the brush, then wielded a pair of tungsten steel nasal scissors and surgically snipped out the stubborn loners who refused to vacate, bending his nostrils in odd angles to achieve this.
He repeated the process in his ear canals. First the right, then the left. He slipped a few times and splotches of blood stained his ears, making it look like his eardrum had perforated by listening to too many Roy Rodgers yodels.
Now came scraping off the rest of the stubble off his skin. Schultz filled the basin with warm water and slapped it against his face. He disdained shaving foam. A complete waste of money. A nice soapy lather from a regular bar did the trick as much as any amount of weird whipped cream like foam. He had spent hours discussing the problem with his wife.
“It’s all propaganda from Big Foam and they’re tied in with the media. Whenever a man is shown shaving on TV, what do you see? A big face full of foam, like they’re paid off to. You never see the alternative. Just hot water and soap! It’s a conspiracy!”
For more reading, try books by Rex Hurst.