Alison Rosen: When Hair Dryers Attack

Photo courtesy of colemama / Flickr.

Photo courtesy of colemama / Flickr.

The other day my hair dryer attacked me, which is the closest thing to a loved one’s betrayal I’ve ever experienced.

Here’s what happened: Like all reasonable women, I have two hair dryers. There’s the expensive heavy one that must somehow work better because I paid so much for it, and the cheapo portable one I bought at the drugstore that is my emergency backup and travel dryer. To spice things up and infuse some whimsy into my otherwise predictable life, I decided to dry my hair at home with the cheapo one. Just to keep my hair guessing. So I did this and was kind of blown away (no pun) by how well it worked. Don’t tell Vidal, but I daresay I preferred it to the other one. And then something happened that I typically leave out of the telling of this story. However, I will tell you, because I think you deserve the whole truth.

As regular readers know, I have an adorable dog. What you don’t know is he loves the hair dryer. When I use it, he sits at my feet, basking in the stream of air. I think he likes the warmth. It’s possible he just hates the natural look. So after blowing dry my hair and observing the aforementioned improved volume and shine, I pointed the dryer at my dog and we cavorted in our usual way — him facing the stream and doing this thing where he tips his head up, squints and it looks like he’s either farting or smiling while I repeatedly ask him who’s a good boy. (Hint: He is!)

Then I worried, as I always do, that maybe the air is too warm — even though he seems to like it — so I thought I’d find the “cool shot” button. I’m pretty sure in the history of hair drying this would be the first time someone has deliberately sought out this button. For those unfamiliar, the “cool shot” button is a button on the hair dryer which, in the fantasy world of hair dryer literature — the kind you find on the box the dryer came in and women’s magazines — helps you “lock in style” with a blast of cool air. In the real world of my bathroom, this button doesn’t lock in anything other than an extra ten minutes of my time. If you ever find yourself thinking, “Why is the hair dryer making a lot of noise but no heat is coming out and my hair isn’t getting dry?” congrats: You’ve found the cool shot button. The annoying thing about the button, other than the fact it doesn’t work, is it’s always right where your hand naturally rests while holding the dryer. So it’s easy to accidentally press. At least that’s the case with my expensive dryer. I was having trouble finding it on the cheapo one so I flipped the dryer around to get a good look. I was leaning forward, over the dryer, and the dryer was in my right hand. Suddenly, I felt a tugging on the right side of my head as the dryer sucked in my hair. My hair wrapped around the spinning fan inside the contraption and the dryer began pulling in more and more hair.

I tried to turn the dryer off, but because I don’t use it frequently, I quickly pushed the button as far as it would go from low to off to high. The dryer roared and pulled my hair faster. Panicked, I pushed the slider back in the other direction. High to off to low. This wasn’t going as planned. The third attempt worked, and I managed to turn it off. And then, with one hand holding the dryer because to let go would mean the weight of the dryer would yank my hair out, I went to the mirror to appraise the damage.

It was as I expected: My hand was attached to the dryer, which was attached to my hair, which was attached to my head. I reached across my face and grabbed the dryer with my left hand and tried to loosen the hair with my right, because I’m right handed. I couldn’t see over my arms. I was like a one-person game of human v. hair dryer Twister. The hair wasn’t budging. I grabbed the nearest scissors — manicure scissors — and debated cutting myself free. I was hot and sweaty and panicked and the dryer — ironically light and flimsy — was beginning to feel like an anchor. I tried to slip the manicure scissors off my fingers, deciding I wasn’t ready to resort to such a drastic measure when I realized they were stuck. I felt like a giant trapped in a six-pound bowling ball. And now I couldn’t even call anyone because one hand was holding the dryer and the other looked like the last prop made by a hard-of-hearing prop master on “Edward Scissorhands” shortly before being fired.

I finally pried the scissors off by using the edge of the counter. I then did something handy, finding a screwdriver and, using my left hand, unscrewed all four screws holding the dryer together. It took quite a bit longer than you might expect since righty-tighty lefty-loosey loses all meaning in a mirror. And then I tried to pull the hair dryer open to save my precious tresses, but it wouldn’t budge. I’d spent what felt like an hour unscrewing the damn thing, but its molded plastic body wasn’t opening. And that’s when I gave up, imprisoned my fingers in the scissors once more and cut myself free.

I’m not sure whom to blame for my fiasco but I’m open to suggestions.

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Chuck Briese, Oak Ridge Now

[avatar user="cbriese" size="thumbnail" align="left"] Chuck Briese has been a resident of South Montgomery County since 1988. He and his lovely and patient wife, Leslie, have six sons, with only one left to finish high school. Chuck has been a Cub Scout leader, a Little League baseball coach, a church youth leader, and a general troublemaker over the course of the past 25 years. He is obsessed with his lawn, and likes restaurants that serve food that fills up the plate. He has a tendency to tilt at windmills, which may explain why he started Oak Ridge Now.

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