Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Bathtub Plan

If you had Mrs. Hughes for 9th grade English, you got to see the 1976 tv film version (brought in by the AV person on a reel) of F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" (first published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1920). The made-for TV-version stars Shelley Duvall and Bud Cort (of Harold and Maude).

It's funny how some things stick with you. I think about this story a lot. You see, ugly, boring Bernice goes to visit her pretty, witty, popular cousin, Marjorie. Marjorie tires of Bernice quickly and tells her her only social hope is to deliver the right lines at the right time...to shock people. (Sbill (Mungo) and Jaci, do you remember this?)

When Bernice practices these lines on Marjorie's courting men, she meets great success. "I don't have any beaus at all," she recites with a pouty lip. And, this is the one I remember most for some reason, and she says it to a wide-eyed guy named Charlie: "I have such a frightful lot of hair. You know what I have taken to doing? First I powder my face , then I fix my hair, then I put on my hat, then I hop into tub, then I get dressed. Don’t you think that’s a wonderful plan, my bathtub plan?"

And of course, increasingly jealous Marjorie pushes her to announce that she will bob her hair, and so on... (this version is on YouTube, I just checked). But go back to the bathtub plan. That is what I am going to tell you now: My Bathtub Plan.

"I am really tired of washing my hair. You know what I have taken to doing? First I go to the gym, then I come home and shower, then I go to the Bum Bum, then they wash my hair for an hour, then they straighten it, then I wait two days and do it all over again. Don't you think that's a wonderful plan, my bathtub plan?"

So that is what I am sharing with you tonight. It's my bathtub plan experiment week. If this week goes well, I will not ever wash my own hair again in Vietnam. Usually, I am of the shower-every-day-variety, washing my hair every time. Well, here, I now go two days without washing my hair (note that I did not say "without showering"). It's unbelievable, but I think that they just wash hair so well here that it doesn't even feel dirty, even after two days. And you already know about my terrible water pressure (that isn't even come close to competing with the pressure of a urinating elephant).

So, there you go. My Bathtub Plan. Isn't it wonderful?

3 comments:

Brian Bowker said...

*Phew!* I was starting to get worried that I would get to the end of the post with out mention of a bull penis or rat feces or a bus full of vomiting travelers... I was on the edge of my seat! And then you pulled out the elephant urine at the very end! You do know how to keep your readers in suspense!

Angie said...

Brian, I was just dreaming about someone else washing, drying and fixing my hair, and then with your response that visual went right out the window...

Mungo said...

Smarj, I definitely remember the title, "Bernice Bobs Her Hair," but I can't say I remember the movie in the least... I'll have to check out the clips on YouTube to refresh my memory. All I remember from Hughes has to do with Burping Frogs and juggling...