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Mayhem in the which Uncle Duke confronts the Shower Demon

I don’t use a lot of hair conditioner. Some. Not much. I’ve never been exactly sure what it’s supposed to do. And I’ve never noticed any remarkable results when I have used it.

But I confess I have started using it of late. That’s after I began receiving subliminal messages from that giant bottle of it in the shower. It’s been there about 14 years, give or take. Sitting quietly on that upper ledge. No one knows exactly where it came from, but it is the cheap stuff so that piece of evidence certainly points in my direction.

Anyway, it began speaking to me not long ago. “I will outlast you,” it said. Now I’ve never been challenged by any beauty products before, so I wasn’t sure how to react. It had never said a word to me before, civil or otherwise. But it caught my attention, I’ll tell you. I took it to heart and began to make some informal calculations.

It’s the giant economy size (another bit of evidence incriminating me as The Purchaser, I’m afraid) that is about half empty. Or perhaps half full. At any rate, I figure if I accepted the challenge and began using it in earnest, that would mean a usage rate of a dollop every shampoo day. Maybe a couple times a week. Factoring in my life expectancy, and assuming I keep my hair (Not a foregone conclusion certainly, though genetics do seem to be on my side on this one) I figure it’s about even money. Actually, unless I start slathering it on, the smart money would be on the conditioner.

In a similar vein, I am encountering other sands-of-time issues on a fairly regular basis lately. I bought a pair of dress shoes this summer. At some point in the selection process, I realized I would not likely need another pair in this lifetime. I wear dress shoes considerably less than I use hair conditioner. Mostly wakes and funerals. A wedding every now and again. So I don’t put a lot of miles on my dress shoes. And they are well made shoes, so it is not likely they will fall apart on their own. What is more likely, in my mind, is that I will go to my final resting place wearing them. And I’m OK with that. They’re stylish enough for just about any occasion and comfortable enough for the Hereafter. I am satisfied that we make a good pair, and I would not be ashamed to meet my Maker in them.

As another example, some of you may be aware that I’ve got a lot of miles on my truck. 538,012 as of this morning. And I had 420,000 on the previous truck before I prematurely retired it. The way I figure it, my next truck should take me a good ways into the Afterlife, depending I suppose on how far away It is and the availability of parts. At the very least, Beau and Caleb will be hiding my keys long before it’s worn out. And again, I have no problems with the likely eventuality that my truck will outlive me.

And I forgot to mention that I bought a new belt not long ago. Well not actually “new”. It was from a thrift store, but “new to me”. Whatever. As a rule, I’m not hard on belts. So it is likely that it will be holding up my pants long after anyone really cares.

I repeat. This is not a problem.

I’m sure you catch my drift. I am comfortable with my shoes and my truck and my belt leading me down The Path to Paradise and dropping me off. I don’t mind them staying behind, being worn, owned and operated by others. Carrying on without me. My life expectancy is, as I understand it, quantifiable, metaphorically measured by things I own. It is less than this thing, more than that thing.

But there is something about that giant bottle of hair conditioner that has begun to aggravate me. I’ve begun to feel a little bullied. We share the shower. More correctly, we share MY SHOWER. And when someone in my demographic is in the shower, it is a vulnerable time. There’s nothing to hide behind.

In my particular case, there is nothing to shield me from the obvious hard miles I’ve got on this body. All the old wounds and scars, gouges and welts kind of jump out at me. I am considerably zippered and asymmetrical, and there are a lot of embarrassing bulges and suspicious brown blotches that weren’t there not that long ago. It’s a delicate moment, and I confess I may be a little over-sensitive.

Still, even given my own touchiness, there is a certain smugness there that annoys me considerable. I don’t much care to be trash-talked to, IN MY OWN SHOWER!!! And by some bargain basement bottle of balsam-and-protein hair glop at that. And it’s kind of pissed me off and put me in a permanent bad mood.

So even though I am grumpier than usual, you might notice that my hair has a little more luster to it of late. You may notice how tangle-free and shiny it is. If you are paying attention--and if I take my hat off--you will no doubt be impressed by its manageability and volume.

Place your bets, folks.

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