Picture it. Driving on a busy surface street, just north of downtown Phoenix, I approached a cross walk at a red light. I happened to be the first car in my lane so the pedestrians were crossing directly in front of me as I waited for the light to change. I was chatting with a friend on my cell phone. (Yes, I know I should not be talking on the phone while driving. I was.) I hadn’t talked to the friend in a while so we were catching up. He was sharing his exploits of the previous weekend.
As I am listening, a relatively large woman of color, not particularly well dressed, crossed in front of me pulling a brightly colored, two-wheeled, roller bag; the type one might carry on when flying. What was noteworthy in the scene is that affixed to the top of the roller bag was styrofoam head sporting a wig. The hair was dark, picture Cher in the Sonny years, and hung about halfway down the sides of the bag. There was a light breeze and the owner was walking forward so the tresses flowed gently in the breeze.
My first thought was there was a pet of some type sitting on the bag. But the hair was far too long. Next, my thoughts turned macabre as I imagined a body stuffed inside the bag and what I was witnessing was, in fact, a human head sticking out of the bag. I ruled that out as highly unlikely in broad daylight, even in that neighborhood. Besides, the bag appeared to be properly closed which would have been difficult were she zipping it shut around a human neck. Returning to reality, I concluded that it was, in fact, a wig.
Why would someone travel with their wig on the outside of their luggage? Was she afraid it might become gnarled and unkempt-looking had she packed it inside? Might it have been recently washed and allowing it to flow freely in the dry desert air was a good way to dry it? Perhaps it had not been worn recently, or worn too much recently, and it needed to be aired out? I am not well acquainted with the ways of wiggery. And what was inside that bag? Given that the wig did not make the cut to ride inside, the contents of the luggage must be valuable indeed. Inquiring minds want to know these things. At least mine did.
The picture struck me as hysterically funny. I interrupted my friend’s tale of his weekend in the country to apologize for laughing like an idiot. It was not really an appropriate reaction to his story. What I really wanted to do was hang up on him and snap a quick picture with my phone. Sadly, by the time I got out the explanation of what I was seeing she’d exited the cross walk and light had changed to green.
Life in Phoenix never boring always entertaining. Hey this could be a Tourism Board jingle.
“I guess you had to be there”?
Nope, another great ‘portrait’ of the kind you do.
I’m willing to guess you’d never see this in Canada, but what do I know;-)
(I wrote a post with you in mind last week.
Pardon the appearance of pitching my blog.)
Thanks for the kind words. Which of your posts was it? I particularly liked the one about Harper Lee’s new release. I already have it in my Kindle but decided to reread “…Mockingbird” before I started it.
The ‘Harper’ post was the one. I’ve ended up with three copies of ‘TKAM’, a copy bought when it was published, and two ‘anniversary’ editions. One of those I had given my mother, and then retrieved it when she was ‘past needing it’, as the expression goes.
The anniversary edition has a ‘foreword’ by Harper Lee herself, which is not actually a foreword as such. The publisher had contacted her to write a foreword for the anniversary edition, she declined in a letter, and the publisher just used the letter as the foreword! It works perfectly, but I remember reading at the time that Ms. Lee was not amused.
I’m reading ‘Among Friends’ by M.F.K. Fisher, recommended by nice person in the ‘Comments’ of the ‘Harper’ post.
Well you could have followed her to get the proper picture.
It wasn’t really an option at that intersection at that time of day or I might have considered it. Thanks for commenting
Yeah – I’ve mastered the art of surreptitious photo taking.
I can recall situations where that would have come in handy
In-congruent scenes like that always take center stage in my mind!
Good to hear from you again!!!
Yes it’s true, a sistah’s hair (well her weave / wig, to be more accurate) is serious business. It would shock you to hear the amount of money some spend on their tresses so it doesn’t surprise me that it wasn’t stuffed into the bag.
Or you could have just been filmed unknowingly for an updated version of Candid Camera.
Never thought about filming it but I certainly would have snapped a pic had I not been talking on the phone at the time….and laughing so hard.
Some of those wigs are really really expensive. Maybe she was trying to protect her investment?
Speaking of Cher, this was an excellent comeback entry.
Thanks. I would have thought protecting her investment would have meant keeping it inside the luggage but what do I know from wigs?
home again in weird ‘murrica…
There’s no place like home!
Talking on the phone while driving here will get you a four hundred dollar ticket. Sorry to say dear but it should that and more everywhere. It’s dangerous. Just think had you not been talking, you could have shared the photo with us…you see why they ticket for such activity now don’t you…priceless photo it would have been.
My bet would be that she is a beauty school student and the bag and wig are supplies.
I have Bluetooth on my little car car, totally hands free phone service, even voice command for dialing. It also plays the music on my phone through the sound system in the car without having to plug anything in.