Sorry I haven’t written all week. I believe I’ve spent most of it stuck in traffic at this intersection. I don’t know why in the name of all that is Holy Holy Holy Motherfreaking Hotcakes Batman With Three Hail Marys And A Cherry On Top all the construction on Lincoln Avenue has to occur during the morning rush hour, but evidently it does. For twenty minutes, through five light changes, I sat in my car and watched the dumptruck dump and the steamroller roll and the lady with the flag flag and the man with the rake rake and the steamroller roll roll roll backwards and roll roll roll forwards and that’s all fine and good except THIS IS NOT A RICHARD SCARRY BOOK. This is my commute. For Christ’s sake.
thanks to very helpful reader responses:
* They are not just in Chicago. HQMs thrive in New York City (but only midtown Manhattan and not Brooklyn) and living specimens have also been discovered in Washington D.C., Boulder, Colorado, and as far west as Malibu, California. Many have also been found in Toronto, so when it comes to customs regulations I guess they’re not inspected as thoroughly as produce or domestic animals.
* According to the anecdotal evidence so far, the salon services include brow waxing, “paraffin hand dipping,” occasional use of illegal Russian hair dye, and really crappy haircuts.
* There are also Hair Question Women. However, there is little to indicate that Hair Questioners reproduce sexually. My theory is they release airborne spores called “product.”
* Also: Nail Question Men. Possibly a mutation of the species. And I don’t know about you but “Can I ask you a question about your nails?” sounds like it would be even creepier coming from a complete stranger.
For you ladies who live and/or work in Chicago: have you ever been approached by an unsettlingly bright-eyed young man who wanted to ask you a question about your hair? I mean that he seriously came up to you all friendly-like and said, “Excuse me, can I ask you a question about your hair?” If this has happened to you, you know what comes next if you say, um, yeah, sure: a demented and elaborate sales pitch about salon coupons. When I worked in the Loop I had my Hair Question Man Encounter, as did every woman my age in my office. Mimi Smartypants has written about this phenomenon, too.
I don’t work downtown anymore but for some odd reason I remembered these guys the other day. It seems I have lingering questions about the Hair Question Men. Are they still around? Does anyone know one? Who do they work for? Do they exist in other parts of the country? What IS their question about hair and why do they never ask it once they’ve gotten your attention? I must know. If you have had a HQM Encounter or if you have any special knowledge about the HQMs themselves, let me know.
From: “Armando Francis”
Subject: .:P”R-0:V’E-N” *T.0 `ENHAN_C_E^ P_EN*l.S”‘*
My God, it’s so enhanced that Armando can now type with it.
That’s really all the proof you need.
After much gym deliberation I’ve decided to rejoin Women’s Workout World. Last week I stopped in to take a look around. It looks even worse from the outside now. Any drinking establishment with a sign as crappy and beat-up as the sign on the roof of Women’s Workout World would likely be the kind of place where you could rest your head on the bar and find a good toothless man to hassle you, and really, that’s all I’ve ever expected from my gym. And if the ghetto sign keeps the trixies away that’s fine with me.
But things have gotten a little better inside. The whole place is still decorated in the vernacular of Late Century Aerobic Empire, with purple and teal and neon tubing, but I think I can stand that, especially now that they’ve gotten more equipment. Thighmaster Mary is still there, her quads as mighty as ever. I’ll tell you how it goes.