- Carole McLaughlin -

Charlotte and Claire were sixteen, the age of know everything, do everything and try everything.  And this was the night that they were going to try everything!  It was something they just couldn't avoid.

Charlotte was the oldest; she had had her birthday way back in January and Claire would not be sixteen for another two weeks.  Therefore, Charlotte was the one who had to come up with something to try.  And, being a very enterprising young woman, she came up with the perfect plan.

"I tell you, Claire, it will be great!  Jennifer does it all the time!  Why don't you want to try it?"

"Charlotte, you can't be serious: it won't work and you know it!  Mom will kill me!"

"No she won't, silly!  She'll just tell us how beautiful we look!  Hey, the beer  worked, didn't it?"

The previous week, the two girls had had a great time, washing their hair in beer.  If it smelled just a little when they got done, neither minded too much because the shine of their long tresses was well worth it.  Charlotte, of Indian descent, had particularly beautiful hair.  Her friends called it coal black.  The shine of that hair was wonderful and completely natural, but when spending the night with Claire, Charlotte was always looking for something to make it even brighter.

"Yes, the beer worked, but I got in trouble with Dad.  He wanted to know who drank those two cans of beer in the refrigerator.  I don't think he will ever believe we used it to wash our hair."

"You want to look nice for Harry, don't you, Claire?  We have to do this!  Come on be a sport!"

Charlotte teased and cajoled until Claire finally gave in and agreed to her plan.


"Okay, Charlotte, but if this doesn't work, don't blame me!  I always end up getting yelled at for your silly ideas.  And, to be honest, this is a pretty stupid one!"

"Do we have everything we need, Claire?"

"No, I think we have to go to the grocery store.  Is it too late for that?"  Claire was secretly hoping that the store would be closed and Charlotte would give up the idea, but that was not to be.

The two girls went to Claire's mom and begged money for treats at the store.  Mrs. Adams smiled and went for her purse.  Fumbling in her billfold for a couple of dollar bills, the woman told the girls to be careful, that darkness was just a matter of minutes away.

"Get back here as quickly as you can, girls!  You know how I worry when you are on the street after dark," she cautioned.  Then, as an afterthought, she asked the girls to purchase a couple of items for her when they were at the store.

Charlotte and Claire hurried to the corner store where they rushed down several isles until they had found the three items they needed.  They arrived at the checkout counter with a dozen eggs, a can of tomato soup and an avocado.

On the way out, the girls met Reggie, a fellow classmate at the high school and a young man full of curiosity.

"What cha got there, my lovelies?" he asked.  "Any treats for a hungry man?"

"Nah!  We are just running an errand for my mom," said Claire.  "Nothing exciting."

"We have a dozen eggs, a can of soup and an avocado," confided Charlotte.  "Can you guess what we are going to do?"


"No, I can't!" snickered Reggie.  "I know you two are nuts, but I can't imagine what you could possibly do with that stuff!"

"We are going to give one another a great shampoo," giggled Charlotte.  "Just wait until you see us at school tomorrow!"

"Come on, Charlotte.  Let's get on with it," pleaded Claire.  "I want to get home and get this over with!"

"Can't  wait 'til tomorrow," grinned Reggie.  "You girls will be the envy of all your friends!  Whatever it is you do with your hair!"  Waving a hand and giving a low laugh, the teen disappeared up the street while the two girls turned in the opposite direction and headed for Claire's house.

Upon arriving home, Charlotte and Claire delivered the two items that Claire's mother had requested and then got ready for their shampoo.  Claire insisted that Charlotte go first, because it had been Charlotte's idea and Claire really didn't think it was a very good one.



Claire reached for the carton of eggs, withdrew one of the fragile globes and moved toward the sink.  Charlotte followed, grabbing a towel from the rack as she moved across the kitchen floor. 

Charlotte bent over the sink and the shampoo began.  First, Claire broke the egg on the top of her friend's head.  Then, she vigorously began the usual motions expected of a salon shampoo.  She 'scrambled' the egg into the beautiful black tresses of her friend, working it into a luxurious lather.  She scrubbed and scratched and brought that egg into a soap-like substance and worked and worked until she thought the hair would be really clean and shiny.


Then, it was time to rinse the lathered egg concoction from Charlotte's hair.  Reaching out with her left hand and holding her friend's long hair in her right hand, Claire turned on the faucet and began the rinsing process.

Now, you know and I know that by using her left hand to turn on the faucet, Claire had reached for the hot water.  You and I also know what happens when hot water and egg come into contact with one another!  The two girls were unaware of this natural
order of things until it was too late. 

The following morning, after hours of cold water rinses and brutal strokes of the hairbrush, Charlotte and Claire headed for school.  Charlotte wore a scarf around her head.  She hoped it would cover the bits of egg white that had been cooked into her shiny black tresses!

As for Reggie, he never said a word.  He had thought they would be using that can of tomato soup, but then you never know about girls: they get some really crazy ideas sometimes!

used by permission
Copyright   Carole McLaughlin
All Rights Reserved

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