I was, in the nicest terms possible, a challenging child to raise. I was sarcastic. A know-it-all. Argumentative. Obnoxious. Socially awkward. And I had anger issues because of the maternal abandonment. Not a fun combo for sure. At least not for my grandmother.
In all honesty, it's probably a legitimate miracle I made it to adulthood. Lord knows she had reason to kill me on numerous occasions.
One such occasion revolves around me and an ace comb.
For those of you who do not know my grandma, she has short hair. She has had short hair as long as I've been alive. After washing her hair she always uses an ace comb to comb out her hair before she blow dries it. For those of you who don't know what an ace comb is, because I didn't know it was called that until a few days ago, it's one of those plain, black (mostly) plastic combs that has two different sides, one having really thin teeth and the other side having larger teeth.
Anyway, one day (I think it was my junior year of high school) I was in the bathroom looking for band-aids. I happened upon her comb, this one was navy blue, and printed on the side was the word UNBREAKABLE.
Immediately my attention was diverted from my quest for band-aids and all of my focus was now on the challenge before me. And yes, I use the word challenge because that is exactly what it was. How could a 7" plastic comb that, admittedly, was fairly pliable be unbreakable? I had to know.
First I started with the fine teeth and snapped a few off with almost no effort. Immediately I was disappointed. When something says that it is unbreakable it should at least put up some effort when one attempts to destroy it.
Next I moved onto the regular teeth. They also snapped off with almost no effort. Unbreakable my ass! This was rapidly turning into one of the least satisfying victories ever!
Finally I decided maybe it had not been referring to the teeth, per se, but the actual comb. So, gripping each side with a thumb and forefinger I applied a light pressure until it was bent almost completely in half and then exerted a minute amount more of pressure and...voila! That comb snapped right in half. An angry toddler could have broken that thing.
Disgusted, I threw the comb and its teeth into the trash, located a band-aid, and went back to the living room where I resumed watching television. It didn't take long for me to forget about the comb, and forgotten it would have remained if it hadn't been for one little thing. Nana.
That night, upon arriving home, she took a bath and washed her hair. Before blow drying her hair, as usual, she attempted to locate the now obliterated comb in the drawer that was its home, and, upon being unable to locate it, came into the living room where I was watching television.
The following conversation took place:
Nana: Katie, have you seen my comb?
Me: Huh? Oh...yeah, it's in the trash.
At that point she returns to the bathroom, since clearly I didn't indicate that the comb was no longer in working condition, and then returns moments later holding her ruined comb.
Nana: What happened to my comb?
Me: I broke it.
Me: Because it said UNBREAKABLE on the side. I took it as a challenge and, clearly, it wasn't much of one.
Nana: You what?
Me: You should sue them. That's false advertisement.
Because clearly it was. If something advertises itself as UNBREAKABLE, but is, in fact, BREAKABLE...that is false advertisement. Is it not?
Nana's parting words were, "For the love of God!" And then she returned to the bathroom and nothing was mentioned about the comb again.
A few days later I was in the bathroom again looking for the nail clippers and there was a new ace comb in the drawer. Sadly, that one did not have UNBREAKABLE stamped on the side. Clearly she had gone to great lengths to find something I would not perceive as a challenge. Good call, Nana...good call!
I wonder how angry my uncle would be if we got a copy of his mugshot and used it for his birthday cake...
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