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Project Runway, To Hell

Fire2I swear, it was the darnedest thing you ever did see. My Aunt Irene had always had a little bit of a competitive streak. Especially when it came to dealing with Lulu-belle, the owner of the Beauty and Tanning Salon Emporium in town.

You see, Aunt Irene, was the proud owner of Irene’s Beauty City, located just outside of town. The reason it was called Beauty City was because the area it was located on was technically an unincorporated town, so according to Aunt Irene it was its own city where Beauty reigns supreme, and to her credit, it did reign supreme until Lulu-belle Johansson decided to open up her own beauty shop, challenging Aunt Irene’s monopoly.

Lulu-belle tried to get a leg up on Aunt Irene by adding the whole tanning bed gimmick. Which nobody really understood, because in the country everybody spent enough time outside to get a tan just fine without the help of some machine. Which  if you ask me, really never worked correctly to begin with, because the few people that did use the darn thing, came out looking whiter than when they went in. Despite this though, her shop was located at the center of town, so the convenience of it won a lot of people over.

Aunt Irene tried to counter this by using guilt tactics to insure her regulars, stayed regulars. After a while though, it became obvious that convenience was winning out over quality. Now, I’m not sure about the quality thing because I never had my hair done by Aunt Irene, but she was adamant about her superior skills as a beautician. Something she would tell everyone at length about when the subject came up, and she made sure as heck it came up as often as possible.

I think that’s where the idea of this whole contest came from. Somebody, probably my Uncle Todd, who was always a little bit of a trouble maker, told her, “Okay then, prove it?” And like that, a challenge was issued to Lulu-belle. It was like one of those old fashion duels except instead of swords or pistols, there would be blow dryers and curling irons. Okay, this might not seem like much to you, but out in the country, this had us all on the end of our seats.

I honestly thought they would just gussy a couple of people up, we would weigh in our opinion and that would be that. Those two went back and forth though, bickering about favoritism amongst townsfolk, so someone suggested a three person judging panel. Where there would be three people judging, one picked by Aunt Irene, the other by Lulu-belle and a third neutral judge. Which was surprisingly helpful but I suspect whoever mentioned it was just sick of hearing about the whole thing and just wanted it to go away.

Both Aunt Irene and Lulu-Belle picked their most trusted customers and both agreed that Mayor  Williams was the neutral judge. Mayor Williams seemed like a logical choice because he was known for his fashion sense. Maybe just a little bit too much if you know what I mean, but hey, to each his own as I always say.

Now, as strange as it sounds, I blame the show Project Runway for what happened next. I guess Aunt Irene and Lulu-belle were religious watchers, and wanted to do that with hairdos. They probably figured this was their time to shine.  So they both agreed to chipped in and have an actual runway built in the lobby of Town Hall.

It really was amazing the lengths they were going to, to outdo each other and both were convinced that the other had people spying on them. Aunt Irene herself must have changed models three times until she ended up using my sister Claire. Who, to not speak bad of family, but really had more tattoos than sense, and I’m pretty sure it was Claire that persuaded Aunt Irene to use that snake in her hairdo. Claire is a self professed herpetologist. Which is the study of snakes and not the Tom Cruise Church thing like I originally thought it was. Claire and Aunt Irene were really proud of themselves when Claire was revealed walking down the aisle with that python slithering in and out of her hair. The mayor called it inspiring, but it honestly scared the heck out of me.

It was impressive though, and I was sure they had it in the bag, until Lulu-belle revealed her creation. Now whether they really were spying on each other, or they both watch the same episode of Project Runway for inspiration I couldn’t say. All I know, is when Lulu-belle’s niece Francine walked out on that runway with two ferrets coming out of her hair, all you-know-what broke loose.

The snake in Claire’s hairdo went after the ferrets in Francine’s. The two hairdo’s then became locked in mortal combat. Myself and a couple of other people jumped on stage and tried to pull them apart, but it wasn’t until the fire department showed up with some sort of crowbar looking thing did we actually force them apart.

The mayor fearing bad press, condemned the whole thing and had the sheriff arrest everybody, but the D.A. didn’t know what to do with that case, so nothing really came of that. The Mayor did threaten to take their business licenses away, so they had to promise to never do anything like that again, which they gladly did.

You want to know the ironic thing that came out of all this was? Aunt Irene and Lulu-belle were so impressed by each other they decided to join forces and open up Lulu-belle and Irene’s High Fashion Emporium and Tanning Salon. Isn’t that the darnedest thing?  Oh, and just in case you’re wondering, the tanning bed still doesn’t work.

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