She’d given it everything she had, but it wasn’t enough. Ever. The rejection letters kept coming, never a word of encouragement.
That was then.
This time, it would be different. This time, her muse is on steroids. No, wait. It felt more like LSD. Maybe it’s a little of both. In any case, a kaleidoscope of ideas jazz her imagination’s muscles in a million uncharted directions: a wild yet synchronized conflagration of inspiration.
Once upon a time It was a dark and stormy night
Tonight’s news ticker:
Unknown Writer Succumbs to Unexpected Blast of Creativity…details at 11:00 on WBFD.
But I digress.
It was a brand new day and Shelley, recently divorced after twelve weeks of unmitigated hell, had a brand new life. It followed then, that she should look the part. So, she made an appointment for a complete makeover at the swanky new salon downtown: Nouveau Vous, Notre Voie. It was right next to the Mad Leprechaun, her favorite hang-out.
Shelley neither spoke nor understood French, but was intrigued by the lyrical sound of the salon’s name. How could she go wrong? Plus, the stylist and makeover artiste was ‘the Jean-Pierre Alouette, aka Merde pour les Cerveaux!‘ She’d never heard of him, but the receptionist sounded impressed with the guy, given the way she gushed his name. Besides, anyone who is ‘aka’ must be special.
Shelley brushed her teeth and climbed into her cleanest dirty jeans and “Kiss Me, I’m With Stupid” t-shirt. She then cranked up her ’54 Plymouth Savoy and headed for the salon and Monsieur Merde pour le Cerveaux—whatever that meant. She’d look up the translation later.
The salon itself left Shelley breathless. Plush, fuchsia carpeting caressed her every step while sparkling disco balls winked and shimmered from the high ceilings. Framed Warhol prints decorated the walls and music by Kukuruza, her favorite Russian Bluegrass band, emanated from the sound system.
It was clear that Shelley was in for a treat.
“This is gonna be fun!” Shelley squealed.
But then, she met Jean-Pierre.
Monsieur Alouette was not at all what she’d envisioned. Rather than a tall, mustachioed hunk with magnetic hazel eyes, she was greeted by a bald Danny DeVito clone with a fading purple tattoo of Winnie the Pooh on his skull. Shelley’s disappointment grew when he introduced himself in a thick, Brooklyn accent.
“How ’bout some champers, Nellie?” Jean-Pierre offered her an orange Dixie cup of champagne. “Let’s get this party started!”
Shelley hesitated. Champagne in a Dixie cup? “Uh, the name’s Shelley…”
“Yeah, okay.” The petite man shrugged.
“Hey, C’mon! This is the good stuff. It even came with a cork!” Jean-Pierre urged. “Bottoms up, Nell!”
“No thanks.” Shelley stepped back. “Orange isn’t my color.”
“No sweat,” he winked. “More for me.”
With that, he downed the cupful of champagne in one gulp; thus, prompting a long, loud boiled-egg burp.
The hot stench hung in the air and Shelley decided to give this salon — and Jean-Pierre, a miss.
Instead, she went home, popped some popcorn, and commenced blogging about Cossacks, fake French salons, and the importance of bilingualism.
It felt good to write again.
* Merde pour les Cerveaux: Shit for Brains.