Flash in the Pan


A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights

Plug Shooter


by John Macdonald

There is an unusual aspect of my bathing routine. I get some strange satisfaction from blowing out the hardened plug that forms in the nozzle of the conditioner bottle in a sudden, dramatic release.

I'm talking about serious product hardening here, ideally requiring me to get a steady knee on a reposed 48 ounce plastic jug and put my full weight into it, at the risk of a shower injury that would be pretty embarrassing to explain in the emergency room. Once you get some purchase on the bottle, the little rectangular plug starts to tantalizingly emerge like a tiny loaf of bread, a Pez, or the crowning infant of an angular mother- Gumby's wife maybe.

Suddenly it goes literally ballistic, the plug ends up God knows where, and there is goo all over the place. I end up taking the cap off and scooping it back into the bottle from the walls of the shower stall, or using much more than I need and looking like Gwyneth Paltrow for the rest of the day. But it's worth it for the resulting unimpeded flow, and for the feeling of having set something free.

If I do manage to find the plug itself, I'll rub it appreciatively between my fingers, analyze the consistency, and then apply it to my hair for a little patch of really intense conditioning.

Full hardening like this is only achieved after careful aging, so you need a number of rotating bottles in your conditioner stable to get the proper effect on a periodic basis. On a lazy Sunday morning, I'll reach for the reliable Avocado Goats Milk blend towards the back of our collection, give it a little test squeeze to gauge resistance, and get to work.

Oh, I know what you're thinking. All I can say is that it's no substitute for the real thing, and I haven't needed to resort to medication, therapy, infidelity or the like to augment this craving. Actually, I liken it more to a satisfying pimple squeeze, or, in the more triumphant instances, to a good boil lancing, but without the pain and scarring. Natives of West Africa might find it reminiscent, albeit unpleasantly, of a Guinea Worm extraction.

Our bathroom has a high ceiling. I may reach it someday.

John Macdonald is a radio equipment salesman in Quincy, IL. He has a healthy head of hair.

Eighteenth Flash


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When Frogs Sing by Laura Blatt
Picnic - 1969 by Tom Mcgee
Pididdle by Carol J. Howard
Abilene by Mary Ann Mcguire Mccomber
Sweet Illusion by Lenore Hirsch
Child Walking: Mother’s Day Tribute, 2009 by Mary Gaffney
Storm Clouds by Maggie Manning
Marriage One by Janet Jennings
Power Surges by Elaine Webster
Niagara Falls (for Jon) by Tania Pryputniewicz
Bug Dance by Stacey Dennick
Summer’s Passion by Joan Zerrien


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