Gorillas In The Airport
NOT LONG AGO WHILE KILLING TIME waiting for a plane in Houston we were seated near a family – Mommy, Daddy, and three Kids. The kids were glued to their phones, oblivious to anything else. Daddy was sitting there engrossed in a book, but Mommy was busy keeping an eye on her brood and doing her best to keep her Hubby looking civilized.
She was combing his eyebrows.
I’d never seen anyone do that to another human being before. It must be something that they do a lot in that family. Mommy was combing Daddy’s eyebrows, but he never missed a beat with his book. He kept right on reading while she did her eyebrow thing.
She was smiling the entire time. daddy looked content and the kids never even looked at them. I’ve seen monkeys and gorillas groom each other, picking off lice and whatever, but I’ve never seen them combing each other’s eyebrows. Truthfully, I’ve never seen a gorilla holding a comb. Even if gorillas did have combs what with all of their fur they are really just one giant eyebrow. It would take Mommy gorilla all day to groom Daddy gorilla and they’d end up missing their plane.
In the airport in Houston this eyebrow ritual went on for a good ten minutes. I have to admit – she did a nice job. Daddy’s eyebrows were immaculate. The whole family had some of the neatest eyebrows I’ve ever seen – not a hair out of place or looking unruly. I wish I could say the same for myself.
Every time I get a haircut the gal with the clippers offers to “Do something about your eyebrows.” I look in the mirror. I see my eyebrows. They are in the proper place above my eyes and I don’t think that they look all that bad. I admit that my left eyebrow has a permanently surprised look about it, but there is not much I can do about that.
Back in 1968 I was in a college production of “Hamlet” and my character was an elderly adviser to the King (Boo! Hiss! Bad guy!). I had my hair gray and bushy gray eyebrows were stuck to my head every night with Spirit Gum. After the show I removed those little shrubs with Acetone. One night when I removed the fake eyebrow half of my real eyebrow went with it. It never grew back and now I get those offers to “Do something” about it.
I’ve gone this long with half an eyebrow I think that i will go the rest of the way with it like it is. I’ll groom it myself.
My wife,the lovely and perpetually concerned with my general appearance has never offered to comb my eyebrows, or more exactly, my eyebrow and a half. I’m cool with that.
My left “Demi-brow” gives me a sort of skeptical look, like i’d just witnessed someone combing someone else’s eyebrows at the airport.
I’m happy for that family in Houston. They all seemed to be happy and well groomed – better than any pair of gorillas I’ve ever seen.
As the haircutter person said to me the last time I refused her offer, “I guess that eyebrow is part of your ‘Character Image’.”
I didn’t even know I had one.