Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Early this morning, I began my usual day with half-closed eyes stumbling around in the bathroom.
I picked up my pretty new blue can of toothmist spray and generously applied it to my worn-out toothbrush. Next came the pink can ó the most highly advertised mouthwash on the market. Just a push of the button and my mouth is ready to greet the world.
I still haven’t conquered the art of hair styling, but with a few sprays from my wonder hairspray can, I’ll have an off-the-hook fashionable hairstyle in just a few seconds. Up with the arms now, a push for the left and one for the right. Deodorant is so expensive these days, but then it is necessary, isn’t it?
Oops! I almost forgot. Where’s the shoe polish can? Just a few little sprays and those scuff marks will be history. Isn’t that great? Now, one last spray ó a refreshing scent of French origin, the perfume that will last as the day with all its worries fades away.
It’s now 7:40 a.m.
I’ve got just enough time to get to work if I have my coffee in the car on the way. Now for one last look in the mirror before I face another eight.
Wait! Something’s wrong! Oh no! What have I done?
My shoes are splattered with toothmist. There’s mouthwash running down my arms. My hair smells of perfume and is all damp and droopy. Gads! Is that deodorant I’m tasting? My teeth feel so stiff. Could it be ó yes, it’s got to be the hairspray. There are little black streaks streaming down from behind my ears.
Hello. Could I speak to my supervisor, please? I’m not feeling well this morning and …what’s wrong? Well, I think I must have pushed the wrong button.
Now, of course this never really happened. You know I could never ever be so dumb.
Or could I?
Please read on.
Several years ago, I came home exhausted from working a 13-hour, very trying day. All I wanted was a hot shower, a cup of coffee and a soft pillow under my weary head.
My daughter, Tracy, phoned to say she was coming over to do her laundry. I told her to come on and that I would be in the shower.
I felt like a different person when I emerged from the bathroom in my warm robe. My daughter looked at me and began laughing hysterically.
“Mother, what happened to your neck?” she asked. “It looks green!” I ran to the mirror only to discover that I had sprinkled my entire body with Comet cleanser instead of bath powder.
Now that’s what I call tired ó or dumb!
I like to now think of this true experience as being a somewhat display of environmental awareness.
After all, green has now been officially named a cool color.
I may even qualify to win a Sierra Award like the one recently awarded the City of Salisbury.
Please vote for me! I need all the votes I can get! I need help!
Margaret Shumate is a freelance writer who lives in Salisbury.