The Tale of the Magic Hair Dryer

Labels: , , , ,

It’s Friday. A perfect day for a perfectly random, and slightly pointless story.

When I was a kid my Dad had a T.V. in his living room that I think might have originally been owned by The Flinstones.  It had a dial for the channels, and an on/off button that clicked in and out, and doubled as the volume control.  It was white with a 19 inch screen and had an honest to goodness rabbit ears antenna attached to the top.  Generally the only thing modern about it was that the picture was in color.

My sister Myriam, who was 6, didn’t care how old the tiny T.V. was.  All she cared about was that she could watch her cartoons in peace, while the rest of us sat in the other room and enjoyed our questionably more mature programming on the big modern T.V.

On the surface it seemed like the perfect arrangement, but there was one problem.  Some vital piece inside the tiny white dinosaur was broken, and no one was brave enough to open it up and find out what the problem was.   All we knew was that the T.V. would randomly shut off, and could only be coaxed back on by clicking the on/off switch in just the right way.

Usually with your tongue stuck between your teeth and your eyes squinched just right.

One day when the T.V. randomly clicked off while I was watching it, I got up to go through the motions, and I found an area on the back where the plastic appeared to be melted.  Could it be the T.V. was overheating, and that’s why it was turning off?

Well, remember, this is “The Tale of the Magic Hair Dryer”…

The thing is, and don’t ask me how, but someone in our family figured out that if you took our old Hair Dryer and aimed it into the vent on the back of the T.V. it would somehow fix whatever the problem was, and just like that you could flip the T.V. back on.
No joke, the Magic Hair Dryer looked just like this!
Incredibly, the Hair Dryer also worked on my Dad’s falling apart, P.O.S., blue car.  If the car wouldn’t start, Dad would run an extension cord outside, plug in the Hair Dryer and aim it at the engine.  After a few minutes, he’d get behind the wheel and viola, the car would start.

Now that I’m an adult I’m sure it probably had something to do with drying out the old car’s sparkplugs, but as a child there seemed only one reasonable explanation.

The Hair Dryer was magic!

Again and again, whenever the car wouldn’t start or the tiny T.V. shut off we’d run to grab the Magic Hair Dryer.  Then my parents got a really nice tax return, and replaced the car and the tiny T.V., but I always wondered what had caused the melting on the back of the T.V.

Recently while visiting my sister, the topic of the Magic Hair Dryer came up, and this is what I found out.

One day Myriam was watching her favorite cartoon when “click” the T.V. turned off.  With a cry of rage, she stomped off to retrieve the Magic Hair Dryer, and for 5, 10, 15 minutes she aimed the hot air into the back of the T.V..  Nothing happened.  The T.V. would not turn on!  Completely frustrated, and yet still sure of the Hair Dryer’s magic, Myriam perched the enchanted appliance on the back of the T.V. and went to find a snack.

Mystery solved.

How about you guys?  Any family mysteries? Any weirdly magic appliances?

Please don’t confirm that my childhood was as weird as I think!


  1. Anonymous said...:

    Oh Polly you made my Friday night and that hair dryer was magic, perhaps you would like to share the other hairdryer story with your readers, it involes Germany, lack of language skills, and you remember?

  1. Mandy Allen said...:

    Hmmmmm... was it the time I wanted to get my hair highlighted and cut and ended up with next to no highlights, barely a cut and blowdrying my hair myself in the salon??? :) XO

  1. Anonymous said...:

    I remember that. Not quite a hairdryer, but a magic paint remover. That ll dry the hair quick lemme tell ya! Ahahahahahahaha (evil laugh again)

  1. Anonymous said...:

    Hahah, you got me there. Never really thought that this could be true term paper since I haven't tried it yet. Maybe I should, you think?

Post a Comment