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Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Great Mysteries of the World Solved: Part VII

It was Cher who sat back in her specially-designed lounger - or Cher-Chair™ - and first wondered why on Earth it was called ‘Head and Shoulders’. We all looked at her blankly; for one, she hasn’t had a hair on her head since before the War, so her interest had to be purely academic. She helped herself to another biscuit; “It’s not like you wash your shoulders with it, is it?”

We all nodded in slow realisation, mulling it over until Angela Lansbury put forward that some of the truckers she’d had possessed the hairiest shoulders in Christendom. “Perhaps you get dandruff there,” she supposed. We tried to add it to the argument, but kept getting sidetracked by the thought of Dame Aggie with burly roadies, resulting in a fifteen minute diversion about the lay-by sex she’d engaged in during the filming of Bedknobs and Broomsticks. “I can’t really... ‘get off’ unless someone has Castrol GTX under their fingernails,” she confided.

Nobody really touched her seedcake from then on.

I discounted this theory as shoulder hair is quite thin in all cases, meaning that there’s no way to trap errant skin cells. Thus no dandruff. We pondered some more, happy to enjoy the sunshine and the impromptu skiffle session performed by former Tomorrow’s World darlings Judith Hann and Maggie Philbin. They were surprisingly good.

Cher leant forward with a pneumatic hiss. “Perhaps the idea is that it stops dandruff landing on your shoulders,” she said. “BUT YOU’RE STILL NOT WASHING YOUR SHOULDERS WITH IT!” shouted Brian Blessed from across the pond. It was the best place for him, for the man has a voice of twenty decibels. Last time we were picnicking out there, he’d been poured a gin and shouted “Gordon’s alive!” and deafened poor Stephanie Beecham. So we just put him over there with a large ear trumpet so he can still take part. In truth, we were all far happier.

We finally put two and two together an hour later. “It simply has to be called Head and Shoulders,” said I, “Else you’ll be going into the chemist and asking for ‘Head’! And I do believe that’s illegal in 49 states of America alone!” There was a pause until everyone “aaah!”ed in comprehension. We had finally found our answer.

Dame Aggie looked up from her rummage around her handbag for a tissue “There are 50 states in America, dear,” said. “Hawaii, and all that.” She’d managed to get scotch egg all down her front – unfortunate, as she had to return the dress to Selfridges later that day. She was just going to say she was manhandled by a porter with a penchant for egg sandwiches and, if that didn’t work, threaten to have their royal appointment removed. Being a dame has its privileges. Being in the same wine-tasting club as the Queen has more.

“OHIO!” yelled Blessed, scaring the ducks.

“He’s right, you know,” said I. “It’s not illegal there.”

“What’s so different with Ohio?” asked Cher.

“There’s a three year waiting list to be a chemist,” I said.

Ah. Happy days.

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