I teased and smoothed for ages, Dusty Springfield would have been jealous of me beehive. You were nobody in the early sixties without the elaborate hairstyle. Copious amounts of lacquer applied, not the much improved product of today, but little more than a concoction of sugar and water and the end result was as good as a crash helmet. Maybe that’s the reason helmets weren’t obligatory in those days, sure Marlon Brando would have looked a right eejit in a helmet, and you’ll have noticed he never had a hair out of place either, no matter how fast he went on that Harley D bike.
Going out to meet me mates, I felt like a queen, me hair felt as heavy as a crown, anyway. It was a lovely September day (the dreaded time of the year when wasps are at their nastiest) as we all set out to promenade ourselves along the Promenade in Bray. We spent a few hours sussing out the local talent, such as it was, as young adults do, even today. None of the Teddy boys on show caught our fancy, so we eventually gave up the hunt and sauntered nonchalontly homeward. When we left the strand and headed up the town, the wasps began to gather round our elaborate sugary confections, causing a lot of unexpected gymnastics much to the amusement of the passers by.
When I felt a tickle inside me beehive and put me hand up to scratch it, I got the first sting, OW, OW, OW, the screams were ferocious and people were running from all over, nobody knew what was wrong with your woman hopping around pounding her own head with closed fists, I think I was only minutes away from being carted off by men in white coats, when I eventually killed the fecker. Five stings on me scalp, that was when I found out that wasps can sting more than once. How that wasp managed to penetrate that beehive was a mystery to us girls, that day and forever since.
Well, I can’t say the incident led to me forsaking the beehive hairstyle, after all it was the fashion, and if you weren’t in fashion back then, you were considered hickey. But I did bring a light scarf everywhere after that, and the first buzz had me head swathed in muslin. As they say, once bitten (or in my case five times bitten) twice shy.