Monday, February 20, 2006

Definitely not highbrow

My wife Kara has taught me so many things that I never would have figured out on my own. For instance, without her, I would still be sleepwalking my way through life, having absolutely no idea that eyebrow mousse even exists.

She enlightened me on our most recent trip to CVS – a store which, incidentally, will give you a free box of tampons or a bottle of Snapple if you can tell the cashier what the letters CVS stand for. Hint: not Clarinex’s Very ‘Spensive.

Kara walked right up to a lady who was stocking the shelves and said, “Excuse me, do you know if you carry brow mousse here?”

I admired her courage for doing that. Even if I could think of an earthly use for eyebrow mousse, and I wanted it more than I want everyone in a non-construction-related-industry who drives a Hummer H2 to develop at least a mild case of hemorrhoids, I’m pretty sure I’d give up if I couldn’t find it on my own.

“What’s that?” the lady asked.

“Um, eyebrow mousse. Like hair mousse, but for eyebrows,” Kara said, helpfully pointing to her brow region.

The lady stared at Kara, giving her the same look that my family gave Cousin Gene about fifteen years ago when he officially became the first person we’d ever heard utter the phrase “chill out.” We all stared at Gene, trying to figure out if we’d heard him correctly.

“Gene, that is absolutely the stupidest expression I have ever heard,” his sister Sherry said.

Though I agreed at the time, the phrase has still managed to work its way into my daily vocabulary. It’s just such a useful expression, perfect for the times when you’re driving along with your wife, and you discover, wedged between the seat and the emergency brake, an envelope that she asked you to drop in the mailbox three weeks ago.

The CVS lady called her manager over, who had not only heard of eyebrow mousse, but offered the friendly advice that, “Clear mascara does the trick just as well, and it sells for two bucks less.”

The fact that it is totally free to lick your finger and run it across your eyebrows didn’t occur to anyone there but me. Besides, the manager’s advice came highly recommended by her immaculate eyebrows.

“Oh, really? The brow mousse reviews I read online didn’t mention the clear mascara thing,” Kara said, which just goes to prove that there is absolutely nothing that can’t be found on the internet, except for a girl who wants to date my buddy Hambone.

So Kara bought the clear mascara, and we headed out to search for her car in the parking lot. Most of the year her car is black, but it spends the winters coated in a crunchy, salty shell, so it blends in perfectly against the snow banks.

Whenever the car gets this dirty, I’m reminded of a conversation I had with my buddy Johnny when we were home over Christmas.

“When’s the last time you washed your car?” he asked me.

I thought about it for a minute. “The senior prom,” I said. “Good ol’ class of ’96. How about you?”

“I never have,” he said.

“You didn’t even wash it for the prom?” I asked.

“Nope. I’ve never washed a car in my life,” he said proudly. “Rain gets the job done pretty well for free.”

The salt on Kara’s car suggests otherwise. I’m considering parking it in my parents’ rhododendron so the deer will come lick it clean.

Also, you may want to double-check my math here, but I’m pretty sure that graduating high school in ’96 means that my ten-year high school reunion is coming up later this year. That thing better hurry up and happen so I can go bald already.

You can chill out with Mike Todd online at


  1. I took my parent's car to the prom and it was clean as a whistle. That boat was pretty dirty by the way.

  2. Hey, I'm doing my 10 year reunion this year too. My friend and I got in a discussion about how many people in our class seem to have come up with fancy titles for their bottom rung jobs, like "Executive Advisor in Secure Finances" at None-such Credit Union, otherwise known as "bank teller". Even though writing a regular column for the newspaper is definitely nothing to balk at, have you come up with your extremely impressive job title yet?

  3. wow - do I feel old or WHAT? This year will be my 24th and I'm not bald yet.

    This post was hilarious....right down to the invention of the CHILL OUT post into your vocabulary. And please, don't mock a woman who needs to tame her brows. lol

    Very, very funny !!!

  4. I'm very impressed by your attention and recollection of the cosmetic exchange at CVS.

    I definitely didn't expect to receive a beauty tip from a late twenty something male blogger but thank you all the same. Can't wait to hear how the reunion goes!

  5. I have visions of Bullwinkle playing classical music...oh, wait, that's a highbrow moose...

    Never mind.

  6. JP -- Did you have your folks give you a sponge bath, too?

    Child -- My buddy came up with "vehicular dehydration technician" when he was a towel boy at a car wash. I'd have a hard time topping that. Have fun at the reunion!

    Sheri -- Have I ever told you that you rule, you spring chicken you? Brows are about all Kara's tamin' around here. I can say that 'cause she doesn't read my blog.

    Carrcakes -- Dude, I promise that will be that last informative thing you ever see on this site. Thanks for dropping by.

    JL -- Hahaha. That took me a second.

  7. Hmmm... I'm pretty sure CVS stands for "Quality, Value, Selection" or "Quality, Value, Service" - hand me my free tampons please.

    Tell Kara to slap a dab of Vaseline on those bushy brows of hers - no doubt she could borrow some of your stash.

    It's funny that you wrote about this topic because all night Saturday all I could picture when I looked at Kara was Bert. hehehe

    Only playin' - chill out!

  8. hmm, I dont know about clear mascara but hows about superglue??

  9. loved the hemorroid bit. LOL

    yeah, last year would have been our 10 year reunion, but I guess we're so old now everyone "forgot" to plan it. hmm. well, I guess that gives us ten more years to get in shape, land our dream job, and get filthy rich to prove we weren't losers in highschool. ;)

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