Prince Valiant's Revenge

By Susan G


Johnny woke up to the sun streaming into his bedroom window. "Looks like another beautiful day," he thought as he rolled over and glanced at his alarm clock.  When the numbers on the dial came into focus, he sat bolt upright.


"Oh man, I overslept AGAIN! Roy's gonna kill me!" His partner would be there to pick him up for their recertification test in less than ten minutes and he'd never hear the end of it if he weren't ready.  Leaping out of bed and struggling into clothes he grabbed off the floor, Gage dashed to the bathroom.  He was nearly ready when he got a glimpse of himself in the mirror. He stopped short and just looked at his reflection for a few moments and sighed.


"What am I going to do about this?" Johnny had one of the worse cases of bed head he had ever seen. And sharing a dorm room with Chet Kelly for all these years, he had seen more than his fair share. The right side of his hair was plastered flat to his head and pushed forward; the left side was sticking straight out at a ninety-degree angle. He didn't even want to think about what the back of his head looked like! There was no time to shower so he quickly ran his hands under the water and tried to finger comb it into submission. The end result was better.  But not by much.  Instead of sticking up, his hair was dripping wet and plastered flat to his head. 


Just then he heard Roy pounding on the front door and calling, "Gage! Aren't you ready yet? We can't be late for this test!"


He couldn't possibly let Roy see him looking like this, not after the crack he'd made the day before.  Roy had shown up at work with an - interesting - new hairstyle.  Johnny had ragged on him for over an hour, making numerous 'bad hair day' jokes, calling him Prince Valiant, asking if his barber was blind.  How was he to know that Joanne had cut it for him?!


Roy was pounding on the front door impatiently.  He had to go. "What the hell am I gonna do?" he muttered.


Suddenly inspiration struck and he fumbled around in the medicine cabinet. He was positive that Candi, his latest girlfriend, had left some of her hair goop there the other day. Sure enough there it was a nice big jar of something called Dippity Do.  He quickly scooped out a big dollop, combed it through and then fluffed his hair with his fingers.  Not bad!


"Johnny, one more minute and I'm leaving without you!" Desoto called impatiently.


"Hey, I'm ready! Let's go," said Johnny as he raced out the door.


"It's about time, Junior," Roy muttered irritably, swinging around and heading for his car.  Halfway there, he stopped and took a second look at his partner.  "What's the deal with your hair?"


"Don't ask."


Roy shrugged and climbed behind the wheel of his convertible. "Mind if I let the top down?" he asked as he started his car. "Your hair looks pretty wet."


"Nah, it's a beautiful day, besides it'll blow dry my hair," quipped Johnny as he climbed into Roy's convertible.


As Roy pulled into the parking spot at Rampart, Johnny noticed a large group of their fellow paramedics clustered outside the ER door.  "Most of the guys are already here," he observed. "Looks like they're having a last minute study session. I'm gonna go check it out."


Roy nodded silently and watched him climb out of the car. Johnny's hair had blown dry all right - in about sixteen different directions. It looked like he'd used an eggbeater to comb it this morning and it seemed kind of - stiff.  His hair didn't seem to be moving at all in the soft breeze that was blowing across the parking lot. Roy popped open the glove compartment.  Didn't Joanne keep a hairbrush in here?  There it was.  "Hey Johnny..."


Gage paused and turned back.  "Yeah?"


And then Roy caught a glimpse of his own reflection in the rearview mirror.  He contemplated his neat bangs for a split second and remembered the Prince Valiant remark.  He slipped the brush back into the glove compartment. "Uh, I'll be there in a minute. Save me a seat, would ya?"


"Sure thing, man."  Johnny turned away and loped across the parking lot.


As Roy slowly followed his partner towards the group of waiting paramedics a slow, evil grin crept onto his face. "Who's having a bad hair day now, Johnny?"


The End


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