A Thorough Assessment of Mother's Finest Wigs

By James Sweeney

From our latest issue, Nonsense Goes Soft!


“Mother was born a brunette, and a brunette Mother will stay,” says Mother when we
put on the wig that looks like the drink Dr. Pepper. This wig, which Mother calls The Dr. Pepper
Wig, and which I call “Wig #5,” and which Father calls “Skull Mask 3,” is 16 luscious inches of
real human hair, and 2 additional inches of something else entirely. Has mother ever worn it in
the Sun? No. Could Mother take it off if she tried? No. It’s a heavy wig, and despite the smile on
Mother’s face at all times, I’m beginning to think it hurts her even more than it’s supposed to.


If I’m being completely truthful, Mother’s fourth-finest wig is really worn more like a
hat. No, not like the brimmed and beaten in “caps” worn in grandeur by scalp-rich bigots, but
like a sweating pile of hair we’ve purchased to make Mother happy. Mother says it makes her
feel like television’s #1 know-nothing whore Cameron Diaz to wear streaks of bleach-blonde
head-hair right on top of Wig #5 (a top-3 favorite of Father's), and frankly, I think I see what
she’s getting at.
“Darlings,” Mother chimes in at times from beneath the growing mound of gifts, “Don’t
we think it would be good to fan Mother while she’s beautiful like this?” – and sometimes
following that would be another phrase, perhaps a more stern one, perhaps stating “Mother
was not asking,” or perhaps, “Frasier is still good.”
Suppose Mother is in a good mood on this day, in which case she’ll sit in her rocking
chair and speak poems to no one in particular save for Father. “My smile and eyes belie an
interminable sleep,” begins the one-line poem she’s been reciting since the too-warm wedding. The
wig is 12 inches long.


Wig #3 is like four inches long and it stinks like shit and makes all of us sick. Mother
can’t stand it, so much so that she’s named it Vinegar Afterbirth, which was going to be the
name of my band, but whatever. Putting this particular wig on Mother always results in the
same series of events: A little shaking, a lot of smiling, and then four hours of her all-too-
famous Choir of Silence, which was gonna be the name of our first album, but fuck it I guess.
We’re not really sure what color this wig is supposed to be, but Father has been calling it a
“trash rag,” or maybe a “trash bag.” Mother thinks it’s funny when he does this, and while I
don’t quite get what’s so funny about all that, I have nonetheless agreed to put him in his place.


You know it’s Halloween on Mother’s skull when this misfit’s scalp gets cleaned and
fitted for transplant. Not a lot of women can pull off an orange wig, and Mother’s right there
with em’. She’s tried! Oh, how she’s tried. But that thing’s glued on tight. Mother’s best bet
now is to sweat so much that the hair just spills off of her, which I suppose she’s realized, on
account of the smile. “Mother is positively famished,” says Mother around 6pm, and I forgot to
mention the wig goes down to her feet and gets dirty as hell because we have a dog.


“This is Mother’s lovemaking wig,” says Mother and everyone goes “Ewwww” except
Father who cracks his knuckles like a 21 gun salute. They disappear into the room I've never
seen and when Mother returns she reeks of wig glue and she’s got Father in a wig and it’s Skull
Mask 3, The Dr. Pepper wig, and he enjoys that wig even more than I do, so it’s good. “This is a
good wig,” says Father, and I unsheathe my own noggin now, and Mother starts right up again.