Connect With Your Community!

Column: Why is purple dripping from his hair

With a weekly newspaper, it can be challenging to do a lot of traveling.

Outside one or two weekend trips a year to my hometown, seven hours away in Wyoming, I don’t usually visit anywhere else. Because I cannot travel much, it’s always a treat when family or friends visit Montana.

At the start of May, my uncle from Arizona contacted me about visiting while he was with his family on an extended trip throughout the western United States.

I don’t see my uncle often, so spending a couple of days with him was nice.

While they only stayed two nights, there was plenty of good conversation and quite a few laughs, including one situation that still leaves me smiling.

After our visitors arrived on Friday evening, I made dinner, and we sat outside and visited until about 11 p.m. We planned to go out and do the cave tour at Lewis and Clark Caverns the next day.

On Saturday morning, we were sitting outside and figuring out lunch plans when we got an unexpected visitor.

As I was listening to my cousin’s husband tell a story, I looked up to see a kid, probably around eight years old, standing right in front of me. We have two gates to our yard, so I’m surprised I didn’t see him enter. It was almost like he had popped out of nowhere.

After being startled by an unexpected visitor, the kid didn’t waste any time and quickly asked if the two kids staying with us could play. I had to defer the question to my relatives, who said it would be fine if they stayed in the yard.

As the kid who had stealthily entered the yard began to talk, I noticed that his hair was purple. A few seconds later, I noticed that the purple was starting to drip onto his forehead. I then noticed that his hands were both covered with purple hair dye. It was tough not to laugh as the dye slowly dripped down.

We continued to sit around outside and talk when I noticed my cousin’s son, who is going into the second grade, was heading into the house with his new friend and said they would grab some water.

I didn’t think much of it at first, figuring they would be in and right back out, but I quickly panicked when I realized the kid’s dye job was so fresh that it was quickly morphing him into “Barney,” the purple dinosaur. I ran inside to ensure there was no dye all over our walls but could not find the kid.

After a few minutes of confusion, I found the neighbor kid wandering around the house and entering the bedrooms. I wasn’t sure what the heck he was doing, but I didn’t like the idea that he had used my daughter’s bathroom without permission.

Finally, I got the little rascal outside and was happy to find no dye in the house.

We told the visitor we were heading out a few minutes later, and he would have to head home.

As we were getting ready to head to the Caverns, we all noticed that my cousin’s son had hair dye on his face, and we all laughed.

Our trip to the state park would be short-lived. When I first moved to Montana and owned the paper in Whitehall, I visited the Caverns for a tour. I would often go for different musical or interpretive programs or sometimes hike. On one occasion, I attended a concert there and referred to it as “Lewis and Clark Taverns” throughout the article, so that was not something I could easily forget.

After going up quite a bit the first couple of years, I had not been in a while, so I had no idea how hard it was to get a cave tour.

Once we decided that a cave tour was out of the question, we spent a few minutes wandering around the visitor center and gift shop before heading home, where we planned to eat pizza and watch some UFC fights.

Within moments, Purple Hands was right back at our door, and this time, he brought a friend.

It was almost like he was waiting outside for our arrival and was at the front door almost before we were. Our neighborhood must not have a lot of kids because he jumped on this opportunity to run and play like there was no tomorrow.

It appeared the hair dye had completely dried, and the kids played hard in the backyard, but we ended the shenanigans after the neighbor kid got a little too rough.

As my family packed up on Sunday morning, I kept waiting for Purple Hands to show up. We joked that he might stow away in their camper and surprise them on their next stop by popping in and asking if the kids could play.

I’m hoping my family can visit next summer, and I’m sure Purple Hands will magically pop up in the backyard the moment he sees the camper.