This true story falls under the category of ‘there are some things you just couldn’t make up.’

Recently, I was at the end of a hair appointment in St. George. The hairdresser was putting the final touches on my new do. I was leaning forward to hear something he had said, when I felt this odd breeze running down my back. While I was hoping I had imagined it, as I put my hand back behind the cape, I knew my nightmare was true. The zipper had busted, and most of my backside was exposed!

Now this certainly posed a problem. I was a long way from home, with a number of errands to do while there. I couldn’t walk out the way I was or I would be arrested for indecent exposure.

I had to think of something quickly! What could I do? I remembered I had left a dry cleaning order at a shop several weeks earlier. If only I could get there from the beauty shop, I could grab one of the cleaned dresses and save myself from over exposure, if you get my drift.

“Can I keep the cape,” I asked the stylist. “I’ll bring it back later.”

“Why?” He asked.

“Because my zipper just busted and I can’t walk out of here without it.”

“Okay, but you’re going to have to swing the cape around, so the closed side is covering your back,” he instructed. “Hey, you’ll look like Batman!”

“Thanks,” I said, just not feeling the humor.

I rearranged the cape and made a mad dash for my car, which was of course, in the back of the parking lot. Other beauty shop patrons looked on in disgust thinking I was just stealing a cape.

I drew in a deep breath once I got in the car. Okay, I might be able to pull this off! I began driving in what seemed to be heavy, irrational traffic. Oh great, if I got in a fender bender, my outfit might be hard to explain.

Creeping along, I slowly progressed toward the dry cleaners. And then I heard it – a policeman was approaching behind with lights and siren! (Expletive deleted). I pulled over, knowing I was going to have a lot of explaining to do.

What could I come up with? Odd Halloween costume...delusional thoughts of grandeur...entertaining at a children’s event...no, that wouldn’t work, you aren’t supposed to have anything exposed at those.

To my relief, the patrol car flew by. I re-entered traffic slowly, saying a few quick prayers for dry cleaner deliverance.

I made it! I walked into the shop, with my glorious black cape flowing in a stiff, cool wind. I requested my order, and the bored teen receptionist looked at me strangely. What was up with her? You’d think I was the first woman to ever come into a dry-cleaners in a black beauty store cape!

She brought my dresses to me, as I second-mortgaged our house to write a check to pay for them. I asked her if I could use the restroom.

“Sorry lady,” she said as she blew her bubble gum. “We only have a private restroom.”

That’s when I got steamed. (I thought it appropriate, since after all it was a dry-cleaners).

“I’m using it!” I announced, grabbing one of the dresses from the hanger. I marched past her, straight back to the restroom. While it was difficult to change in the small cubicle, I wasn’t complaining.

After several contortions worthy of a Las Vegas show, I had another dress on. And guess what? The zipper worked on this one! I walked out in my less-airy duds, sans the black cape. I felt proud that I had coped with chaos.

Sometimes reality ‘is’ stranger than fiction.