The Platinum-Blond Man

TherewasnodoubtinMatilda’smindthatthislatestdisplayoffoulnessbyherfatherdeservedseverepunishment,andasshesateatingherawfulfriedfishandfriedchipsandignoringthetelevision,herbrainwenttoworkonvariouspossibilities.Bythetimeshewentuptobedhermindwasmadeup.

Thenextmorningshegotupearlyandwentintothebathroomandlockedthedoor.Aswealreadyknow,Mrs.Wormwood’shairwasdyedabrilliantplatinumblonde,verymuchthesameglisteningsilverycolourasafemaletightrope-walker’stightsinacircus.Thebigdyeingjobwasdonetwiceayearatthehairdresser’s,buteverymonthorsoinbetween,Mrs.WormwoodusedtofreshenitupbygivingitarinseinthewashbasinwithsomethingcalledPLATINUMBLONDEHAIR-DYEEXTRASTRONG.Thisalsoservedtodyethenastybrownhairsthatkeptgrowingfromtherootsunderneath.ThebottleofPLATINUMBLONDEHAIR-DYEEXTRASTRONGwaskeptinthecupboardinthebathroom,andunderneaththetitleonthelabelwerewrittenthewordsCaution,thisisperoxide.Keepawayfromchildren.Matildahadreaditmanytimeswithfascination.Matilda’sfatherhadafinecropofblackhairwhichhepartedinthemiddleandofwhichhewasexceedinglyproud."Goodstronghair,"hewasfondofsaying,"meansthere’sagoodstrongbrainunderneath."

"LikeShakespeare,"Matildahadoncesaidtohim.

"Likewho?"

"Shakespeare,daddy."

"Washebrainy?"

"Very,daddy."

"Hehadmassesofhair,didhe?"

"Hewasbald,daddy."

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