I think probably the worst thing in the world — besides the obvious, such as losing my children to a lengthy and painful illness, being murdered by a serial killer, or freezing to death — would be if there were a fire in my apartment building on one of the nights during which I were dyeing my hair. You see, it’s not exactly a simple process. It involves at least three pairs of disposable gloves, a healthy amount of petroleum jelly (to rub along my hairline, to prevent staining), lots of newspaper (I put it down so the dye doesn’t permanently stain the floors or sink), and several plastic Target bags, one of which ends up on my head as a makeshift dyeing cap (since it’s only about 14.2% of the time I actually remember to buy one when I’m at Sally Beauty Supply). And said bag remains on my head for, oh, twelve or fourteen hours, since I figured out a long time ago that the longevity of my Manic Panic dye job is directly proportional to the amount of time the dye stays on my head before being rinsed out. I sleep with the bag on my head (with an old towel on top of my pillow, to eliminate all risk of staining) and postpone showering until the very last minute the next day (in this case, until about noon tomorrow, since I’m hoping to go thrifting with M. to find The Perfect Mini Skirt), at which point I wear a pair of those long yellow cleaning gloves to rinse my hair in my kitchen sink, keeping my fingers crossed (figuratively speaking) throughout the entire process that the whole thing has turned out looking more funky and less, uh, FUNKY than desired. But it’s still not over at that point — then I whip out my bottle of rubbing alcohol and find all the places where the insidious Manic Panic infiltrated the petroleum jelly and I rub and rub and rub and rub until I feel as though my skin is going to be rubbed out altogether to get out the hair dye on my skin. Sometimes this takes a small amount of time, but usually it’s 15 or 20 minutes of scrubbing, which can be (and often is) painful. But… throughout it all… the biggest fear I have is that my apartment building will catch on fire before I’ve finished it all and then I’ll be stuck outside in the snow with a Target bag on my head.