The Tar Baby and A Big Sister

Many, many years ago, when I was in high school, my little sister was in primary school.

Those days, we lived in an apartment block that had a coating of tar on the roof.  That year, all the apartments were given a coat of paint, and the roofs, a makeover.

When the workmen left, some tar was left on the ledge above our porch.  The ledge had a drain pipe to drain rain water. It was a particularly hot summer that year, and the leftover tar melted and dripped out through the drainpipe.

Unfortunately for my little sister, she ran out just when a particularly long thread of melted tar was coming out; and it fell plop, right on the middle of her head.

The poor thing was horrified, and came rushing into the house, crying.

My parents were out, and I, the big sister, was in charge. After giving her some candy, I took matters into my own hands. I sat her down on a chair, wrapped a towel around her shoulders, kept some newspaper on the ground, and with a pair of scissors, I snipped away. First, I chopped off the huge blob of ‘tar stuck’ hair. Then all around the area, wherever I could see even a small bit of tar.


      Image courtesy –

While the tar was completely removed, what was left of my sister’s hair looked horrible. There was long hair in places and then clumps of short hair, where I had worked my magic.

The poor thing was hysteric when she saw herself in the mirror. I dreaded my mom’s arrival.

My mom was mad at me, needless to say, though she was happy that I had managed to get the tar out.

Then, it was a trip to the hairdressers. I went along, if only to assuage my guilt. The hairdresser said that she had to cut my sister’s hair to the height of the little clumps that I had carved on her head. So, my sister’s hair was almost razed to the scalp; and she went around looking like a coconut for a few days.

It was a sensitive topic at home for a while. Now, we laugh about it when we look back!


15 thoughts on “The Tar Baby and A Big Sister”

  1. Oh goodness, that would have been a traumatic event in our house indeed. I know you can get bubble gum out of hair if you apply ice but not sure about tar. Cutting may have been the only solution in any case. Poor thing!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can imagine that was traumatic for both of you. But cutting it out was probably the only way to remove it. Turpentine or some other toxic product might have removed it but that would have been to toxic to put on her hair.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Looking like a coconut” made me laugh too.

    I can appreciate how your poor sister felt having been the hapless victim of my brother on a couple of occasions which left me with considerably less hair. His intentions weren’t quite as noble as yours though 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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