The sun might be getting up late and going to bed early these days, but for me, that means one thing: Curling season is upon us!

Yes, “that” sport — brooms and ice and a stone! “Athletes” clad in so many protective layers they look like puff balls, try to guide a 40-pound rock over a line by rubbing the ice in front of the stone with the broom … It’s like shuffleboard on ice, with the serious and dramatic potential of, well, falling down. It happens sometimes.

It is arguably the most boring sport in the world, next to basketball, so I absolutely love it.

And the season has just begun!

It couldn’t come at a better time, because I feel like being a hermit.

Lately, I’ve had it with lots of things going on — and not — in my little circle of life. I’m fed up to here and then some. I just want to crawl under a rock. So I’ve decided to go incognito. Drop out of life for awhile. Sulk in my backyard, or go way upriver and hide in a tree or something. Get away, way away, from everything.

Well, except the dog. She has to come with.

And nothing creates hermits faster than announcing you’re a curling fan!

Usually, my fellow curling fan and I — she shall remain anonymous to protect her reputation in town — shoot Nerf gun bullets at the TV as we watch. Livens up the action. Her husband has told us we can no longer shoot the TV with Nerf bullets, but we’re going to round him up and put him in the chicken coop for the duration. He’ll never know.

So next week, I plan to bring my gun, ammo, whisk broom, curled carrots, curly fries, curly zucchini strips and cheese curds (close enough) to my friend’s home, go into hiding and watch another exciting game.

As part of my incognito status — and in the spirit of the game of curling — I chopped off all my hair! (See photo, somewhere on this page!) And then I sent my hair to a company that makes wigs for kids with cancer, and handed over what remained of my hair to the skilled hands of … I’ll call her “Jill,” and the toxic poisons of god knows who, maybe Monsanto.

Getting a perm is always a long ordeal with my hair, but Jill accomplished it in a record three hours.

“Ta-da!” she cried, waking me up. “What do you think?”

I smiled, put on my glasses and looked in the mirror. Blink. I looked again, squinching my eyes. No. It … it can’t be!

“Is it … okay?” Jill said. “What do you think? I think it’s really cute!”

<crickets>

“Well?” She pulled a curl and released it. Boing!

“No, I like it, I really do; it’s exactly what I asked for,” I said, forcing a smile. “But … I am a dead-ringer for … my birthmother!” (We’ll call her … “Helen.”)

This revelation has only struck me once before, about 20 years ago when we got our Christmas photos “developed” and one depicted me making fun of an outfit given to my daughter. I’m holding it up and apparently laughing — but it wasn’t me. It was …Helen!

I was so shaken by that photo, I threw it away.

Thursday, I wanted the messy-hipster curly look, and Jill gave it to me. (And I do love it!) I didn’t realize Helen sports that look, too. And here I thought she carried her 95-year-old old-lady ‘do well!

Getting older. It’s one more thing that makes me want to become a hermit.

I emerged from Jill’s shop and took a stroll around town. The folks at the bank didn’t recognize me. Neither did the helpful hardware people at Ace, and I’m in there all the time! I should tell the IRS I’m not me! I was having fun with this until I ran into a friend of mine — I hesitate to say this … — a typical Curry County man, and he actually said, “Is that a wig?”

The dog, always loyal, is either blind, doesn’t care, or has very good facial recognition skills. Maybe she associates all those who come in the house with food. Whatever.

I might not look like Jane anymore, but even the dog — also Jayne; don’t ask — doesn’t know I look like my mother. Only my sister — who I’ll call Jane because that’s her name and it’s a long story and this is my column so just deal with it — noticed it. (See why I need to be a hermit for awhile?)

“Oh, yeah,” my brother-in-law texted when I shot them a photo. “I saw it right away.”

Noooo! No one wants to look like their mother!

“Don’t you think that’s kinda … creepy?” I texted back.

“Well, you ARE related,” Jane noted. I could hear her eyes roll.

I wonder if Helen likes curling. I’m going to Skype her in.

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