According to James Bond creator Ian Fleming: “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.”

Well, dear readers, when it comes to boxes of tampered hair dye, I am up to twice.

For those of you who don’t know, I found my first gray hair when I was but 21. As I advanced toward 30, the gray had sprouted atop my head like weeds, and I had taken to trying to stop their advance.

As I have shared before, those attempts to dye my hair had mixed results. I did a passable job, but the bigger problem was all the dye dripping from the walls and sink. It looked like beavers had fought to the death inside the bathroom and on my face.

I eventually started paying professionals to do the job. But then a global pandemic put an end to that and I resumed coloring my hair. At first, I also resumed making a mess of things. But I improved, if not perfected, my technique.

Of course, I’ll probably grow tired of dying my hair every few weeks. When that happens, I plan to invest in wigs. After all, maintaining colored hair is my one vanity. I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in years last week. She said, “Who the expletive cares?” about my hair color. I care.

Hence, my working plan for wigs. When I share this plan, it is usually met with disbelief or derision. My bestie supports me, though. In fact, she has encouraged me to buy multiple wigs and give them names and personalities, à la Moira in Schitt’s Creek. My great niece (emphasis on great) also seems nonplussed by my plan. She has encouraged me to wear wigs outside my house and my real hair inside. I’ll admit that I hadn’t thought that far ahead.

Anyway, a year or so ago when I got ready for one of my frequent dye jobs, I was the one in for a shock when I realized the box of dye had been tampered with. Indeed, someone had sliced the seal and removed the crème, activator, and conditioner. All that remained were the instructions and the plastic gloves.

I don’t have the best memory, but I’m not one to forget a slight. Since that betrayal, I have always checked the boxes of hair dye before I make a purchase. Last week, armed with a coupon, I checked two boxes of hair dye.

The seal on one of the boxes had been broken. Obviously, I did not purchase that box of dye.

If I happen across a third box of tampered hair dye, then it will definitely be enemy action.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.