Winnipeg resident Angela Ricci, 28, was rushed to the hospital this past Sunday after being temporarily blinded by the overabundance of blond hair at Blumenhof Mennonite Church.
“That volume of blond hair can do severe, often permanent, damage to your vision, so be careful,” said Dr. Klippenstein. “We get cases like this every month or so, when some unwitting Englisher from the city decides to travel into Mennonite country without proper eyewear.”
Ms. Ricci claims she didn’t notice anything at first, but when everyone stood up to sing “My Anchor Holds” she was struck by a ray of light from all the blond hair and fell to her knees.
“It truly was my Road to Damascus experience. A sharp piercing pain entered my eyes, like nothing I’ve ever experienced before,” said Ricci. “It’s a good thing the women had their heads covered or I don’t know that I’d ever be able to see again.”
Doctors are hoping Ms. Ricci will recover, but are warning others to take precautions before entering a small town Mennonite church. Klippenstein says this kind of occurrence is not uncommon in the villages.
“After centuries of inbreeding the Russian Mennonite villages of southern Manitoba have become almost entirely blond-haired,” explained Klippenstein. “Other than Mrs. Berg with her purple shampoo, it’s a sea of blond out there.”
The experience has not dissuaded Ms. Ricci from leaving the city, however. In fact she is eager to travel to Blumenhof again just as soon her retinas recover.
“Before my affliction I noticed quite a few eligible young Mennonite men,” said Ms. Ricci. “If everything goes as planned, I hope to begin filling the pews with some brown-haired Mennonite children by the end of the year.”