You can imagine how shocked I was to discover that for the past two months I have been wearing a mullet haircut without knowing it.
This is not a joke. So please try to remain calm and do not get so horrified that you drop your cell phone, tablet e-reader, newspaper, or eight-month-old son.
But as it turns out, I have been parading around the Free World wearing a hairstyle that is cut short in the front, but long in the back. A hairstyle commonly known as an “Achy-Breaky-Big-Mistakey.” Or in certain regions, “The Mississippi Mudflap.”
I figured this out when I walked into a salon yesterday. As soon as I sat in the chair, I knew something was wrong. Because four professional hairdressers surrounded me and ran their fingers through my hair, saying things like, “You poor baby.” One of them even dropped her eight-month-old son.
Said one stylist, “What kind of a person did this to you, sweetheart?”
I had no idea what they were talking about.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
Jessica gripped the long hair behind my head and yanked it. “This,” she said. “I hate to break it to you, but THIS is a Tennessee Tophat.”
“You know,” another explained. “A Squirrel Pelt, a Texas Tidal Wave, a Dothan Dangler.”
“You mean to tell me you’ve never heard of a Kentucky Neckwarmer? A Floridian Fun Flap? A Missouri Compromise?”
“She’s right,” said another stylist. “Your hair is a full-fledged mullet.”
A girl named LaShanda held my long rat-tail and said, “I’ve never seen one up close before.”
“Yep,” said Jessica, holding a handheld mirror behind my head. “Business up front, party in the back.”
Of course this explains a lot. When I first got this haircut three months ago, I knew something was wrong. I got it in Huntsville, Alabama. I drove around looking for a place that accepted walk-ins.
This is because I am a guy, and guys do not bother to make actual appointments. My uncle, for instance, used to walk into any old barbershop unannounced and tell the man with the scissors to “Make me beautiful.”
And it always panned out well for him. Then again, his haircut was a fairly simple one. A few swipes and he was done. He would tip the guy fifty cents and walk out looking like an elderly Marine.
So this is how I learned to approach hair-care.
That day, I pulled into the rundown strip mall which was located between Billy’s Discount Liquors and the WE-CASH-CHECKS-4-U store. The salon sign read: “Walk-ins welcome.”
I walked in.
There were no people inside except for one lady who, I swear, was wearing a World Wrestling Entertainment T-shirt with the sleeves rolled up.
She asked what kind of a haircut I wanted, and I told her I just wanted “a trim.” Those were my exact words.
The woman fuzzed my hair and became misty-eyed. “God, you look JUST like my son, Jay Jay.”
“Jay Jay is a very nice looking man,” said I.
“Yep, we’re all so proud’a him. He’s up for parole in three months.”
I almost tore out the door. But she already had a cape around me and leather straps around my ankles.
What happened next can only be described as an out-of-body experience. She fired up a pair of livestock clippers, and with all the finesse of a deer processing plant, she tore me up. Hair went flying in all directions. Soon, the floor was littered with pieces of my dignity.
When she finished my haircut, she spun me around to face my reflection and I almost cried.
She covered her mouth and said, “Oh, look at Mama’s little Jay Jay.”
I stared at the mirror in a kind of shock. And in this moment, I was beginning to understand what drives a well-behaved young man to knock over a convenience store.
Even so, I STILL had no idea that I was wearing an actual “Arkansas Beaver Tail” hairdo because I couldn’t see the back of my head.
I can’t believe I didn’t figure it out. There were all sorts of indicators which I completely missed.
Like the time I was in the parking lot at Kmart and old man in a cutoff jean shorts was having car trouble and asked if I could loan him a koozie.
There was also the time when I was in Starbucks, and one of the young employees asked if I wouldn’t mind sitting outside because I was upsetting the young Range Rover owners.
I didn’t even realize I had a mullet even when my own wife saw my brand new haircut and commented, “Well, hello Peanut Festival Pete, come on in.”
So my hairdresser Jessica got out the scissors. Four women stood nearby and used their cellphones to video the whole ceremony.
LasShanda said, “It’s time to serve an eviction notice to that Camaro Cut.”
“Amen,” said another.
When Jessica finished my haircut, she ran her hands through my short hair. She even put a little gel in it and combed it sideways. She said, “Welcome back to normal society.”
I tipped her all I had and I carried a few locks of hair home so that I would never forget the only mullet haircut I ever had.
In all sincerity, I wish you the best of luck at your parole hearing, Jay Jay.
You good-looking man, you.