the Bucky Four-Eyes Cotillion

Monday, October 04, 2010

Mullet over


The mullet: having your cake and eating it, too. Except the cake is really ugly, and it tastes like shit.


I heard him before I saw him.

With my baritone voice, I get a lot of "Sir" and "Oh, I thought you were a guy" from well-meaning but confused customers. Just the other day, a small boy grinned up at me and gleefully, evilly declared, "You look like a girl!" Oh, snap!

But this guy had a certain eloquence, and as I negotiated the distance between a printed page and my face, which is truly a joy with the state of my eyes and the age of my glasses, his voice wafted across the counter:

"I was quite pleased by your hair when I realized it belonged to a young lady."

Well, there's a fine how-do-you-do! Amused and caught slightly off guard, I raised my already-beleaguered eyes and was faced with a sudden and overwhelming vision: The Greasy Silver Mullet.

Let us agree as a group on something that I feel should be self evident: there's really no good time for a mullet. When the bearer of the mullet is pushing sixty and has a face that looks like the moon shortly after an unprovoked attack by rabid asteroids, the clock has struck shave-that-fucker-off-o'clock. Bristly buzz cut on top, yellowed and fairly dripping shoulder-length party in the back; could you have looked away? I couldn't. God help me, I couldn't.

He said something charming about thinking I was a long-haired man, but I must confess that I was looking at his hair with far more concentration than I was affording his words. The Greasy Silver Mullet was like a train wreck, a train wreck with scissors and a long-empty bottle of shampoo.

Before I had to pretend to make actual conversation while staring at this guy's 'do, my co-worker returned from the stock room with whatever product the Mullet Man was buying. I thanked my lucky charms for the reprieve and hurried off to another part of the store to rearrange some displays.

Dammit, I should've made for the bathroom.

By the time I saw him coming at me, fried-egg eyes intent on me from behind his ten-pound glasses, it was too late; the Greasy Silver Mullet had me frozen, helpless in a tractor beam of disgusted fascination.

He was one of those customers who sees me tending to a task, and must think he's "rescuing" me from work if he comes over and yammers at me about bullshit I never wanted to hear. Here's the news, buddy, and you can still smell the ink: I'd really rather be wearing a fiberglass tampon. (Or maybe I am...but that's another post for another time.)

I don't know how long he talked at me, because all I could see was the Greasy Silver Mullet. It delivered its own soliloquy to me, one that spoke of exotic places and stout ales, of midget bowling and darts gone wrong (but, interestingly enough, not a word about fresh water); it aspired to be a lawyer, or a hockey player, but never a cobbler, just for the record. Ginger or Mary Ann? Ginger, certainly.

"...and I've been sick since January."

My focus snapped back to the Man with the Mullet. The Weirdo-Magnet alarm started chiming politely and discreetly in the pit of my stomach.

He was reaching for his pocket.

"Then I coughed today and..."

His hand emerged from his pocket. I couldn't react quickly enough; I was suspended in greasy Jell-O.

"...this came out."

He whipped out and unfolded his handkerchief in one surprisingly deft motion.

My mind screamed "AAAAAAAAAH! What the fuck?"

There it was, the lavishly bloody handkerchief of a pockmarked man with a Greasy Silver Mullet, apparently for my dining and dancing pleasure. Because I am destined to See These Things.



Does anyone know the ETA for eyesight recovery after repeatedly dipping one's own face in boiling water? I'm just askin', you know, for a friend.