Wednesday, January 02, 2008


For my first post of 2008, I wish to discuss a very serious issue.

This was clipped from a December womens' magazine, and I am greatly troubled that our society has reached the point at which we must provide pictorial step-by-step explanations of how to achieve mall hair. Is this not included with the power to ovulate? The only difference between the women of the '80's and the rest of humanity is that, for a single unfortunate decade, we chose to exercise the ability.

I don't remember anyone teaching me how to Bang; I simply amassed a curling iron and a pick and a metric ton of hairspray and took my place at the right hand of D.J. Tanner. I take special exception to the flippant nature of the text in the third step-- "spray liberally until crunchy"-- that wasn't a sound effect, people; that was a necessity. When you possess, as I do, hair with the texture of overmicrowaved string beans, hairspray is an indispensable tool in maintaining bangs at a naturalistic ninety degree angle.

And this chick is way too carefree about the entire affair. Bang-curling is very serious business, to be attempted in the early morning hours with a smoking iron and rapidly cooling breakfast. My mother could gauge precisely the type of hair day my sister and I were having merely by the amount of foot-stomps she heard from our bathroom above the kitchen. Flinging hair care products into the sink was a common weapon against the cowlick in the center of my bangs; it works about as well with a comb in 2008 as it did with the pick twenty years ago.

We see here an immense amount of hair, both in width as well as height. The occasion is my eighth grade graduation, which was pretty much my most formal evening out until that point. It is still a formula to which I subscribe: The more important the event, the further out from the head the hair must expand. That is why, on my wedding day, we saw the back extending many inches away from my skull. Compare that to, say, this photo:

The horse does not care about follicle volume. The horse barely cares whether or not I wish it to move.

So by this principle, if ever I appear on television, I will likely require my own soundstage. And you-- this is the key to gauging my estimation of you. If you and I meet, and there is no evidence of mousse, there's a pretty good chance that I either just purposefully ran you down with my car, or am on my way to purchase a used one from you. But if, on the other hand, you see this:

Dearest Reader, you might well be God Himself.

no more perm appointments at:


Starnarcosis said...

Suddenly I am very grateful for being a teen in the seventies, when we were trying to emulate Marcia Brady's hair. At best.

an-ony-moose said...

At my school the girls who wore their hair that way were referred to as "Southsiders" because most of them were bused in from the south side of town. The "preps" as a rule did not do the bangball.
Thankfully I was too poor to afford a curling iron or hairspray, so it was a non-issue for me!

Jill said...

I tried the Drew Barrymore short but insanely curly hair for a dance one year. My father, who doesn't notice if I cut a foot off my hair, asked me if I sat on a battery. Tears followed, and I sat in a steamy bath trying to get it to de-electrify. It didn't work....therapy ensued.

Life's a Laugh said...

Thanks for the flashback MB. I recall junior high as being the couple years that no picture could contain the heighth and width of hair within the frame allotted. I was not so talented as to get "The Bang" correctly fluffed. I had to settle for a wave of bangs lifting off my forehead. I was only a good stiff wind away from flight.

Daniel said...

This article actually reminds me that it's about high time I cut all mine off again. So glad the winters down here are mild... However, today's low was a chilly 60F. I didn't feel like getting out of bed for my morning run (one of the reasons I love my job so much down here is I get to choose when and if I do PT).

Heather said...

I would like to think that the 80's bangs were one style that would never come back. That should be a tragedy that should never be relived...

And just say no to perms, I always say!

Kris said...

OMG! That first picture could be ME!?!?!?! Too funny!
There was a girl in the grade below mine that had about an 11 inch pouf/bang thing. My mother called it her Radar.
Why oh why couldn't they let the 80s rest in peace???

Carrie said...

Due to a complete and abject terror of curling irons when I was younger, I managed to avoid the 80's bangs. I have to say, though, that your 8th grade graduation dress bears a striking resemblance to my own, complete with vaguely scary flower print. :)

Mike Marchand said...

I seem to remember at least a little bit of product deployed when you met me, so I guess this means I am semi-important.

I have a similar metric for how important someone is to me, only it depends on inverse proportion instead of direct proportion, and instead of the volume of my hair, it's the volume of my belches. So you know I cared about meeting MB when I drank a whole Dr Pepper and still resisted the urge to unleash a colossal burp that would surely have brought down LeMans Hall in jagged chunks of rubble.

// mike, tl-tr

MB said...

You introduced yourself at a reading, which is Almost-Television. That requires MASSIVE volume.

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