Shout at the Mullet

Mike Gorman

CITIZENS OF THE VALLEY: This is a code-red Mullet alert. In recent months, there has been a drastic increase in the number of confirmed Mullet sightings in Phoenix and surrounding cities. Estimates indicate we are rapidly approaching the crisis threshold of one Mullet Cut per hundred hair styles. Simultaneous outbreaks have been reported in Iowa City, Iowa; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Louisville, Kentucky; and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We have on our hands, or rather our heads, a frightening renaissance for this most catastrophic of coiffures. Not since the mid-1980s has the Mullet been seen in such numbers. Mullet-trackers theorize the Mullet's comeback may be linked to its inexplicable resurgence among professional athletes, hard-rock singers and contemporary country music celebrities.

Whatever its cause, though, the comeback of the Mullet represents a serious danger to society. Wearers of a Mullet Cut, otherwise known as "Mullet Heads," have been definitively linked with the following destructive behaviors:

• In-home production of crystal methamphetamine.
• Random, menacing stares cast toward non-Mullet Heads.
• Hogging the keg.
• Playing air guitar in public.
• Wearing acid-washed jeans, a tank top, and Oakley Razorblade sunglasses to weddings and funerals.
• A dangerous proclivity for tolerating broken and perforated screen doors.
• Bowling in the wrong lane.
• Cruising for high school chicks.
• Pre-millennial hoarding of Marlboro reds and gray paint primer.
• Pit-bull breeding.
• Shoplifting at dollar stores.
• Working on their cars and/or motorcycles in their front yards in the middle of the night while blasting Lynyrd Skynyrd, Korn, Bad Company, the Indigo Girls (in the case of female Mullet Heads), Vanilla Ice and/or Kenny Rogers.
• Unpredictably violent behavior, including World Wrestling Federation "cage match" reenactments and hair-trigger sucker punches, especially if engaged in a "Ford vs. Chevy" debate.

The situation is dire, people. We must stand united against this dastardly 'do. For the good of us all, please read and distribute the following Frequently Asked Questions:

What, exactly, is a Mullet?

The dictionary definition of "Mullet" refers to a wide variety of small, spiny, freshwater and saltwater fish commonly used for commercial fishing bait.

Do not be confused by this literal definition.

For the purposes of this bulletin, "Mullet" means any haircut, worn by either sex of the human species, in which the sides and top are significantly shorter than the back.

To officially qualify as a Mullet, the back of the cut must flow at least two inches below the neckline.

Well-known Mullet Heads include "Achy-Breaky Heart" country singer Billy Ray Cyrus; "You might be a redneck if..." comedian Jeff Foxworthy; Pittsburgh Penguins superstar center Jaromir Jagr; and Arizona Diamondbacks ace pitcher Randy Johnson, before he set a fine example for today's youth last year by shearing his burly Mullet midseason.

Is the Mullet known by any other name?

Yes. Synonyms for the Mullet include the following:

The Soccer Rocker, the Ape Drape, the Restraining Order Mortar Board, the Redneck Rug, the Neckwarmer, the Sphinx, the Darth Vader, the Squirrel Pelt, the Beaver Paddle, the Rogaine Mane, the Lice Ranch, the Porn Shorn, the Hangover, the Sherm Perm, the Guido, the Probation Pate, the East Mesa Waterfall, the Camaro Cut, the STLB (Short Top, Long Back, pronounced "stleeb"), the Tweaker Tophat and the S&L (Short and Long) Crisis.

What is the origin of the Mullet?

Unknown. The first mass sightings of the Mullet were reported in the early 1980s, with the advent of "Butt Rock" bands such as Dio, Bon Jovi, Iron Maiden, Winger, and any with the word "White" in their name (Great White, Whitesnake, White Lion, etc.). Some believe the Mullet originated in New Jersey during the burnout days of the disco era. Others point to a 1982 promotional "2-4-1" campaign by a regional Supercuts chain in Davis, California, which featured NASCAR celebrity spokesmodels wearing spiked-top Mullet cuts.

Other Mullet experts believe the Mullet has quietly existed for decades, citing the 1967 prison film Cool Hand Luke, starring Paul Newman and George Kennedy, in which Kennedy's character refers to Southern men with long hair as "Mullet Heads."

Sweet Jesus! I just looked in the mirror and I have a Mullet! What should I do!?

First, remain calm. Your condition is easily remedied. Simply follow this code-red procedure:

1) Obtain one sheet of blank paper and one Magic Marker (no crayons).

2) Print the following message on the sheet of paper, in large, capital letters: "HAVE MULLET. NEED HELP."

3) Pin the sheet of paper to your chest, proceed directly to the nearest hair salon, and place yourself in the care of a trained Mullet-eradication specialist.

Note: If you are a male Mullet Head (an 87 percent probability), it is critical for your own sexual well-being that you complete the above-described procedure as quickly as possible. Studies of long-term Mullet wearers have demonstrated a link between the Mullet and a degenerative disorder of certain hormonal glands whose suppression causes shrinkage of the male member.

In laymen's terms, the longer the Mullet, the shorter the bullet.

I don't have a Mullet, but I know someone who does. What should I do?

Before you take any radical steps, ask yourself if you consider this person a friend. If not, your best course of action may be to anonymously avail them of this information sheet.

If you do consider the Mullet wearer a friend, however, the risk of direct intervention may be justifiable. We suggest the following course of action: Speaking softly and slowly, first attempt to convince your friend to willingly rid himself of his Mullet. Offer to give him a ride to a hair salon, and even to pay for the removal procedure.

If this doesn't work, use any means necessary to help your friend, but whatever you do, get that Mullet off his head!

Remember: Mullet Heads are prone to aggression, and are frequently armed. No matter how good a friend your Mullet Head may be, use extreme caution, and perhaps a stun gun and some mace. Don't feel guilty. When the deed is done, your friend will thank you.

The bottom line is: Friends don't let friends wear Mullets.

I wish to gain a greater understanding of Mullet Heads and how they interact with society. Where can I observe them in their natural surroundings?

Mullet Head habitats abound in the Valley. Prime locales include the Firebird International Raceway; any gun show, monster truck rally or pro-wrestling event; the State Fair; any hard rock or country music concert at America West Arena; Christown Mall; and anyplace labeled ". . . Mart."

The following are suggestions for specialized viewing of certain subspecies of the Mullet:

To observe the Lesbian Mullet, try a Phoenix Mercury game. For the MexiMullet, hit the Swap Meet or any strip-mall check-cashing spot along 16th Street. Many beggars along Mill Avenue sport the Granola Mullet, and certain karaoke bars serve as watering holes for Asian Gangster Mullets (exercise extreme discretion with this species, whose condition can be attributed to Hong Kong action film director John Woo's rampant use of tough-guy AGM extras in slow motion shoot-out scenes).

Perhaps the most pitiable and fearsome subspecies of Mullet is the Permed Mullet, also known as the Mid-Life Crisis or Middle Management Mullet. Tailored to broadcast "well-paid professional" from the front and "party maniac" from the rear, these Mullet Cuts are most easily observed in any topless bar during a "Businessman's Buffet" lunch hour. Another good bet is any upscale Scottsdale nightclub, such as Sanctuary or Axis/Radius, where Middle Management Mullet Heads are easily identified by their advanced age in relation to their dance-floor companions, as well as their uneasy yet unfailing use of the white-man overbite as they lag anywhere from 20 to 40 beats per minute behind tempo.

This concludes this code-red Mullet alert. Be ever vigilant, and fear the Mullet, for it is once more loose on the land.

To further increase your Mullet awareness, see Mullets Galore, Eye on the Mullet or the 1999 Frisco Mullet Expose

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