mullet like me RSS

In 1959 journalist John Howard Griffin darkened his skin for an undercover experiment with racial tensions that would later be published as 'Black Like Me.' Now, fifty years later, a man with markedly less courage takes on a mission with markedly lower stakes. -------- contact: twitter: @mulletlikeme



72 hours…

in 72 hours i will face a new day without a mullet for the first time in almost a year.

this is very emotional news for you all, i am sure.

i am not done with my fight but it is time to take a step back and re-charge.

there are many experiences i have yet to chronicle, so this blog will not go dormant.

cold steel, hot hair.

cold steel, hot hair.


mullets and firearms

i had never fired a gun in my life.

sure, i’ve played paintball… i’ve wielded one of those foam dart crossbows… once i even held an actual piece in my hand… but it wasn’t loaded.

essentially, i spent my life pussyfooting around the whole subject of deadly weapons.

until i grew a mullet.


i step confidently out of my vehicle after driving hundreds of miles to visit a friend who has guns. my mission? to fire one (or all) of them. we’re in rural america — the good land — god’s country. if there’s one place a mulleted american feels welcome it’s here. i’m ready to smell gunpowder. i’m ready for hot steel in my hand. i’m ready to take life.*

my friend (we’ll call him dusty) walks up and offers a firm handshake. i can tell he means business. dusty owns and operates a resort on a beautiful lake. he builds and maintains all of the cabins himself. but we aren’t going to build anything today. we’re going to destroy.

destruction comes naturally for me now. for months i’ve been destroying stereotypes, prejudices and invisible barriers. i’ve also been destroying the sleeves of every t-shirt i own and the confidence of anyone my camaro happens to dust.

dusty invites me to hop on an ATV that will take us deep into the woods. in the back i see a selection of guns. my mullet starts to pulse. we’re getting close.

the action starts with a .22 caliber rifle. dusty calls it a glorified BB gun but warns me that it could still hurt or even kill someone. this is the first of many times that dusty will warn me about my newfound capacity to inflict lethal harm.

dusty takes a clay pigeon out of a box and perches it on a tree branch. he hands me the rifle and gives me a few instructions. i line up the orange circle in my sight and look over my shoulder at the small crowd of locals that had gathered to watch me lose my firearm virginity. they’re ready. i’m ready. at the last second i think of something badass to say before i shoot — something that will really impress the onlookers.

"say goodnight, ambassador pigeon!"

i shout as i pull hard on the trigger. nothing happens. someone laughs.

"did you take the safety off?"

"i’m not an idiot, dusty…"

just to be sure, i check the safety. turns out he was right. i covertly nudge it off and line up my sight once more. this time i skip the snappy line and just fire away.

direct hit. the pigeon shatters and falls to the ground. i blow nonexistent smoke from the rifle’s barrel and act like i am putting it back into a holster. some of the locals scowl at me. dusty grabs the gun and puts the safety back on.

dusty hands me ear protection and a much heavier sidearm. it’s a shotgun. the real deal. with it comes a new set of instructions — including a warning about ‘kickback’ or something. i laugh, explaining that my camaro has more kick than anything this pea shooter could put out. he grabs a few pigeons and some ear protection.

"you’ve got three shots. just yell ‘pull’ when you’re ready to shoot."

i ready myself — running my fingers along the cold, smooth barrel and visualizing the target.


the first pigeon soars high overhead. i turn to fire and nothing happens. the safety is still on. dusty grabs another pigeon as the locals chuckle. it’s not even funny anymore.

i turn off the safety, but before i raise the gun i take a moment to look inward.

what kind of man are you? — i ask myself angrily — don’t you realize the power you hold in your hands? are you not aware that it comes from the same primal place as the hair keeping your neck warm? does not this gun, like your camaro and your hairdo, induce an ache deep within your loins? within your very chromosomes?

"what the hell is going on?" — dusty barks, his arms shrugged in the air. apparently my soul-searching inner monologue is taking longer than i realize. i raise the gun and commanded the pigeon’s release…

my shot hits its mark, blurring the clay into a cloud of orange and, just like that, i become a man.


on the way back to the cabin i told dusty how different i felt — how amazed i was by my power and by the way that thousands of little pellets join forces to obliterate their target. dusty informed me that there aren’t ‘thousands’ of pellets in a shotgun shell.

perhaps he was right. who knows. one thing was for sure — my mullet now smelled like manhood. and that’s the only fact i needed to know for certain.


*turns out you can’t take life without proper legal permits.


camaro rescue mission part 2. i get my baby back.

in the hotel bar there was a wall of notable guests. i stood next to it, dreaming of the day a mulleted american makes the cut.

in the hotel bar there was a wall of notable guests. i stood next to it, dreaming of the day a mulleted american makes the cut.


breaking barriers on a fall afternoon…

with a gorgeous fall day on tap, i was inspired to coax the camaro out of hiding* and remind her who is boss (me).

after about ten minutes and a dozen different expletives, she started — coughing a cloud of black discharge into the alleyway. i pulled away noisily and flipped off my neighbors through the t-top above my head as i rolled by.

i hit a stoplight and took a moment to dig around under the seats for some halen to accompany my cruise. the second said light turned green a well-groomed man in a german import behind me honked impatiently.

i waited a moment for him to lay on his horn again. he did. i then stomped on the gas — hard — fishtailing away from the hurried elitist whose beamer was now enveloped in a plume of my thunder.

who does that loser think he is? — i asked myself as ‘beautiful girls’ hit the first chorus — why does he think the world should work differently for him than me? there’s nothing he can do that i can’t!

to prove this point i decided to proceed directly to the most exclusive hotel in town and valet park my camaro. when i got there i threw left her running, halen blaring, and motioned toward the doorman.

"be good to this sucker" — i shouted as i headed for the bar.

"pardon me, sir." — he stopped me and asked how long i would be parking. i said i was stopping in for a cocktail in their bar so, who knows? an hour? seven? three weeks?

he then handed me a valet ticket that referred to me as a “transient guest” — seriously?

"i have a home…" i muttered as i walked past mr. top hat through the door.

inside the bar i heard a loud clicking sound and people shouting…

"ribeye! ribeye!"

"turkey leg!"

"lobster tail, baby!"

"rack of lamb, rack of lamb!"

what the…?

after getting my bearings i realized what was taking place in this fabled establishment — a MEAT RAFFLE! the preferred game of chance of mulleted americans everywhere!

and to think, a moment earlier they assumed i was a transient… perhaps their meat raffle would have been an even bigger hit if they had a sign outside: “transients welcome”


* yes, i have the car back. look for part 2 of the camaro rescue mission video this week.

this photo, taken by a creepy stranger, made its way into my hands.

this photo, taken by a creepy stranger, made its way into my hands.


mullet in the stands

you’d think a ballgame would be a safe place to bring a mullet — you’d be wrong.

over the course of this nearly six month old experiment i’ve attended plenty of sporting events and the results have been, well, troubling.

despite trails blazed by mulleted sportsmen like brian bosworth, john kruk and 92% of those who’ve ever laced up hockey skates, it seems that fans just can’t abide a mulleted american in the stands.

proof? when i stood to cheer at a recent baseball game a chant emerged from behind me. at first i thought they were yelling “punt it!!” which seemed odd, because that happens in football. but soon the crowd’s voice grew louder and clearer…


i tried to ignore them and keep cheering. but the inning ended. and they kept chanting.

i sat down. they chanted.

i stood back up after a moment to adjust my underpants. they chanted.

i sat back down. they chanted.

i walked up the long staircase to freshen my beverage. they chanted.

this continued for most of the night and represents a pattern emerging from all stadium experience i’ve had with this haircut — no matter the city, no matter the sport.

the icing on my baseball-shaped pariah cake was delivered by an email i received a day or two after the game. apparently my friend recognized me in a photo taken at the same game by a complete stranger. the photo, which was posted online, had the following caption:

"MULLET… it was GROSS"

gross? you know what’s gross? mocking a stranger from behind the safety of your lens. that’s gross.

you think any of you scare me? i will not stop cheering. i will not back down. i will not cut my hair.

at least not today.




it’s been an unruly stretch of growth for my hair — so much so that i’ve been emotionally overcome by its grandeur, unable to write (much less finish the story of how I got the camaro back) as the tears of joy running down my cheeks would surely blur the ink from this fountain pen…

it’s also possible i’ve been busy with “real” work…

(check back soon)


part one of my camaro rescue mission