Along with jokes about Michael Jackson and West Virginians, mullet humor is always a crowd favorite.
A mullet, which is simply a haircut defined by short hair on top and longer hair in the back, has become somewhat of a cultural fascination. It's as much a mystery as the rattail; few understand why one cuts his or her mane in this fashion. Therefore, I was extremely intrigued when I found out that there was going to be an event showcasing these brave men and women who have abandoned the crew cut, bob or even long hair and embraced the mullet.
Instead of joining most Richmonders at the Watermelon Festival, I spent my Sunday afternoon at Poe's Pub to witness for myself XL102's First Annual Worst Mullet Contest. Even the name of the contest struck me as odd what constitutes the worst mullet or even the best? As I waited for this and many other mysteries to be explained to me, I realized I was not alone.
I was convinced that I, with my Kate Spade bag and Gap ensemble, would not blend in with the fellow contest-goers. Other than a few patrons with Harleys parked out front, most of the patrons seemed just as curious as I. Not only was no one requesting the band to play "Freebird," I wasn't even seeing any mullets. How can there be a mullet contest without any mullets?
Apparently, the people running the show had the same concerns. When the Camaros, the country band opening the event, took a break, Jeff McKee of XL102 brought the event's three contestants up to the stage. He wanted to make sure everyone was perfectly clear what constitutes a mullet. Granted all of his jokes were straight off www.mulletlover.com, but, as he explained, a lot of people don't realize they have the haircut. He went through all the popular mullet slang: "Kentucky waterfall," "Canadian passport," and my personal favorite, "business in the front, party in the back." He even referred to mullet icons such as Billy Ray Cyrus, who is responsible for the phrase "achy-breaky-what-a-mistakey."
I was shocked. How do you not know you have a mullet? Apparently, it happens: All of a sudden there was a fourth contestant. The fiddler from the band had an epiphany he had a mullet.
Needless to say, the contest was pretty weak considering we only had to decide between four hairstyles. There was a musician named Brian who in his best Leonardo DiCaprio impression professed himself "King of the Mullets," as well as the last minute entry, Phil the fiddler. The true competition, however, was between Lisa, the token fe-mullet, and Earl, whose not-so-golden locks stretched down to midback. Without a clear understanding of what qualifies as the worst mullet, the crowd honored Earl with the title Mr. Mullet 2001.
Earl had admitted earlier amidst the fierce competition that he was only in it for the prize package. Appropriately, the prize package mocked the contest as it included tickets to Aerosmith, a $50 gift certificate to a tattoo parlor and hair products like hairspray (which McKee referred to as the "Viagra of mullets").
Not only was I disappointed by the event, but I'm sure the representative from "The Jenny Jones Show" was too. As he waited for me to fill out a release form to be on national television, he explained to me why he was in Richmond filming a radio-sponsored contest. He was in search of an individual, obviously with a mullet, to participate in a makeover episode airing Friday, Aug. 31. You would think he had come to the right place.
I guess if you need to find a mullet for entertainment purposes, a contest is not the place to do it. Now that I think about it, I probably would have had better luck at the Watermelon
Style Weekly's mission is to provide smart, witty and tenacious coverage of Richmond. Our editorial team strives to reveal Richmond's true identity through unflinching journalism, incisive writing, thoughtful criticism, arresting photography and sophisticated presentation.
We make sense of the news; pursue those in power; explore the city's arts and culture; open windows on provocative ideas; and help readers know Richmond through its people. We give readers the information to make intelligent decisions.