Business in the Front, Party in the Back
I have never understood mullets. An unfortunate haircut that it’s sometimes funny to inflict on small children, but never a viable choice as a grown human male. Then I came to Chile, where not only is the mullet an acceptable hairstyle, but a popular choice for young, eligible men. To laugh or to cry…? Regardless, the aversion to having a consistent length of hair worked as a massive libido drain, somehow zapping the magic from all the potential Latino loving.
Then one week, I met an American fly fisherman working away at the hostel around the corner. In an attempt at cultural immersion, he had allowed his hair to cascade down the back of his neck without a care whilst maintaining it short and sensible everywhere else. It was a style he liked to call business in the front, party in the back.
A Facebook stalk confirmed my dismay. An incredibly attractive outdoorsy person had been taken by an evil hairstyle that killed all sex appeal.
The next time I saw him, I had to ask, “Why?”
It turns out he and his travelling bestie had a bet. He would be incapable of getting laid with the locks. If he did, he would win 10 mil (20AUD), and if he shaved it off beforehand, would have to cough up the same out. Twenty dollars for practically voluntary celibacy seems like a small amount to pay, but in Chile, that translates to just under 20 litres of beer, and this fly fisherman seemed to have his priorities (reasonably) straight.
That night I had a sex dream. A dream that in the throes of passion saw me chopping off the hairy monstrosity before it culminated in ferocious orgasms, and I woke up with a plan.
I would liberate him. Altruistically, I would fuck him, obliterate the tragic hair and allow his inner sex god to realise its full potential once more.
The next time I saw him, I shaved my legs in anticipation, but the night took a D and M turn.
“Can I tell you a secret? I actually have had sex since I grew the mullet. I keep it because it’s fun.”
I was incredulous. I just could not comprehend. My brain was filled with one syllable question words. What? Why? Huh?
He tried to justify it to my evidently perplexed face. Apparently, if you have a mullet, people don’t take you seriously. (That I could agree with). For him, the club scene, the relentless going out to chase a good time was taking its toll. “With a mullet,” he said, “people don’t look at you as a potential sex partner, and the result, well, it’s liberating.”
“Now, I get to know girls, women, people as human beings – for who they are as opposed to future slam pieces.” The conversation took a momentary detour as we discussed the potential gender imperialism of the term slam piece, but the general vibe of the conversation was overwhelming endearing. From verging on being a joke, the fly fisherman had risen to a deep, multifaceted human being who appreciated women for their personalities and not their bodies. What other mullet could say the same?
Quite a few bottles of wine later and standing just a little too close in the courtyard of my residence, he propositioned.
… and I couldn’t. It all seemed like such a confusing farce and juxtaposition to the entire “deep” conversation we had just had. Was the mullet turning out to be a long winded pick up line?
We never returned to talk about the mullet, and it wasn’t until two weeks later when he was leaving Valparaiso to continue north that we spent much time inebriated and in close proximity. I can’t tell you if this time it was the beer, or the rising arousal of altruistic sex and wanting him to leave Valpo with a good time, or the fact that he massaged my fingers inconspicuously underneath the table… But, any preoccupations with the mullet disappeared and the slam was kind of incredible…
I even had something to hold on to.