What’s a mullet?

The latest word to captivate football commentators, radio disk jockeys (sorry about that) I meant podcasters and all that ilk is “mullet”.

“What’s a mullet?” I asked my ever patient companion.  “Isn’t it a kind of fish?” I added just to keep my end of the conversation going.  She rolled her eyes in the way a condescending adult would deal with a child who just doesn’t get it!  And then returned my serve with a really mean slice.  “You’re wearing one, go and check in the mirror”.

Always obedient, I trotted off to the bathroom to look in the mirror.  There was nothing very special to see except that my hair looked like Albert Einstein in his later years.  I haven’t had a hair cut since lockdown started.  So that must be it.

“Is it my hairstyle?” I asked.  Her response was quick and cruel.  “I wouldn’t call it a style.  You look like Albert Einstein, but I don’t think any other comparisons would stand examination, relatively speaking.”

“Well what are we going to do about that?”  “What do you mean “we”?  The remedy is entirely in your hands.”  Before I could protest that I had no experience she suggested that I could start by practising on the dog.  When I looked at the dog I could see she had a point. The dog was looking quite shabby.  In fact, he was quite disturbingly smelly too.  The starting point had to be the dog.

Our dog is a very amiable little fellow.  Despite the fact that he barks furiously if a car door slams within half a mile, or worse yet, if he hears our front gate open.  The truth is that he hasn’t met another human he doesn’t think is his best friend, and as for other dogs, after the necessary sniffing of each other’s bottoms he’s ready to run, jump and play almost to the point of exhaustion.

But there’s a catch.  As soon as I make a move towards the dog grooming shelf in the laundry he becomes the invisible introvert.  Tail between his legs, he slides from one hidey hole to the next.  My ever helpful companion offers the advice that if I’m going to groom and wash the dog I should put on a plastic apron.  That’s an insight that I’ll soon learn to appreciate.  Finally, the dog is found cowering in a corner of our bedroom.  He’s lifted and carried to the laundry where he’s placed on a towel on the bench.  You see I know how to do this.  I’ve been here before.  So has the dog.

When I start combing him it’s a bit like Tom Robert’s “Shearing the Rams”.  His coat is teased, pulled and stretched until there’s almost enough hair to throw onto the classing table.  Our rule of thumb, as it were is to look at the tangled hair and guess how many new dogs we could get out of that.  This time it was about three.

I began to fill the laundry trough and in consideration for the poor little beast I mixed both hot and cold water until I thought it would come up to his belly.  My first mistake followed.  As I took one hand from his back to test both the temperature and depth he saw a chance to escape.  He jumped, leapt is probably a better word, attempting to soar over my shoulder.  Being confused by this I too leapt back upsetting the bucket of warm water I’d left on the floor for rinsing him off.  The floor was now slippery and I found myself skating as if on ice. I caught him just before he escaped into the rest of the house.  When I returned him to the laundry bench I was pretty wet and he was pretty dry.  So much for a plastic apron! Although it was useful later.  I gently lowered him into the water and began to pour the remaining water over him before lathering him up with pooch shampoo.  When he seemed pretty clean he was rinsed and I pulled the plug from the trough.  Both he and I know the next bit fairly well.  The task is to get him back on the bench and throw a towel over him before he starts to shake himself.  His view of the task is to shake himself before I get the towel over him.  Guess who won? It didn’t matter much because I was wearing the plastic apron.

I reached out to the cupboard for another towel which seemed to quieten him.  I realized we were friends again when he turned to me a gave my nose a hot, sticky lick.  My really smart trick is to then use a hair drier to give him a blow wave. This time I’d forgotten the hair drier so I asked my companion to get her drier, plug it in and the job could proceed.

“Not with my hair drier”, was her response.  That’s strange because I don’t think I’ve ever seen her use the thing.  When she came back with my hair drier we could start all over again.  By the way I need a hair drier because of my mullet.

The dog tolerates the hair drier because he knows his ordeal will soon be over, but even so every time I pause to check the progress he shakes again in a sort of tit for tat revenge. It’s remarkable how quickly a dog can be combed, washed and dried although I take a little longer.

It’s at this point that my companion appears at the laundry door.  “Oh, you’ve finished “she says.  I’d just like to tell you that I’ve just made an appointment with the dog groomer for next week.”

What about my mullet?

John – Editor