Simple Hair Necessities

Let us begin with a simple proof. If an item is dead, it cannot (or at the very least should not) be characterized as either healthy or vibrant. Hair is dead. Ergo, hair cannot (or at the very least should not) be described as either healthy or vibrant. Indeed, if at any point in your life the substance growing out of the top of your head takes on properties that necessitate describing it as either healthy or vibrant, I would suggest you have a problem and recommend that you consider killing it – probably with fire and preferably before it gets too belligerent.

This is what healthy, vibrant hair looks like.  As you can see, Itt is not something to aspire to unless one is creepy and/or kooky.

This is what healthy, vibrant hair looks like. As you can see, Itt is not something to aspire to unless one is creepy and/or kooky.

Likewise, if you’re thinking you can skirt these guidelines by purchasing some sort of organic toupee , I would like to point out the following: If your toupee is alive, it means you’ve probably purchased a Chia pet by mistake or, alternately, have become a habitat for some furry, scalp-dwelling, woodland mammal. In event of the former, I recommend Weed-B-Gone. In case of the latter, a high-powered rifle and your friend’s best William Tell impression.

…Whoops.

…Whoops.

But to return at length to our original argument, there is nothing that Pantene Pro V can do which a good coat of shellac could not duplicate. The ubiquitous shampoo and conditioner ads wherein they promise a Lazarus-style regeneration and/or Schwarzenegger-esque body for your skeletal insulation overlook the fact that the stuff streaming out of our skulls was never alive to begin with. To summarize, zero times any fruit-scented number is still zero. And short of using a bottle of Herbal Essences to make a pact with the dark gods, one should expect their hair to be approximately as dead and flat when they get out of the shower as it was going in.

Speaking of the shower, I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss shampoo commercials and their flagrant disrespect for the space time continuum. Nearly all shampoos are marketed the same. Two seconds into the ad, show the product. Six seconds into the ad, show naked woman applying the product. Remaining twenty seconds of the ad, switch to slow motion while the aforementioned naked woman tosses her hair about like Shrek’s Prince Charming.

Hair with body like a sumo wrestler.

Hair with body like a sumo wrestler.

Ladies, if time is slowing down while you’re in the shower, it doesn’t mean you’ve picked a good conditioner – it means you’re approaching the speed of light. As a kindness to the rest of us, please don’t abuse general relativity while in the shower – you use up all the hot water.

Now, if any are struggling with the concept that their hair is essentially beyond help, there is always the option to get rid of it. (And for those who are unwillingly going down that road, might I gently encourage you to take the plunge as opposed to embarking on a desperate attempt to save it? I trust I need not remind you that there has not yet been a comb-over created that doesn’t make the combee look utterly ridiculous.) Besides, many a celebrity is approaching sphere-bald with great effect. Men, look to Bruce Willis, Denzel Washington, or Jack Nicholson. Yes, I understand no one wants to look like Jack Nicholson, but… Alright, you know what, forget about it.  Just forget I said Jack Nicholson, okay? Bad example.

Laaaadies?

Laaaadies?

Women, I know I have a harder sell here, but every eighteen to twenty-four-year-old male will tell you Sigourney Weaver looked mighty fine in the first Alien movie. I’m just sayin’.

Ultimately, we should all have a more utilitarian approach to our hair. Is your head too cold? Then I recommend you produce a little more. Is your head too hot? Maybe go for a little less. Is your name Jack Nicholson? Maybe you should see if you can look like someone else. Granted, I doubt Jack could pull off Bruce Willis. Maybe he should try for Sigourney Weaver. It’d be a good move for him.

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Pi3

To Whom It May Concern*:

* “Whom”, in this case, refers to the gentleman who opted to open a pizza place in the exact location that previously held a pizza place and which prior to that contained yet another pizza place. 

I would like to begin with a summary of my qualifications, which won’t take long because I have none.  No doubt, given the skeptical tone indicated around the point where the asterisk was employed, you are expecting a long and weighty litany of references.  Evidence, if you will, that would attest to my ability to consume floundering business models and excrete something akin to profitability.*

*I have it on good authority that this was also the overarching design philosophy behind Windows Vista.

Nothing, however, could be further from the truth.  I am an English major, a creature whose life trajectory is sort of like one impeccably punctuated but fundamentally flawed decision still in the making.  That I feel comfortable, nay confident, enough to hop up on this here soap box in order to leisurely hector your business model ought to not just give you pause for concern but reason to panic.*

*An appropriate reaction upon encountering a computer running Windows Vista.      

To be fair, I might not have developed any interest at all in your merry little failure-in-the-making had you foresight enough not to agree to an interview with the local newspaper.  Or failing that, considered not mentioning to the interviewer that no bank in town was willing to give you a loan for your little venture.  You still seem confused as to why this was the case.  I think I can alleviate your confusion in 3.1 bullet points.

  • In the spot where your pizza parlor (P1) presently stands, there was previously a pizza parlor (P2), which closed for want of business.
  • Prior to the aforementioned previous pizza parlor (P2), there was yet another pizza parlor (P3) in the location your own pizza parlor now occupies (P1).  This parlor (P3) closed for want of business.
  • All the financial institutions you approached, unlike yourself, appear to possess some cursory amount of pattern recognition.
  • There’s also your confession to having owned a pizza place in town previously, which you “sold” – no doubt, as you tried unsuccessfully to convince the bank, because it was earning money at a rate too vast for you to spend.

In your defense, given the tenor of the interview to which you consented, there seemed to be some vague acknowledgement of the challenges of your situation.  Challenges, you insisted, that you would be able to overcome.  Your bold plan?  I quote, “Make really good sauce.”  Presumably because the last establishment’s use of glass shards and pea gravel was not drumming up the sort of repeat business they were hoping for.*

*And no doubt they were shut down because they weren’t using recycled glass. 

Even supposing your sauce is “really good,” and I’ve no doubt it will be, I propose an amateur SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) with an emphasis on the “threats” might serve you better than more oregano.  See, here’s the rub – from the front door of your establishment, I can turn my head to the left, raise my hand, and casually wave to the Domino’s delivery driver as he exits his establishment, boards his chariot, and sallies forth with both pizza and nationwide brand recognition.  By comparison, when I see a Geo Metro toodlin’ down the road with “Al’s” written on the side, my assumption is not that there is good pizza inside so much as, like a lost dog, the vehicle has been marked so it can be returned to its rightful owner in the event a stiff breeze carries it away.*

*Or a squirrel mistakes it for an acorn and buries it.

At one point, in Monty Python’s Holy Grail, there is a lengthy treatise about building castles in a swamp only to have them sink and necessitate the building of yet another castle.  When such seems directly applicable to your business model, perhaps it merits rethinking or, at the very least, a location more than five hundred feet from Domino’s.

Sincerely,

Rampage Productions Consulting

P.S. Your sauce is incredible.

P.P.S. That will not save you. 

P.P.P.S. Probably.

Stupidity Sells

As the proud possessor of a marketing minor, thus solidifying my major in cynicism, I have found that I have entered no man’s land in terms of target demographics. After being subjected to countless radio, television, newspaper, and bulletin board ads, I find that I am one of the elite race immune to modern day marketing tactics. Either our kind has reached the next rung on the ladder of human evolution (at the end of which we become shiny pinpoints of light that subsist on nutrient pills and Dostoyevsky novels), or the remainder of the populace has devolved back towards their drooling, primordial predecessors.

Yes, today’s marketing campaigns employ techniques that should be recognized by the most remedial of preschoolers as complete and utter poo. (“Poo,” of course, is the marketing industry’s technical jargon for the obtuse cluttering of available advertising media with sub-par material.) While nauseatingly simplistic in nature, there are, ironically enough, several categories of advertising rubbish (marketing industry technical jargon that serves as a synonym for “poo”).

First, there is the “down home” relational style of marketing. Students of this marketing philosophy believe that they can sell you anything if only they can convince you that they are your Great Aunt Bertha. They would have you believe that their employees are armed with a bevy of steaming apple pies to welcome you to the neighborhood. D’ya hear that deep, folksy voice and our charming use of the local vernacular? Not only can we relate to y’all, we’re just like you. When you buy gas from our stations, it’s like borrowing a cup of sugar from a neighbor – except we’ll throw in a pack of smokes (for a few extra bucks, of course). Hear that there country music in the background? Yep, we even listen to y’all’s myoosic. We’re not just a gas station – we’re family. Ayup.

Secondly, there is the “crazy Larry” advertising approach. This variety is most often locally (and cheaply) produced and believes itself to be riotously amusing, as apparently sometime in the course of recent human history, mental illness became a subject of vast, universal hilarity, and thus an effective example of the humorous advertising genre. This is Craaazy Larry from the downtown Crazy Larry’s Discount Furniture Blowout Super Store. Our prices are insanely low. Why? Because I’m craaazy. And you’d have to be craaazy to pass by these deals! Just remember, nothing says “quality” quite like Craaazy Larry.

Lastly, there is the “anything can be sold with babies and puppies” school of marketing. Regardless of product type, this school teaches that more of it could be sold if only something cute, fuzzy, and/or cuddly is slapped on to its packaging or commercials. Parasites devouring your animal’s flesh? This singing puppy will lift your spirits and de-worm your dog. Toilet paper feels more like sandpaper? These animated teddy bears crapping in the woods recommend the cottony goodness of Charmin. And, as with most things in America, bigger is better. Thus, if a baby with superior taste in flooring is cute on television, a gigantic baby head with a one hundred foot radius on a bulletin board is one hundred times cuter (and sells one hundred times more carpeting). Thus, this type of advertising should have its effectiveness measured in terms of the ratio of sales to bulletin board baby square footage. The effectiveness of this genre quickly dwindles, however, once one comes to the question of how, precisely, one feeds and diapers the body accompanying a one hundred foot baby head.

While the aforementioned marketing genres are perhaps a blight upon the illustrious marketing profession, we must at least lend their creators a nominally sized kudos, as they provide a public service of sorts. After all, who else could provide such a wealth of perpetual entertainment for misanthropes worldwide?