The mullet

Finally, someone put a funny name to that two-tiered, bi-level haircut that's short on the sides, kind of short on top and long in the back: a mullet. Mark Larson, a 48-year-old Huntington High School grad who now works as an art director in the city, has to take the credit— and the blame— for devoting a clever new book from Bloomsbury Publishing to what its publicists call "the ugliest of possible 'hair-don'ts.' "

The Mullet: Hairstyle of the Gods, which Larson co-authored with Barney Hoskyns, traces the roots of the 'do to such style-setters as David Bowie, Suzi Quatro, Andre Agassi (once upon a time), Barry White, Eric Idle and Larry Fortensky. He could have also mentioned ex-baseball player John Kruk and any number of hockey players and lesbian-bar habitués as well. The authors also devote some charming pages to the haircut's namesake, the land mullet, a swift-moving lizard. It looks more like a weasel, but apparently it's also somewhat like John Tesh as well, because Larson notes that the mullet "likes sunsets and long walks on the beach."

But don't believe everything you read. The book presents a photo gallery of just plain Joes and Janes with fashionable mullets. Among them are a fun couple identified as "Mitzi and Marty, department store buyer and dentist, Ronkonkoma, New York."

Well, gee, Mark, could we speak to these two fine representatives of the Mullet Generation? No, we can't. It turns out that "Mitzi and Mark" don't really exist. They're just models named Andy and Eliza. And they were wearing hairpieces, not real mullet 'dos.

"These are actually friends of ours portraying characters," Larson tells us. He claims deadline pressure forced him to fudge all the details of all the photos in that section of the book because the pictures were taken during a one-day shoot with feverish applications of wigs, fake names, occupations and places. "Ronkonkoma," he says, "has a nice onomatopoeia."

Larson insists he went mullet-hunting at a half-dozen malls, in hopes of finding real people to put in his book. But there were so many to choose from— the Mullet Deluxe, the English Mullet, the Latin Soccer Mullet, among many others. "It was difficult to get that well-rounded of a group together," he admits.

Of the fudging in his epic tome, Larson says, "Take this as an allegory."

But what are we to make of the fact that neither Larson nor his wife sport the 'do? "My wife has actually promised," Larson says, "that if we make a million dollars off the book, she'll grow a mullet."

 
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