Wednesday, December 07, 2005

It's sucking my will to live!

When I was 11 or 12, my mom bought me a Flowbee (a.k.a. Suck Cut) haircutting device for Christmas. If you've ever seen Wayne's World, you'll know basically what I'm talking about. It was the worst Christmas present I ever got.

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The way it was supposed to work is it sucks your hair into the tube, the person cutting determines how much hair should go in, presses a button and cuts. The Flowbee website says you can give yourself a full haircut in five to 10 minutes, and you don't have to clean up afterward because the hair goes in the vacuum. The best line from the website is: "The Flowbee is so neat and efficient that you can give yourself a trim just minutes before a party or that important business meeting!" Hmmm.

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Interesting idea. Bad execution. And I don't think that guy is really cutting his hair. He looks too calm, but that could be a pained grimace. I'm a little thrown off his early 1990s haircut, weird green shirt, quasi-porn mustache and the fact he looks like Randy Johnson.

To picture what enduring the Flowbee was like for me, you must remember what happened to Garth in "Wayne's World." I believe his exact quote when Wayne used the Suck Cut was, "It's sucking my will to live." Basically, that's what it did.

Dad sat young me down in the chair and went to work. It failed. The thing sucked my hair up into the nozzle and got stuck. I cried out something to the effect of, "Ow! It hurts! Stop!" And it cut. Oh, it cut all right. It cut just enough to make me look like a freak. In those days, my hair never was particularly well done anyway, but after that episode, I had to go to the barber to get it fixed as well as it could possibly be fixed.

Mom, being her normal difficult self, said that it wasn't the machine's fault it didn't work. It had to be the operator. She wanted to try it herself, but I wouldn't allow it. Thankfully, it was returned. Or broken into a million pieces and burned. That latter would have been more favorable.

(Side story about my youth and bad hair experiences. When I was in fifth grade, my dad took me to a barber shop in Plainfield where they had done a good job before. However, the second time, they cut the lower part of the back of my head a lot shorter than anyplace else, and it looked like a haircut a lot of the girls at school had at the time. That was a fun experience. Dad wasn't too happy. I wasn't too happy. My enemies, they were happy.)

The invention of the Flowbee was a dark day in haircare. It is amazing that it is still for sale. Even more amazing is that it costs $59.95. I am sure that if I watched enough late night television, I would run across an infomercial for it right alongside the miracle hair remover device where they show the guy with the massive backhair.

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