Earlier this year I went to the hairdresser's and asked them to sort out my barnet. I told them that if they could see their way to integrating the different tiers of the lank and straggly mullet I had somehow managed to acquire, that would be much appreciated. A bit of sleight of hand - or more correctly, "legerdeciseaux" - was duly deployed, but what made the biggest difference was the flamboyant blowdrying exercise, which miraculously jeuged up my hair into a blowsy edifice, perilously secured in place by a fine but glutinous mist. My hair was freshly washed, yet looked greasier than when it was dirty. That is the effect of the "product", without which none of this sticky spun candy floss effect would have been possible. Do I mean spun candy floss? Actually, that might be more for your backcombed beehives. Anyway, you can read more about the original transformation and its link with avocados, salt and Hawaii here.
Studying my reflection in the mirror at home, I decided that the hairstyle I had accidentally come away with had vague echoes of Katie Puckrik's curly bob, as seen in this latest video review of Marc Jacobs Bang: a kind of "Mock Puckrik", if you will, or "Muckrik" for short. Though as you may infer from the reference to hay in the title, it was very much "mock" in the sense of travesty. After all, mock turtle soup is traditionally made here with calf's head and feet, which sounds like a mockery of even mock turtle.
Yes, my hairdo, whilst faintly reminiscent of Katie's in terms of cut, was markedly inferior in terms of its wave definition and staying power. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that the true Puckrik involves spectral rollers, supplemented by an arsenal of volumising products.
My money is on one or all of the following, which sound as though they would kick the crap out of any fine, flyaway, limp or otherwise disobedient strands of hair they found cowering behind an ear or, God forbid, trying to flick out in the wrong direction:
•Rene Furterer - Anti-Dehydrating Structuring Mousse - Strong Hold
•Kerastase Resistance Bain Volumactive Shampoo/Mousse
•Helene Curtis ThermaSilk Volume Infusing Mousse
•Suave Professionals Amplifying Shampoo
•Pantene Pro-V Full & Thick Collection
But there again, Katie may just eat burnt toast.
Right, so my new hairdo may be a pale imitation of the real thing, but it is an improvement on the early feathered "Quatro" that was there before, which felt so right in 1974 - a time when even silver jumpsuits were no more of a head turner than a chunky knit coatigan today. I have been back to the salon twice and asked for it again by name - well, I've asked for a "Puckrik" rather than a "Travesty", obviously. Which reminds me of the time my mother sent me to Sainsburys to buy her a lemon. "Not just any lemon", she called after me. "Bring me back an 'epitome' of one." From that time to this, I only ever buy epitome-type lemons - you know, the ones with symmetrical knobbles at either end and a perfect Bronnley's lemon soap shape.
Reverting to our hairy story, Katie is aware of my low level trichological stalking behaviour, and seems reasonably relaxed about it. Possibly because the "Mock Puckrik" is frankly too poor a parody to pose a real threat of clashing coiffures. The 5500 mile distance between LA and The Midlands must also be a comfort. Moreover, even if Katie were ever to be based in London again, our locations would still not be particularly close, and remain separated by a perpetually congested section of the M6.
By a spooky coincidence, while looking just now for a photo of me in 1974 to see what sort of hairstyle I DID wear that year, I found this snap of my second cousin forklifting me into the air on bales of hay . It is hard to make out the exact cut I had back then, but it looks to me like some kind of overgrown and wayward pageboy with the side parting from hell. My cousin appears to be sporting a curly mullet.
So it seems as though I have at least had consistently bad hair down the ages. A "mane manqué", if you will...
Mr Bonkers has just come in to take a look at this post, while waiting for his evening meal to go ping. "What has all that got to do with perfume?" he inquired imperiously. "Ah, because it is about mine and Katie Puckrik's hair, and she is a perfume pundit. That's the equivalent of you wearing the same Spiderman T-shirt as Victor Wooten - you know, the one you saw him play in and really liked."
"Ah", said Mr Bonkers portentously. "....But I didn't."
Photo of mock turtle soup from Wikimedia Commons, photo of Suzi Quatro from cbgb.com, photo of Victor Wooten by Eric Tinsley, other photos my own.