When “That 70’s Show” premiered I was right there on the couch, Mountain Dew in hand, waiting to take a trip down memory lane. I was quick to discover though that almost anything can be ruined by the inclusion of Ashton Kutcher. See “Two and a Half Men”, Demi Moore and Nikon camera commercials for further examples. I tried to watch for a few episodes but just when it became entertaining, Ashton Kutcher would flail his way onto the screen and say something that the writers believed to be hilarious. To me it was like watching a retarded child at the zoo throwing peanuts to, say, tigers. The intention is good but there is no thought process behind it and ultimately it is pointless.
A few years later though I decided to give “That 70’s Show” another chance thanks to Netflix. I figured that since I had been exposed to so much Ashton Kutcher in the interim I could reasonably expect to ignore him and be entertained by the rest of the cast. It might not have been the most cunning plan in history but it worked well and I had a lot more laughs this time around. I was actually able to admire the effort the production designer put into making a believable 1970’s era home. So all was well until the episode where “Laurie” (Lisa Robinson Kelly) produced a can of Aqua Net hairspray to hose down Kitty’s hair. It was a current day can and not the can that would have existed in the 1970’s.
I was immediately able to enjoy a curmudgeonly sense of smugness that is normally only felt by movie critics and your Dad when you do something he warned you would cause grievous bodily harm. So I momentarily obsessed over Aqua Net and some of the memories that can holds for me. The most important being the ability of women in the 1980’s to sculpt enormous monuments to bleach on top of their skulls.
As a guy in the 1980’s I was not privy to the secret memorandums shared among women that directed them to wear hairstyles that could actually stick to the headliner of a car. So I am not certain when the trend started or why but I can state that I became instantly intrigued by the engineering skills of my female classmates. There was one young woman (who shall remain nameless) who became a local celebrity by creating a hairstyle that was actually wider than her shoulders. It looked rather like the style favored by “Alice” from the Dilbert cartoon strip except bleached blonde.
Perhaps my memory has been dulled by time or I am as “good taste” ignorant to this day as I was then, but I thought girls with huge hair were sexy as hell. I think it was similar to when a male Peacock fans out his tail in order to attract a mate. If I spotted an impressive display of board-stiff blonde hair sticking up out of the crowd, my mating instinct kicked right in. Of course since I was sixteen years old that same mating instinct could be brought about by stiff breezes, sounds, smells, stray thoughts and pretending to listen in math class. So perhaps we should not examine the correlation between big hair and arousal too closely.
Just for the sake of argument though, have a look at this example blonde from the 1980’s:
This is a perfect example of fantasy fuel for guys in the 1980’s. If it were not for the incredible holding power of Aqua Net hairspray we would have been denied spectacles such as the one above. She is a lovely girl but I can guarantee her sex appeal would take a serious hit if she flat-ironed her hair. All of my friends at the time firmly believed that the hotness of the woman was directly proportional to the amount of Aqua Net fumes she left in her wake as she walked by. If you need any proof that pheromone like reactions are possible in humans you need only allow a guy who lived through the 1980’s a quick sniff of Aqua Net. Or perhaps men are pigs who are easily aroused by the slightest thing. To which I have nothing to say but “oink”.
It was an especially wondrous thing to see on Friday and Saturday nights when we would go “cruising” around the local movie theater. You cannot imagine the sheer majesty of bleached blonde hair sticking straight up through sun roofs and T-tops and not displaying the slightest bit of motion. Now that I think about it there seems to have been a correlation between the size of a woman’s hair and the likelihood that she would be driving a Chevrolet Camaro as well.
I cannot number the times I was forced to wait for a woman to “touch up” her hairstyle. A process only slightly less involved than the creation of the Panama Canal judging by the amount of time it seemed to take. Eventually though she would emerge from the ladies room with large drops of Aqua Net still drying in clumps in her tresses and a very real fear of exposed flames. Then we would be off to whatever function was on the agenda.
Do you remember how I said earlier that those hairstyles could actually stick to the headliner of a car? I bring it up again because I have witnessed it for myself. In this particular instance my lovely date for the evening came to the car in a cloud of Aqua Net and once seated did not shift much for the duration of the ride for fear of mussing her hair. Needless to say the height of her hairstyle caused it to be coincident in space-time with the headliner in my grandfathers Ford LTD. So when we parked and I opened the door for her she left a surprising number of blonde hairs bonded to the maroon headliner. It also had the effect of comically skewing the remaining hair to her left. Being the gentleman that I was I withheld the bladder bursting guffaws until such time as she was out of earshot.
There were still blonde hairs stuck to that headliner months later. Aqua Net proved that even in that unlikely scenario its bonding power was completely unmatched. Sort of like its near mystical ability to transport me to another time and another place just by the mention of its name.
© 2012, Connor MacLeod. All rights reserved.