Danny Tyree: Warning — Businesses blowing hot air
I read something in USA Today that really blew me away.
There’s an explosion of chains of chic hair salons that don’t trim hair, color hair or do manicures. They simply wash your hair, blow it dry and charge you around $35 for the privilege.
I believe in good ol’ entrepreneurship. I believe people should be able to spend their money as they choose (within legal boundaries). I believe if Samson lived today he would slap his forehead and tell Delilah, “You mean I could have settled for a blowout? Verily, my father begat a dummy!”
But the rabid eagerness of the customers smacks of what my mother (a master of frugality honed during the Great Depression) calls “just as happy as if they had good sense.”
I could smile and overlook the pampering if it was reserved for special occasions such as a bachelorette party. But the “blowout bars” are prospering through the patronage of giddy REPEAT CUSTOMERS.
Has the world really been dumbed down that much in the past 30 years? TV’s “That’s Incredible!” coined the phrase “Kids, don’t try this at home!” to deal with sticking your head in a lion’s mouth or jumping a motorcycle over a yawning chasm — not to warn us of “Lather, rinse, repeat.”
What else are we going to become too lazy to do ourselves? Will we establish sites for synchronized underarm deodorant application? Will we tell a specialist, “That intrigues me. Please arch my eyebrow for me”?
I am glad we live in a country with MEDICAL specialists, but if we get too used to minimalist ambitions for other jobs, America could be in trouble. Restaurants will start posting signs that declare “Employees must wash pinkie before returning to work.” Those homeless guys at the traffic lights will proclaim, “No, I don’t need a squeegee. I’m just going to charge for picking off every other yellow bug.”
One upside of the craze: if people are so easily parted from their money, youngsters should take new inspiration to hold fundraisers. All they need is a parking lot, a pressure washer and a leaf blower and they’ll pay for that community center or field trip in no time.
I know. The salons are catering to the whole “Girls just wanna have fun” mentality. And if the blowout salons are the one indulgence, that may be okay. But if it’s part of a frivolous PATTERN ... yes, girls just wanna have fun — and credit card companies just wanna haul your behind into bankruptcy court.
Patrons think it’s a great investment of time and money to get a “beachy” look. Funny you should mention the beach, because the president of the Drunken Sailors Local Number 753 recently remarked, “A blowout? Nah, I think we’ll invest in some nice municipal bonds.”
Blowout salons take great pride in helping women gain a self-assured attitude. In the old days, women gained a feeling of self-worth by rearing a well-adjusted family, flying the Atlantic solo, isolating radioactive isotopes or riveting a bomb that just might finish off Hitler. Now they gain a feeling of self-worth by sipping complimentary champagne, watching “Steel Magnolias” and yelling over the dryer, “What??? Yes, I’ve handled changing from ‘a trophy wife’ to ‘an atrophied wife’ just fine.”
Danny Tyree welcomes reader e-mail responses at firstname.lastname@example.org.