Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dumber Than a Box of Hair

My friend, also named Mel, uses the expression "dumber than a box of hair" to describe various people whom...well... at the very least, make choices that are annoying to her.

"Dumber than a box of hair" makes me laugh every time. It is right up there with "lost contact with the mothership" or "couldn't find their way out of a paper bag." (And everyone knows how much cats like paper bags. Don't try to tell me cats hang out so long in bags because they think they make cool forts.)

But back to the box of hair thing.

When I saw this article about people sending boxes of hair to clean up the Gulf oil spill, I though of my friend Mel and I chuckled.

According to an article in the Star Tribune:

"Nearly 200 hair salons and pet groomers are collecting their customers' hair -- or fur -- and shipping it to warehouses along the Gulf Coast. There, it's being stuffed into mesh booms that are slated to be dropped along beaches to absorb the ever-spreading oil slick from an offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico."

At first, I thought, "Sure, sign me up. Shave me silly." If I could help some fellow creatures not die a horrible toxic death, I would willingly go hairless. Not that I have much to offer in locks.

There is something appealing about thousands, maybe millions, of people and pets banding together to come up with a homegrown solution that has, so far, eluded scientists, government and corporations alike. We'll show them!

Then, I closed my eyes and pictured all those boxes of hair being shipped.

That is: thousands of individual boxes of hair driven to the post office or picked up by the UPS guys, flown to the Gulf, delivered to the warehouse to be assembled into thirsty hair booms. I followed them in my mind's eye as they are loaded up again, driven to the Gulf, loaded onto boats with motors and finally dumped into the nasty oily mess.

The mess which was caused by our collective, insatiable appetite for petroleum to run our cars, trucks, planes and boats.

Suddenly, the whole well-meaning idea seemed dumber than a box of hair.

6/1/10 Follow-up and see how the whole hair boom thing worked out at Daughter Number Three's post: Make it a Hair Boomerang.


  1. Did you hear the NPR story this morning on the estimates of how much oil per day is spewing? It's pretty likely it's 5 to 20 times as much as BP currently says it is.

    So let's use some more oil to send hair down there to stop it. Don't they have enough hair in the southern states adjacent to the Gulf to fill the hair bags?

  2. And I suppose it is like any charitable call - it is more about raising awareness and feeling like you are doing SOMETHING than the actual rate of return.

    So, should we go get bald? Our ailing postal service could use a boost.