Sterling Ambivalence (sterlingnorth) wrote,
Sterling Ambivalence

True Confessions! A Girl's Hair is Her Life!

That is the English title given to one of the first episodes of a strange but popular cartoon from Japan, Ranma 1/2. The episode is a conclusion to a cliffhanger, meaning you're already thrown into the action. In the middle of a fight between our protagonist Ranma and old-friend turned estranged rival Ryoga, which eventually evolved into a fight between Ranma and fiance by parental pre-arrangement Akane, Akane shouts to Ranma, "I want nothing to do with you." Less than a split second after this happens one of the blades from Ranma and Ryoga's fight slices off a substantial part of Akane's hairdo. Time actually freezes for a moment while Akane processes what has just happened. She stands there frozen, as a concerned Ranma waves her hand in front of Akane's face to try to snap her out of it. "I think she's in shock."

"Of course she is," a female classmate retorts matter-of-factly, "caught in public with her hair cut like that! I'd bet you'd be in shock, too if it happened to you. You should know that; you're a girl, too!"

The joke in that exchange is that Ranma doesn't know this. Ranma is a girl, only because of a curse he contracted through an accident involving a cursed spring. Now, whenever he gets splashed with cold water, he metamorphs into a woman. The upshot is that the affliction is only temporary, for hot water will change him back. The downshot is now his male form is only temporary as well, simply because of the ubiquity of cold water. If you don't know much about the show or the manga it is adapted from, Google will be a very good friend to you.

Looking down to her chest to verify that she is -- well -- still a she, Ranma quickly stammers, "Sure... yeah... a girl's hair is her life."

A few moments later, Ryoga comments later that Akana "wasn't cut or anything."

To distract the audience from a few questions Ranma didn't have easy answers for, (When the fight started, Ranma was male. He had gotten doused with water during the fight, but it happened outside of the view of the crowd.) Ranma launched into girl-mode act while directing attention to Akane, and off of MIA boy Ranma. "She wasn't cut, but her hair just got the cut of its life."

Anyway, I saw that scene as a comedic exaggeration, until I saw what happened on Que Locura! this morning. Que Locura! is a hidden camera/prank show, much like Candid Camera or Punk'd! From my understanding, the victims of Locura are people famous in Hispanic entertainment. In this prank, a beautiful girl comes to a salon to get her hair washed and styled. The stylist however fakes a problem. While "washing" the hair, she intermingles some fake hair with the real. So after a while he pulls out this phony hair, thus leading the unsuspecting woman to believe that the creams and shampoos they just put in her hair are causing it to fall out. This traumatizes her immensely. After some crying and yelling, she begins to attack the people who were working on her hair. She grabs the hair stylist by coat, and slams him to the styling sink and dumps the same chemicals into his hair. Now a whole host of people are trying their hardest to tell the woman that her hair is fine and this is just a horrible prank done for television. She's not believing any of this. Now when the stylist again tries to reassure her, and to wash out the fake chemicals with water, the woman attacks him again. She grabs him again by the shirt, slams him against some support beams in the building, and scratches him and kicks him several times for good measure and once again slams him back into the stylist's chair by the sink. It requires the entire film crew to reveal themselves to show that nothing is wrong with her hair. Fortunately, in the end everybody involved managed to break out into laughter, though I am sure the guy with the scratches and bruises will think twice before ever volunteering to play a hairdresser.

Lesson for the day: Never, ever mess with a woman's hair.
At least as a black man, I have the option (which I exercise) of simply shaving all my hair off every three weeks or so.

Now, why did I choose this as the subject to break my sabbatical with? I didn't feel like writing anything substantial, and anyway I think I've forgotten how to write.
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