Bad Hair Day

Los Angeles Dodger closer Brian Wilson, August 2013
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports / Howard Smith

Occasionally when I encounter something new (new to me, at least), for days or weeks afterwards that thing will seem to randomly pop up everywhere — on TV, in news stories and in conversation. Eventually, it will feel like Kismet.

Sometimes it’s a buzzword, the newest one at my office being “unpack”, which apparently means to explain something in more detail, as in “can you please unpack that a little?”.  These days, I’m finding that at least one person uses that phrase in every meeting I attend.  And unfortunately, I attend a lot of meetings.

It can also be a book, a place or some piece of totally random news that folks keep bringing up as part of idle chit-chat.

“I was listening to NPR the other day, and someone was talking about these crazy crop circles…”

This week, the topic everywhere was… razors.  Specifically, companies that sell razors and razor blades in bulk, online.  I’m not surprised that they exist, although I have never heard anyone mention them before.  It’s probably economical, since men who shave every day go through a lot of razors.  And razors are small, so unlike toilet paper or diapers or gallon jugs of olive oil from Costco, it doesn’t take a lot of space to store a year’s worth.

Online razor retailers weren’t exactly newsworthy until… Brian Wilson, a.k.a. B. Weezie, also known as the Beard… and the former closer for the San Francisco Giants.  This week, co-founder and president of 800Razors.com, Philip Masiello, offered the Weezer $1 million to shave off his beard — a sum equal to his recent one-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers (hiss).

Wilson turned him down, which is either brave or stupid.  I’ve not yet decided.  In fact, he kind of thumbed his nose at the idea by wearing a hideous scrunchy thing in his beard at his next outing.  What was that about?  It’s not like his beard is fly-away and lacks density.  It’s more like a garden hedge, and even in an F5 twister that thing is unwavering.

The day after Brian Wilson declined the offer to double his salary – and thereby failed to recapture his place among the world’s dreamiest baseball players — I attended a professional webinar about effective storytelling in advertising.  One of the examples provided to demonstrate how humor in advertising can generate engagement was from another razor retailer DollarShaveClub.com, which has a tagline of “Our Blades Are F***ing Great”.

So is this video.  If Brian Wilson had seen it, do you think he would have laughed… and then reached for his shaving cream?

Red Morphsuit

Get Your Morph On!

I thought I’d seen (and unfortunately, smelled) everything at my local gym. I’ve encountered 40something men in stinky fraternity t-shirts so thin and frayed you could read fine print through them, and women in get-ups so outrageously revealing I expected to see dollar bills sticking out of their oh-so-low waistbands. But today I observed something that sent me running to Google immediately after my workout: a personal trainer wearing a bright green Morphsuit.

I didn’t recall ever seeing a Morphsuit before, except on members of Blue Man Group. I knew the name only because it was printed in large letters across the trainer’s derrière. I assumed it must, in some way, promote more efficient burning of calories. But why did it need to cover her hands… and at times, her entire head?

Prepare to be amazed! Morphsuits provide no discernable athletic benefit. They are intended to produce nothing more than attention for the person wearing them. (Mission Accomplished!) That’s great if you are on stage at the Venetian in Vegas… but maybe not ideal if you are standing next to your client, who is paying $100/hour for the privilege of grunting and sweating her way through TRX training while you watch.

You’ll be relieved to know that you can “breathe, see and even drink through” Morphsuits, which explains how the Equinox trainer could wear one, and still pounce like a drill sergeant whenever her client appeared to be slacking during her workout.

The suits come in plain colors, and patterns such a camouflage and tie-dye. For Morphmen and Morphwomen who need to carry cash or a Muni pass, fanny packs are also available.

MLB baseball pitcher Brian Wilson, of the San Francisco Giants, arrives at the 2011 ESPY Awards in Los AngelesThere are flag Morphsuits (Alba gu brath, Scotland Forever!), and even a black tuxedo Morphsuit.  Wait, hang on. It’s all coming back to me. I HAVE seen a Morphsuit before… on Brian Wilson at last year’s ESPYs! The fact that I haven’t run across a one since July suggests that, even with B-Weezy owning the look, Morphsuits have failed to set the world on fire (despite being synthetic and highly flammable).

Still intrigued? You can consult the handy Morphsuit FAQs online. They address such burning concerns as how a wearer might zip/unzip the suit without assistance, and how to respond when someone asks to have his/her photo taken with you, while you are Morphed.

I hope the Equinox trainer takes her cue from Brian Wilson, and makes today’s Morphsuit experiment her last. She’s in great shape, but the suits are unforgiving to say the least. Unless you are a 6’2”, 200 pound closer with legs like redwood trunks, buns of steel and an arm like a cannon… a 100% Lycra body stocking with words across your backside is not a good look for you.