Those of you familiar with my good friend and former travelling colleague, Varwell, may be aware of his somewhat unconventional mullet world tour. This, in a nutshell, is Varwell's single-minded quest to visit every place in the world with the word "mullet" in it. Foreign translations also count, apparently.
Varwell has been doing this "hair-brained" (to quote every single piece of journalism so far published about him) mission for some years now, and is now impervious to people asking him quite why he's pursuing this goal. His response to those who ask him "have you nothing better to do?" is far more reasoned than my own, which would just be to stick my fingers up at them. The sort of people who ask this question are the sort of unimaginative plebs who have lost their souls to television, and can't conceive of spare time being used elsewise. Why climb a mountain, why send a telescope into space, why build an elaborate train track in your attic: because we can. I'll vote for active endeavour any day over passive vegetation. And although I think Varwell's mullet mission is ridiculous, I think it's ridiculous in the most sincerely wonderful way.
That Varwell has attracted a degree of media attention for this is not altogether surprising; news needs its "And finally..." stories. But many seem just a little disappointed that despite Varwell's great enthusiasm for the mullet hairstyle (perhaps a growing admiration for the fish too), he doesn't sport one himself.
Not any more...
You see, many years back, when we had just met, and I was some callow beardless youth and Varwell was a political monomaniac, Varwell sported a far less trim hairstyle than today. Tangled, long and stringy wouldn't be unfair descriptions, but fierce debate has raged for years now as to quite what form the "long" took. Varwell will insist his hair just simply wasn't cut often, but I - and many others - believe something quite different: Varwell had a mullet.
And just a couple of days ago, I stumbled upon the photo I knew existed, the infamous "Varwell mullet" photo. Taken in either 1996 or 1997, I don't know if he's ever seen this picture, though he has always strenuously denied the accuracy of the contents.
And, well, I think it's best you see for yourself.
(click on the picture for a closer look)
To the left you have a very cherubic looking Joe Guyan, then we have Imray, standing tallest is Varwell himself, then it's someone who apparently was once me, then it's Green , and at the bottom, looking incredibly smarmy, is the reclusive insomniac Robert Graham, who I'm told is still alive to this day. It's hard to believe none of us had girlfriends back then, isn't it? But let's focus on Varwell.
Now, I know exactly what he will say - "it was just long hair" - but is it really? Just look, at the front, hanging just below his eyebrows, at the back, touching his shoulders. Indeed, clearly shorter at the front than at the back: hallmarks of a mullet. The truth is, that underlying this entire epic quest, is the deep-seated, perhaps subconscious, dark truth that Varwell himself used to sport a mullet, and this entire trip is to exorcise these demons of the past.
It is believed that other, even more convincing, photos of this period may exist.
I think little more needs to be said. Varwell, I await your response.