Thomm Quackenbush, author

göt2b inPLAY

BzzAgent sent me a package of hair styling product and I can't actually recall why I agreed to be a part of the göt2b inPLAY campaign. I think I just wanted to belong, which might justify too why people would consent to daily wearing some of the "styles" recommended on the website. Look at that umlaut and the strange capitalization. If that doesn't scream "Aren't we edgy?!", I don't know what does.

In full disclosure, I should say that I used to use a styling product, hereafter referred to as "the green puck". It was clear and apparently fruit based, though I cared more that it gave me the "piece-y" look my stylist assured me I wanted without weighing down my hair or making it too obvious that I was the sort of male that used hair product. Yes, it was slightly tacky when I ran through drizzle and Melanie insisted that she could tell when I used it, but it tamed my hair and prevented the top of my head from turning into a halo of fuzz. She eventually convinced me to stop using it - I can't recall how but will assume she followed the tactics taught to her by Lysistrata and implied there would be fractionally less sex in my future if I kept it up (quite the contrast from göt2b's suggestion that hair product would help me "get lucky") - and my hair soon obeyed by wishes of its own volition. My hair is slightly fluffier than I might otherwise prefer, but I am a guy and prefer my personal care to contain the fewest steps necessary.

All the same, BzzAgent had sent me the samples and I would certainly make the fullest use of them I could, which is to say, I would abuse their generosity for comedic effect. My plan was to use the styling putty for this and give the styling paste a workout when I went swing dancing that night.

The drawing on the packaging look like how Americans picture anime characters, hair with points that could kill. Remember, this is inPLAY, not inWORK. If you have your hair like this, you are not going to make it in the corporate world. However, I always need someone to act snooty when I am looking through the used CDs, so it isn't like you are utterly unable to make a living. And I am pretty sure that your pomade infused head will attract dust better than a mop, so you might want to consider renting yourself out to dowagers with attics full of cobwebs.

The putty is the white of elementary school glue and the texture isn't far off. The smell isn't bad, what I imagine a flower would smell like if designed by committee. I apply the contents of the envelope to my hair and instantly hate how sticky I feel. I cannot imagine putting this in my hair every day, nor how much it must cost to look like the faux anime characters. My camera is quickly sticky from snapping photos in between stylings. I try a variety of hair styles to find the one that is uniquely me.

For reference: normal hair

I'm a unitard!

[insert Dragon Ball-Z reference]

The Super-Saiyan has deflated

Tim Minchin

How u doin?

My darling, I do believe I may have to seduce you.

You can rub my belly for luck!

As portrayed by Crispin Glover

"I'm the best there is at what I do, but what I do best isn't very nice,"
also applies to hair styles.

After a much needed shower, I apply a conservative dollop of the paste to my hair. Even typing that I did such a thing sounds like madness, but how else will I get a fair estimate of the usefulness of this product if I don't put paste on my head? It isn't especially objectionable going on and I have hope that it will feel lightweight but controlled when I leave in a few hours.

When the time comes, I gingerly reach up and touch my hair, which feels stiff and sticky. I consider the doorknob, consider just continuing about my day as through I am use to feeling like my hair is woven from double-sided tape, but no. I cannot manage to leave my house with this gunk in my hair, which feels stiff and sticky. How can people walk about feeling like some preschooler with a palm full of glue ran her finders through their hair? I run my head under the tap in hopes of diluting it enough to feel as though I am clean, but it isn't enough. I end up having to wash and condition my hair again before I feel as though I can leave my apartment without embarrassment.

In the end, I give the remainder of the samples to Melanie, as I am positive she has friends who will like few things better than spiking their hair up very high and taking pictures.

So, you know, if that is the experience you are looking for, I unreservedly recommend göt2b inPLAY. It will make your head a sticky helmet and water has no impact on it (aside from renewing the stickiness).

Xen reviews goods and services in order either to receive free goods and services or to get money with which to procure goods and services on his own. Despite this, he intends to be honest and not write something that sounds like warmed over ad copy.
Thomm Quackenbush is an author and teacher in the Hudson Valley. Double Dragon publishes four novels in his Night's Dream series (We Shadows, Danse Macabre, and Artificial Gods, and Flies to Wanton Boys). He has sold jewelry in Victorian England, confused children as a mad scientist, filed away more books than anyone has ever read, and tried to inspire the learning disabled and gifted. He is capable of crossing one eye, raising one eyebrow, and once accidentally groped a ghost. When not writing, he can be found biking, hiking the Adirondacks, grazing on snacks at art openings, and keeping a straight face when listening to people tell him they are in touch with 164 species of interstellar beings.

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Works by Thomm Quackenbush


Find What You Love and Let It Kill You by Thomm Quackenbush
Pagan Standard Times: Essays on the Craft by Thomm Quackenbush
A Creature Was Stirring: A Twisted Christmas Anthology by Thomm Quackenbush
On Amazon
On B&N
At Double Dragon