I was at the mall the other night. So you know this story is going to involve one of the following:
A) Disaffected—but not so disaffected as to be at the mall—adolescents gratuitiously pawing each other outside of Hot Topic. (To whom I would say, "Kids, why don't you go home and stick safety pins through your ears or someting.")
B) A boy-child sporting the most unfortunate of hairstyles: the rat tail.
C) A rockin' Alfred Dunner ensemble on sale at Kaufmann's.
And the answer is clearly B.
There's much mockery and ironic glorification surrounding the mullet, so the rat tail is often overlooked. I call attention to it not because I find it deserving of ridicule on par with the mullet. But because, all too often, this haircut is something PARENTS DO to their children.
Some hairstyles can be accidental, unintentional. Rat tails are most certainly a premeditated crime—and child abuse, nonetheless, as Leslie noted. Rat tails are cultivated. Through the assigned hairstyle, parents say, "Son, you're gonna be SOMEBODY someday." Somebody like a CARNIE or a guy who wears tank tops with the armholes down to the waist.
Next time I go to the mall, I'm bringing a pair of scissors.