Out of my cold, gelled hands

It was painful hearing Barack Obama dance around the issue of gun ownership at his town hall meeting last week. The U.S. president had to come across as anti-gun but not too anti-gun. It was like watching a dad tell the kids he’s super-chill but, hey, rules are cool, yo!

Among Obama’s revelations was that his wife Michelle told him that if she lived in a farmhouse, say in Iowa, far from the sheriff’s office, she would want a shotgun to protect her family.

First of all, I have a hard time picturing Michelle Obama living in a farmhouse anywhere. Secondly, I think the unwritten rule in Iowa is: if a criminal comes to your house, you just give him your chickens and send him on his way. Then you run him down with your tractor.

Mostly, though, as a Canadian living in a region that makes Iowa seem positively cosmopolitan, I can’t think of any circumstances where I would want to own a gun, with or without a long-distance sheriff.

This unfathomability is what sets off that Canadian self-righteousness about gun control and gun violence, when really we shouldn’t be smug about anything; our country was split in half this week because a single bridge was out.

Canadians don’t get the U.S. fixation with firearms because guns are not part of our culture, let alone our constitution. We don’t have the right to bear arms; we have the right to go curling on Friday nights.

What’s needed by Canadians to fully understand this issue is empathy. We need to imagine something in our own culture that we wouldn’t want taken away, something ingrained in who we are. Something like hair gel.

Douche, yes. Criminal? Not necessarily.

Douche, yes. Criminal? Not necessarily.

Now, I consider myself a responsible gel user. I keep my gel under lock and key. I’ve taken the gel instruction course. Consequently, I feel secure knowing that if someone breaks into my home, I can apply evenly to the perpetrator’s damp hair, work through from roots to the end, and leave to dry naturally or style as desired while I wait for the police to arrive.

Not only do I have the right to gel in my own home but I feel I have the right to gel in public. You bet I support open gelling laws. You never know when you might walk by an attractive person or be ambushed by a job interview or meet the First Lady coming off the farm. Some bad guy might be using gel in a stick-up. You need to be able to whip yours out, save the day, look fabulous. As the saying goes, a gelled society is a polite society. Gel is the glue that holds us together. Without gel, we lack fullness and definition.

There will always be gel. If you ban gel, if you take it out of the heads of responsible, do-abiding citizens, only criminals will own gel, and they will be much better looking than the rest of us. Is that the world we want to live in? I shake my head “no,” and not a hair moves out of place.

Yes, it’s true that every year thousands of people are accidentally gelled, but this is again because of irresponsible gel owners who leave their tubes lying around. It breaks my heart, it really does, when I hear of a young child picking up gel and, without knowing a thing about all-day extra hold, even in damp conditions, that poor child tragically does not avoid eye contact.

And sure, sometimes people have too much to drink, angry words are exchanged about bangs, someone ends up Alberto-ed. But that’s just a few bad hairstyles spoiling the scrunch. And remember, even without hair gel, the chances are just as likely that someone will wind up dread.

What all this suggests is we need to educate people better about hair gel, not ban it. This is where the so-called gel lobby can be so effective, teaching people the true facts about body and sheen and how gelling can save your marriage or disable a sales rep at ten paces or make you a better hockey player, or why it’s important to have 15 varieties of gel choices for every man, woman and child.

Yes, gel use is escalating astonishingly but that’s not because of gels themselves. That’s because of high winds caused by climate change. You can’t argue with science.

Obviously, there are differences between gels and guns, but I see now that, like gels, the battle for guns is all about control, even if it inevitably ends up down the drain.

About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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39 Responses to Out of my cold, gelled hands

  1. Ann Koplow says:

    Smart and hilarious. Thank you!

  2. Trent Lewin says:

    I’d like to see Obama tackle the gel issue… that would be awesome. Seriously, I had a dream the other day that the NRA assassinated Obama with handguns, then had a huge party on TV to celebrate. Most popular TV program ever. The sad thing is… I guess it could happen.

    Everywhere you wrote ‘gel’, I for some reason read ‘eel’. I might have a condition, or merely be drunk at 8 in the morning, but either way I laughed pretty heartily. Of course, when I sober up, I’ll reflect on this important gel issue. I might even go out and buy a tube, you know, just in case.

  3. Liz says:

    Oh my god, I nearly spit out my coffee when you came to the hair gel line. I really thought you were playing it straight this time! This is amazing.

  4. Ned's Blog says:

    Sometimes I wonder if allowing everyone to walk around with their gel holstered out in the open would be better than concealed gels. Like the cowboy days. If someone’s coif went off half-cocked, they knew they were surrounded by dozens of other gel-wielding cowboys who could pull out their Colt VO5s. Then again, there’s always the risk of being outgelled by someone like Harry Styles.

  5. maral44 says:

    For bald people across Canada, you might have to use the analogy of the electric razor (or dare I say, a tube of Rogaine) to get their empathy 😉

  6. byebyebeer says:

    What, you can’t picture Michelle milking cows with those biceps we’re always covering in the news? I’m American and I’m embarrassed. I bet farming sounds pretty good to the whole Obama family now.

  7. Love it! That farmhouse reference sounds like my place except its Michigan, not Iowa. Mrs. Obama would never survive! I don’t own guns or feel the necessity to do so and the sheriff ain’t right around the corner. But I do support gel use and have now trained my son to do the same! NO ONE IS TAKING OUR GEL AWAY!

  8. Elyse says:

    You know, if we in the US have as much gel as we have guns, well, heads will roll. Or explode. Because with all that goo on our hands, more gun mishaps will occur.

  9. And hairspray! It holds the gel in place, making it very easy to reload with one hand!

    Very witty post. 😀

  10. LRose says:

    New Yorker cartoon worthy!

  11. Hey, I grew up in an Iowa farm house and we never required a shotgun. All it took was an air pump rifle from Sears to convince the neighbor dog not to crap on our lawn. Bastard.

  12. List of X says:

    Hair gels are definitely just as dangerous as guns. If they weren’t, why would airport security confiscate both?
    And Michelle Obama definitely needs a shotgun if she lived with Barack on a farm, to defend herself if Barack comes to try to take away her gun.

  13. ksbeth says:

    ‘put down the gel, and walk away slowly….’

  14. It’s not just Canadians! I’m from here and *I* don’t get it, either! Guns make the powerless feel powerful. People shoot a gun and something biological happens. Once those endorphins are released, you need that high again and again. It’s too bad people can’t feel the same surge of power from something benign like baking cookies or stamp collecting.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      The only thing I ever got from firing a pistol was hearing loss. No joke.
      Didn’t you know? Stamp collectors often become… unhinged. #PhilatelyHumor

      • pinklightsabre says:

        It’s actually why I have tinnitus in my one ear, from getting off on those endorphins in the country w/o protection. Took several years to kick in but now that it has, Sonic Youth will never be the same, and I’ve had to swear off earbuds.
        This reminded me one of the things I first thought when I came upon your blog, so to speak: how the world needs more clowns. Line them up, stack them up one in front of the other, and you can save on bullets too.

  15. Karen says:

    How could you not include that iconic scene from the movie There’s Something About Mary when discussing gel guns gel? I’m guessing it’s ’cause you got too much class.

    I, on the other hand, . . .

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