Anybody remember the Mactac of the 60s and 70s? Maybe you knew it by another name, but it was all the same thing: adhesive-backed vinyl printed with colourful graphics.
I suspect that people with taste avoided Mactac like the plague it was; but out in the sticks where I grew up, the only taste we had was in our mouths. Every questionable surface in our house got covered with either woodgrain print or sparkly gold paisley on white.
It actually looked okay for a while. But then the adhesive deteriorated and the vinyl curled up, creating tattered edges that looked as though rodents had been gnawing them and leaving a sticky residue that defied any attempt to clean it off or reglue it.
My love affair with Mactac faded when I realized that it inevitably suffered a slow and ugly demise, and the last time I applied adhesive-backed vinyl to anything was in the late 70s.
Until this week.
We needed a cheap-and-cheerful solution for a kitchen backsplash until our construction budget recovers enough to upgrade our kitchen counters. So the other day I was walking through the store when some pretty glass tiles caught my eye, for less than half the price I’d expected.
Yep, adhesive-backed vinyl had reared its deceptively attractive head. It’s even embossed with grout lines like real glass tile, and it’s insanely sticky.
I succumbed. I’m really hoping it doesn’t curl up and die like the old-school stuff.
That blast from the past made me think about other oldies that are new again… like the mullet haircut. If you’re not familiar with the mullet, it was an 80s hairstyle trimmed short around the face and ears, with the rest of the hair left long in back. The instant the 80s were over everyone restyled their hair and pretended they’d never worn a mullet. Overnight, it went from a fashion statement to a joke.
I had a mullet haircut back in the 80s, and I even wore it for a while after everybody else started laughing about it. I loved that haircut. It was comfortable and practical: I had the long hair I loved, but it wasn’t in my face. I still don’t understand why it became so universally despised.
But apparently it’s in style again for young male hipsters and Millenials. So I wasn’t unfashionable; I was only a few decades early… and the wrong gender. Details, pshaw.
On to our next M-word: Manure. We got a giant load for our garden so of course I had to share it with you, my beloved readers.
Why, you ask? (I’m hoping that’s a ‘why?’ of guarded curiosity, not an anguished cry of ‘oh, sweet Lord, why?!?’)
Well, it seemed appropriate since I’m usually full of shit; but ultimately it’s because I couldn’t resist the punchline:
Mactac, mullets, and manure… you don’t want to get any of them on you.