Friday, January 28, 2011

Don't Drink the Kool-Aid

My 18 year old daughter wants to pursue a cosmetology license. I can’t really argue with her decision, because it’s something that interests her, and nobody is outsourcing those jobs.

There are several schools in our area that offer certification programs. Some are low-rent vocational schools, and some are snooty, fashionable and expensive. You can probably guess which one my daughter wants to attend.

The one she’s interested in is named for a well-known New York hairdresser, who has used his name recognition to franchise a branded curriculum all over the country. The school is known for its “method,” which is a rigid protocol for the practice of cutting and styling hair.

One of the primary requirements (in addition to the outrageous tuition) is that each student must purchase a “kit” of equipment and branded hair products for $2,000.

I recently attended an event with her, and we met a guy named Michael. He’s a trim, neatly-groomed man in his fifties who is a hairdresser with his own business. I peppered him with questions about the profession, while my daughter listened eagerly to his answers.

He asked which school she was planning to attend, and she told him. He grimaced and said, “Well that’s fine, but let me give you a bit of advice – ‘Don’t drink the Kool-Aid.’”

I glanced at my daughter and saw a facial expression that can best be described as “Huh?” I realized instantly that she had no idea who Jim Jones was. Fortunately, she’s a smart girl and kept her mouth shut.

We had a good laugh about it later in the car. It made me wonder what other expressions that make sense to me would be meaningless to people her age. So I tried out a few with a group of her friends.

“Sufferin’ succotash!” – They got this one immediately, because old cartoons are constantly recycled for new generations.

“I am not a crook!” – One kid got that quickly, because as he said, “They mentioned it on an episode of Family Guy.” So even new cartoons represent their primary source of information.

“We’re more popular than Jesus.” Finally, that one stumped them.

Can you think of any other good ones?


Bruce ... said...

a few other 'royalty free' quotes...

"put some schnizzz' on it"
(..for use in converational billiards..)

" nobody's mother...)
(add to just about any exclamation for added flair! )

(... give the bourgeoisie something to think about!)

Anonymous said...

Whenever some asks me if I'm carrying too heavy a load I reply in a thick sultry Russian accent. "I am built strong like bull moose" then I realize I have definately dated myself. - N

Joel said...

I occasionally use the phrase "Good stuff, Maynard!" when I'm serving food to the kids. So far none of them has even asked where it comes from. (The phrase, not the food.)