We began designing hair dryers back before the gun style was introduced, even before the development of the bonnet with the plastic belt hitch that helped you dry your hair and vacuum at the same time. In fact, we started out before the concept of towel drying, at a time when people dried their hair by sticking their heads out the window. Since then we’ve been allowed to design 1,139 models, both in and out of the sanatorium.
The first dryer we produced had a broad handle and a soft, feminine look, and, in fact, we needed only three attempts before we came up with “Myra,” the hair dryer shaped like a voluptuous woman. Our company, Mr. Dry, didn’t like where the hot air blew out, and when we refused to change it they had us put away.
After the treatments we designed a dryer with a different concept much more sedate and, well, psychotropic. In, fact, it was a hair dryer that looked like a giant Thorazine capsule, because, well, that was all we thought about in those days. It was cordless and had a cylinder that was half red and half clear, with white stuff inside. We ran into mechanical difficulties when the hot air blew inward and melted all the wiring.
When we got out, we decided, Damn it, let’s have a little fun. People are supposed to enjoy themselves while drying their hair, and we’re going to help them. In a frenzy we went to Macy’s and smashed all the hair dryers on the floor, and after Mr. Dry paid the bail we came up with a new model. Look, the brush element snaps on and off. And the comb element, see, you can snap that on and off too, and it also has a removable roller element. The handle snaps off too, and so does the motor.
After the Macy’s incident Mr. Dry decided that we should lie low for a while in a place like India, so they shipped us off with only our Japanese watch and told us to come back with some new designs.
Not one person we met during our stay in Calcutta had ever used a hair dryer, but they did have this marvelous philosophy where you sit around all day and think about just one thing or a sound or a word.
We thought about hair dryers not sometimes, but every minute of every day until they notified us of the hearing. The result was Essence of Hair Dryer. Of all the 4.5 billion people on this planet, we were chosen by God to create the ultimate hair dryer, and I’m telling you, this one is a beauty. Look at it–it’s simple yet it has a lot of detail. Look at the way the nozzle attaches to the body. It screws on like a light bulb. And the on/ off switch isn’t cluttered with a lot of confusing speeds like low, medium, and high. The switch is simple and direct on, off.
The day we returned from India, the judge ordered us to the home. They were very nice to us there, and to keep us quiet they gave us their entire collection of cardboard tubes from paper towels, mostly, and toilet tissue. Despite the treatments, we soon realized that the tubes reminded us of blow dryers. We liked playing with them, and the doctors encouraged us to pretend that we were drying our own hair, and they kept asking us how our mother felt about personal hair-care products. We began to feel and to relate in ways we had never dreamed of–if you reversed two tubes and had the air blow into your sleeve, what would that do? What if you took two small, three medium, and four large tubes and connected them to a lawn mower could you style your hair and cut grass at the same time? The ideas obsessed us until we arrived at the final product: a hair dryer that was nothing but different-sized paper tubes. It was a dryer we fell in love with. It was a dryer we wanted to do illicit things with. And in the end it was a dryer that spoke to us. That was when they took it away. Mr. Dry told us it sold very well in the stores, and that made up for every minute of the electroshock therapy.
After they found out that the electroshock had destroyed half of our brain cells, Mr. Dry thought we should design a dryer that expressed our sense of fun at having the mind of a six-year-old again. So we fashioned a dryer that was nonintellectual, illiterate, and, in the words of the television commercial, “fit for an idiot.” The excitement of youth shows in what we called it–“Baby Blow,” the little one, the one that leaves your hair wet no matter how long you stand there holding it to your head. We’ve projected the feeling of youth right through to the picture on the package a picture of a man drooling.
We find that people are very sensitive about their personal hair-care products and in particular that they want to have an enormous emotional high when grooming. For them it’s not just a matter of fixing the hair. It’s plugging into the cultural voltage of a whole generation.
Sometimes when we think about our accomplishments, we have to step back and say, “We have not created Truth or Beauty or even disposable neckties.” But let us not forget that we have created the Mr. Dry 901 and that people respond to it on a daily basis. And we know that how well the dryer works doesn’t matter, as long as it brings a little style into the home.