Next month is September, and the mullet of the month belongs to Delco.
Chris Cifelli of Wallingford and his nationally ranked mane are September's eye candy in the USA Mullet Championships' Official 2022 Calendar.
Yes, the championship is real and earned a wave of national press coverage for its youth division winners last week.
And Cifelli — whose mullet was top 20 in last year's contest, making him the only finalist from Pennsylvania — is going back for more this round.
We had questions for Chris about mullets and the mullet-verse: a surprisingly diverse subculture that keeps tiptoeing into the mainstream.
Our conversation has been edited for clarity and length.
PA Local: I'd like to start this conversation by noting that I had a rat tail, which I insisted on calling a pony tail, well into grade school.
Cifelli: I have also rocked a rat tail, even into early adulthood.
PA Local: Nice. But I chickened out and gave mine up in the fourth grade, and you very much leaned in. Why?
Cifelli: Honestly, I'm just a fan of absurdity. And the mullet adds a touch of levity to things. There's also a level of self-confidence it brings, because you have to have that "I don't really care what people think" attitude.
PA Local: Have people ever been weird about it? Do you ever perceive your mullet being perceived by strangers?
Cifelli: I try not to think about it. People say things to me like, "Every time you walk into the pool, you know you're there." And the bigger it is the more people notice it, good or bad. But I don't do it for them. I do it for me. Some people also just have a problem with men having long hair.
PA Local: You're a barber. How many mullet styles can you name?
Cifelli: There's a ton: Tennessee Waterfall, the Achy-Breaky-No-Mistakey, you got your Alabama Mudflap. The possibilities are endless. This year the competition is asking us to nickname our mullets, too.
PA Local: Ooh. What's your nickname then?
Cifelli: Because I'm in the Philadelphia area and lived in the city for a while, I was calling it the Freedom Flap.
PA Local: Magnificent. Can you reverse a mullet: business in the back and party in the front?
Cifelli: That's actually how mine started and once the back got long enough I flipped it.
PA Local: I keep reading about the mullet's pop culture resurgence (h/t Rihanna). As a mullet-haver of national repute, what do you think?
Cifelli: I think it's resurgent. I'm also apt to say it's never gone anywhere.
PA Local: Why do you think people keep talking about mullets and media outlets, like this one, keep writing about them?
Cifelli: I think with how much seriousness has gone on the last few years, it's become a catalyst for levity, for something happy. And it's always going to be there and pop up kind of when the general public needs it most.
PA Local: Like Batman...
Find info on the 2022 USA Mullet Championships here and check back for voting updates. The femullet, teen, and kids divisions have already closed.
—Colin Deppen, PA Local editor