Like a Stunned Mullet

And just like that, my new favorite phrase has found me.

I read an article today about how the Oxford dictionary is changing their definition of a siphon. As it turns out, the siphon works because of gravity and not due to of atmospheric pressure, as the dictionary has stated for 99 years. The physics lecturer who discovered the mistake and notified Oxford is quoted as saying, “My initial reaction was shock. I just stood there like a stunned mullet thinking how can this be?”

Yes, like a stunned mullet.

I feel like I should probably clarify something for those of you who are allergic to nature: While mullets are commonly featured on–along with their cohorts the rattails–they’re also a type of fish. This discussion refers to the fish, not the haircut. And now I’m going to insert a random picture of Captain Planet, just because the mullet thing reminded me of my favorite green-haired eco-friendly superhero. You were years ahead of your time, my friend. Except for the haircut.

Moving on.

In college I became friends with a girl who always carried a billy club in the backseat of her car. At first I figured this was her improvised substitute for a can of pepper spray. When I finally asked her why she carried it, I got an interesting lesson on how to anesthetize fish before hacking them into bits. One method involves a billy club and a penchant for brutality. MoMo, did you ever find that freeway fish, or do you still carry the billy club in case you come across it on the road one day?

Based on what I know, I figured the term “stunned mullet” has something to do with fishing. I found a chat room on the subject where someone posits that the term is Australian and another person claims that the mullet is a slow and easily caught fish. So I guess that just about answers it.

Perhaps the origin of the phrase isn’t very interesting, but I think the expression is absolutely hilarious. So the next time I catch you gaping open-mouthed at something I just dared to announce in public, I’m skipping deer in the headlights and upgrading your status to that of a stunned mullet. Then I might give in to my urge to bean you on the head with a billy club.


7 thoughts on “Like a Stunned Mullet

  1. Jameson

    Okay you’ve gotta tell us who it was that kept a billy club in her car trunk. Maybe just a teensy hint?

    It was one of those noisy Zetas that lived above us, wasn’t it?! I KNEW IT!


  2. Carl D'Agostino

    Could substitute clobbered clown, frozen frog, bent bug, or washed-up whale. I think the alliteration gets it catchy like a skunked skunk.


  3. I came here in search of an alternative to “deer in the headlights” for a story I’m working on…and I’m just too amused by “like a stunned mullet”. I’m seriously thinking of starting a weekly post on funny words and phrases I’ve read each week as this is the 2nd laugh-out-loud-disturb-my-pets one I’ve discovered in the last five days.



  4. Pingback: Pheasants, buzzards and Defra - Mark AveryMark Avery

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