There’s a Placenta for Us

I saw a hair-care product whose two main ingredients were henna and placenta. The name of this product: Henna ‘n’ Placenta. Obviously, originality was not a strong suit here.

Please note that the product is not called Henna and Placenta; it is called Henna ‘n’ Placenta. The ‘n’ gives it a much more informal feel, like a ’60s folk duo (“I’m Henna…” “…and I’m Placenta…” “…and we’re Henna ‘n’ Placenta!”). Why you would want to put a placenta in your hair is beyond me, but I’m glad the marketing department didn’t try to hide it from the consumer, which is what I would have done. I would have called it Henna ‘n’ Stuff, or I Can’t Believe It’s Not Placenta.

I wanted to know more about Henna ‘n’ Placenta, so I consulted our friend the Internet. The first logical step was to visit a beauty or hair-care chat room and ask the gals there what women might use Henna ‘n’ Placenta for. (I’m assuming it is not a men’s product. No man I know would put anything in his hair that came from a uterus.) (Well, unless a woman told him to.) I was also curious to know why the company didn’t call it Placenta ‘n’ Henna, like how Kraft used to call their macaroni and cheese, Cheese & Macaroni (“It’s the placenta-iest!”).

But Yahoo! (enthusiasm theirs) doesn’t have any beauty chat rooms. I could infer from this that people who spend time in chat rooms have no use for beauty tips, but I won’t. Anyway, instead I went to a German-language room, not because I speak German, but because I was writing a humor column, and I consider German a funny language. (It’s a good thing World War II ended the way it did. If I were speaking German now, I’d never stop giggling.) At the German chat room, I found this exchange, reprinted here verbatim:

candy4you_00: bin gegangen Uteeeeeeeeeeeee kurz nach dir
teufelchen_aus_hb: ja mill wo isser denn
jutze: als blumenarragnement
candy4you_00: lol ute
oregonsnow: haste ihn alleine gelassen?
teufelchen_aus_hb: und hanky hast du eine bessere idee
mahee_m: cool

I also noticed a person with the screen name “chrissy_luvs_da_wiggle,” which amused me but didn’t provide any answers. If someone’s name had been “chrissy_luvs_da_henna_’n’_placenta,” well, then we’d have been in business.

Undaunted, I continued my quest. Through the use of a search engine, I found “The Hair Market.” From this site, you can buy all manner of hair-related products, including one that contains ONLY placenta. This leads me to believe henna wasn’t all that useful anyway, like the two guys who hung on Sting like barnacles when he was in the Police.

The site gives this description of placenta: “The most powerful natural protein for the hair instantly restores life and luster to day brittle hair.” I don’t know what “day brittle hair” is, unless they meant “DRY, brittle hair.” Whatever the case, I finally learned why you would smear placenta on your head: It has proteins, and you’re crazy. Hast du eine bessere idee? Cool.

This column honestly began with my discovery of "Henna 'n' Placenta" at Albertsons. I was just going to write about it in passing in another column, but then I really did get curious as to placenta's uses. Everything else happened just the way I wrote it: I visited some chat rooms, I searched the Internet, I found an answer. So I really don't know whether this column is about the usefulness of the Internet, or about why people put placenta in their hair.

My pal Alicia (former business manager for the former Garrens Comedy Troupe) speaks German, so I had her translate everything before I used it, just in case any of it was filthy. Here's the translation she gave. I heartily encourage everyone who speaks German to waste a lot of space arguing, debating and nit-picking over how accurate she is, because there could not possibly be a more fascinating discussion than that.

candy4you_00: bin gegangen Uteeeeeeeeeeeee
kurz nach dir

candy4you_00: I left (Ute) shortly after you.
(Ute is probably someone's online name)


donnie_s_2001: yes, I am mimititti

teufelchen_aus_hb: ja mill wo isser denn

little devil from "hb": yes, where is mill then

jutze: als blumenarragnement

jutze: as a flower arrangement

candy4you_00: lol ute

candy4you_00: laughing out loud at ute

oregonsnow: haste ihn alleine gelassen?

oregonsnow: did he leave alone?

teufelchen_aus_hb: und hanky hast du eine bessere idee

little devil from "hb": and hanky do you have a better idea?

mahee_m: cool

mahee_m: cool

So there you go.

But wait! In August 2003 -- more than two years after the column appeared -- I received an e-mail from "Jutze" herself, who has one line in the transcript. She writes as follows:

I was the person you have shown in your thread, I am much as you think german is a funny language, do you speak german then? [Well, no. I mean, that's part of why I think it's funny-sounding, because I don't understand it.] No...i thought so.... [Then why did you ask?] your arroganz is insulting and annoying! I read the entire Thread, never in my live I have said things about the american language, just to make my point! [But the American language IS funny! Especially the way you speak it.] And by the way, I live in i am more considered towards people as you are....disappointing! Next time take time to research your theme more careful!

I'm not sure what kind of research she thinks I ought to have done. Research into whether or not German sounds funny? At any rate, I'm glad to know she's more considered towards people as I am, whatever that means.

About five months later, Jutze wrote back again, as follows:
I am not surprised, that is the common reaction, put others down ( languages and culture!!!) , at least all americans think everything in america is big and better! What a laugh I had reading your ridiculous Column! [Well, considering that to produce laughter is the point of the column, um, thanks.]
Nope, I am not from Switzerland, [The best I can figure is that this is in reference to a blog entry I made in which I made fun of a Swiss letter I got] I am acutally from Northern Germany ( so sad, you wouldn't know where that is, [I would guess it's in the northern part of Germany] because your educational level is so limited and very low! You probably will never be able to look further then your suburbs or city limits!!) I might sound very arrogant (so what, it is with all rights one of my best attributes!), but I have traveled all over Europe, met different people, different cultures, ( which the american frog language is one of the most hysterical of all of them) [No argument there, especially when you speak it] I speak 4 different languages and I have a Education, [What a excellent thing for you!] that allowes me to live independent even in a country like america, so I have the last laugh over your ignorance! Say all you want about germans and other foreigners, [thank you, I will] seems like that is all you have.
You seem like the type that knows all and "think" does best! And in fact i believe you are one pimply, nerdy highschool kid, that thinks he is smart and educated! Keep dreaming!
Get a education , grow up and learn to live with the Fact, the most funniest thing in the world is not the german language, (which you couldn't even translate right), [hence the need to have my friend Alicia translate it for me, as I mentioned] but your own stupidity!
It is us germans and europeans [BOTH?!]that laugh about you americans with your "highly intelligent president"! [Ooh, she got us there. We American don't like making fun of our president!]
Yeah .....right!!!!!
By the way...I like America, most of my friends are american, nothing in comparison to you live in a trailorpark? [No, I don't live in a trail or park. Neither one.]that would explain so much!

So I've got the Germans mad at me now. Don't mention the war! I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it.