The first thing I think of when I hear the word “fudge” is that brand of hair product from the nineties. It’s probably still around, but my knowledge of hair products – and of many other things, actually – is limited to that one decade.
The definitive Fudge product was that dye which came in a range of primary colours, easily applied to your bleached streaks, which you had, because it was the nineties. I didn’t go with this look, preferring instead to tint my long, bum-parted hair in red all over. There’s a photo of me from this era wearing a much-too-large Sebadoh t-shirt, King Gee trousers (for men) and Cons, standing in our backyard, with that red hair glinting in the sunlight, and doing no favours at all for my pimply, teenage complexion (oh, HANG ON, I still have a pimply teenage complexion).
My brother, on the hand, went the whole hog with long, bleached hair (with bum-part, naturally), which changed from one colour to the next, according to the Fudge hair dye spectrum. I remember him telling me the story of a Sydney taxi driver who told him, presumably based on nothing but his green hair and long-sleeved t-shirt with holes torn in for the thumbs, “You know, you don’t scare me”. My brother and I were annoyed at this. It wasn’t meant to look scary. Stupid know-nothing grown-ups.
I recently found myself looking disapprovingly at a strutting Vietnamese youth with a radical K-Pop style quiff, dyed that orange colour that Asian hair turns when it’s bleached, and thinking “You don’t look tough, you know”. I immediately recalled that story of the taxi driver and was deeply satisfied. While hairstyles may come and go, the world will always have rebellious youths and know-nothing adults, and, given enough time, the one person can be both.