Always Get A Burrito
And Call Ahead
No one I know loves waiting, though sometimes it can be worth it. I eat plenty of delicious burritos here in Southern California, many from nearby neighborhood treasure, Nico’s. I typically call ahead, and it’s yummy, hot fun when I arrive.
On this particular day I had just stepped past my front door when I paused in realization…I need a hair tie. I ran back inside to grab one. Only it had been over a year since my last visit to The Longhairs Headquarters, and my usually-ample supply of headbands and hair ties had dwindled to a measly and weathered few.
I use the heck out of these suckers, so many of mine wear the wear of much-loved merch, and only a few remain unscathed. One that did was a beautiful brown and yellow San Diego-themed hair tie Los Longhairs had handed me before our “opening day” outing to Petco Park in 2020.
I threw it on, high ponytail style as is my wont, plopped a hat on top of it, and ambled out toward beans and a tortilla.
Fernando Tatís Jr. Hair Ties?
As I inched closer to my delectable destination, I was awestruck by the massive mural materializing on the giant wall of Apple Tree Supermarket in the heart of our beloved Ocean Beach. I instantly recognized the image. It was unmistakably San Diego Padres phenom Fernando Tatís Jr., aka El Niño, in his shot from the cover of the popular baseball video game, The Show.
This picture is everywhere: on commercials, store displays, internet ads, you can't miss it. Tatís is pictured, wearing his long brown and yellow locks, his Padres pinstripe uniform, a bright pink breast cancer awareness armband, and a perfectly picturesque hair tie provided by The Longhairs.
Would you believe this Fernando Tatís Jr. hair tie was the exact one I grabbed just before leaving the house? Destiny doesn’t ask questions. It just quietly nods from the dugout.
There Are No Coincidences
Just a few days earlier, El Rubio and I were having a chat when he alerted me to the presence of the hair tie in this photo. I knew Tatís wore the presciently and generously gifted garb in the playoffs, but I was not previously aware that he was wearing it in the ubiquitous video game cover.
So I walk up to the four folks painting and documenting this roughly 30-foot high work of art. Spray paint cans and smiles were everywhere. I gave them the 4-1-1, paraphrased:
“There is a local San Diego company that made the hair tie Tatís is wearing in that picture. You can see he’s wearing it. They went on Shark Tank and won and it would be super cool if you included that in your mural.”
Seems a lot of folks watch that Shark Tank show. Paul shared that he was growing his hair out, and was stoked. We all were.
Just as my persuasion was taking hold, I had an A-HA moment! “Wait a minute, I have that exact hair tie in my hair right now!” I reached up, pulled it out and executed a perfect pass to Paul, perched on the scaffolding above. He Jerry Rice’d my Joe Montana. It was beautiful.
Reception consummated, he had all he needed to pay forward the ongoing magic created by The Longhairs’ signature Fernando Tatís Jr. hair ties.
Everything Happens for A Reason
There is no way to know if The Longhairs’ crystal ball revealed all the good fortune their generosity would manifest. When they supplied some major league longhairs with hair ties, they “hoped” it would lead to “something,” but I doubt they anticipated local, national, and international attention.
(Incidentally, I “hope” I win the lottery.)
I said my piece and shuffled off to Nico’s, but not before they invited me to their mural unveiling party. I hit up my long-haired amigos and told them it was party time.
The next day, in a brown sport coat, vest and a bright yellow, ruffly dress shirt, I arrived with El Rubio just in time to watch Paul finish his stunning rendition of Fernando Tatís Jr.—complete with his hair tie—for all San Diego to see.
The look on El Rubio’s face as Paul painted this potent picture on the towering wall above was priceless. It warmed my heart. When you start a business, you don’t imagine your product on the wrist of baseball’s hottest phenom on a massive mural in your neighborhood.
I was humbly delighted to participate in these positive interactions. Life’s twists are what make it worth living, and doing nice things will take you far.
Thank you to the forces that are powerful and generous enough to welcome us to this magical and majestic mural we call life. Every day.
Wear The Same Hair Ties as Fernando Tatís Jr.
Legendary Master of Ceremonies Jefferson Jay
Jefferson Jay is a musician, comedy host and content creator. He was the legendary emcee for The Great Cut, tirelessly hosting The Longhairs’ record-breaking event for over 14 hours. Since then, he’s hosted and been a guest on the Let It Ride podcast, interviewed Santa, broke down hair tie brackets, and modeled headwear to international acclaim.
Jefferson Jay and The Jefferson Jay Band records are available on Spotify, iTunes, and everywhere music is streamed. His animated series, The Hunt for The Holiday Spirit, will change the way people understand inclusivity.