Roach clips with feathers
Drug paraphernalia turned fashion accessory, the feathered roach clip had a mystique like that of the bong. Kids loved the new look in hair accessories, even if they didn’t really understand what it was they were wearing.
In a educational episode of the 80's sitcom The Facts of Life, Tootie buys colorful bongs for everyone as gifts because Blair tells her they’re jelly bean holders. That’s what the roach clip was: a fashion accessory that had an inherent coolness attached to it, even if you didn’t know why. You had to have it, just like everybody else, because it made you cool.
The roach clip is a tiny, toothy clamp with a leather string and feather attachment. A few floaty, colorful feathers dangled from the strip of leather, promising a peek into the adult world. Maybe a friend who had an older brother would secretly explain what that little clip was for, and you'd all nod: duh, you knew that. Maybe you did, maybe you didn't, but what you did know was that is was something a little bad.
For girls, the clip was often worn as a barrette, clipped into the feathered hair so that the feather dangled down onto the shoulder. Boys preferred to attach their feather clips to the back of straw hats, or for the older studs, to the rearview mirror of their Camaros.
Feather clips were a big thing at local carnivals, where for a quarter or two you could rack up on your black-light posters and feather clips. Just don’t ask where the carnies got them from.
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