August 21, 2003

Urban Eccentrics

Posted by shonk at 12:03 AM in Ramblings | TrackBack

Despite the fact that I spend 23 hours a day either sleeping, reading or eating, I have had a few "big city experiences" (scare quotes added for those quivering in their suburbia purchased Timberlands). Most of the memorable ones revolve around what a friend of mine calls "urban eccentrics" - weird people you only see in big cities.

Actually, the term was originally coined as a euphamism for the all the gay guys that live near my buddy in a part of town that's close to a hip and upscale area, but is actually pretty low rent. However, it quickly became apparent that the aging, lower middle class gay guys and the sketchy gay priests did not, by any means, exhaust the possible forms of urban eccentricity, so the term has expanded to be thoroughly inclusive.

For example? Well, the guys I saw a couple hours ago in the gas station across the street. One was small, wearing faded, much-too-small and much-too-high jeans, jamming to the Muzak and tailoring his loud and frequent quips (like "This is my dinner!") to an uncaring and largely non-existent audience. For those who will understand the reference, he was like an older, smaller, unbearded Squeaks on speed. For the rest of you, that translates to something vaguely similar to Screech as portrayed on SNL. He was in front of me in line. The guy behind me was overweight, dressed in all black, had his long, seemingly braided, black hair up in some weird vertical ponytail that looked something like a rooster's comb after being tarred by sexually harassed hens, and wore both mascara and combat boots. Yes, you read correctly, mascara and combat boots.

These two guys sandwiching me in the line pretty much defined the term "urban eccentric". Of course, from anybody else's perspective, my Sewanee frat-boy uniform of khakis, flipflops and a party t-shirt probably appeared pretty damn eccentric, too. Since we were the only white people in the place, I wish I had a picture of the three of us lined up in a row to send to white supremacists as a counter-argument.

Or should I just go for the counter-counterculture statement next time and wear a bow tie and cordovan shoes?