Thursday, August 13, 2009
The Way I walk Is Just The Way I walk: 7 Rockabilly walks.
So, you're a greaser. You know it, everybody else knows it. What distinguishes greasers from any other sub-culture you ask? The Walk.
If you look beyond the usual aspects of greaserdom, ie: the pomp, The chains attached to big fat wallets, the cuffed jeans and all that grease, you are left with that distinctive walk. Only greasers have it and it has been acquired naturally through many years of just being plain greasy. Here are 7 types of greaser walks.
1. The Standard Greaser Swagger.
This is not the swagger of the poser, hip hop wannabe or white trash idiot. Swaggers are usually attributed to mullet-clad barbarians who need to prove just exactly how stupid they actually are. Picking fights for no reason, other than the fact that they are threatened by everyone around them, the mullet swagger is just a way of keeping their knuckles off the ground.
Nor is it the strutting of the muscle-bound, steroid jocks. Their strutting is due to the fact that their arms are so full of steroids, that they can't put them down. These borderline psychotics are scary and should be avoided.
The rockabilly swagger is natural, not too much chest puffing , just the right amount of lilt and with just the right cadence. There is no insecurity or overt aggression, it's the way they walk. It comes from years of listening to mid-tempo double slaps on upright basses and wearing engineer boots. It has self confidence but lacks arrogance.
The greaser knows not to walk too fast though, because once that swinging wallet chain gets going, it will either snag something or smack him right in the bag.
2.The Brand New Converse Wide-Legged Hobble.
The second footwear of choice for the greaser is the Converse. This has been so for fifty years, and for fifty years they have kn0wn that those suckers can be hard to wear at first.
That painful breaking in period can have some humourous consequences.
I made the mistake of buying a brand new pair went I went to Viva Las Vegas this year. Our first day there I figured my new Converse were in order. My traveling buddy, Elvis Jay, decided that we needed to walk to a liquor store in the hot Nevada sun. In Vegas everything is at least a mile away. Off we went to some strip mall booze store all alone on the sidewalk (nobody walks in Vegas it seems).
From a afar it probably looked like Elvis Jay was taking his pet chimp for a walk. Those suckers were causing me pain.
On the way back, I was still doing the wide-legged hobble while drinking a beer in one hand and holding the rest in the other. A limping, alcoholic chimp.
When a bunch of gals in a hot rod hooted and hollered at us, I straightened right up. Cool before pain as you might have guessed.
I wore my well worn boots for the rest of the weekend.
3. The Worn Out Converse Flying Greaseball.
Being almost a prerequisite to greasiness, it is hard to avoid wearing Converse, but cool as they are , they wear out quickly on pavement. Like a worn out clutch, this causes slippage at the most inopportune moments.
The greaser will be walking down the street and without warning, will lose traction and end up looking like a retarded figure skater, or he will hit a patch of wet grass, and it's pomp over ass.
Whether there is injury involved or not, the greaser's first reaction is the same as the chain snag ( see earlier post, 7 Rockabilly problems). He will jump up immediately and look around to make sure nobody has seen him, the emergency room can wait.
4. The Ten Beer Tango.
Greasers can hold their liquor, but after ten beers, the swagger begins to wane a little. He will get up and feel a little bit of weakness in the knees. He can still make to the bathroom and the bar and back. Nobody has noticed,which is good.
What does the greaser do? Keep drinking of course.
5. The Twenty Beer Tango.
This one is a little harder to keep under wraps. At this point , slurring of speech has set in and the next trip to the can is definitely wobbly. Now it dawns on him that it is time to go.
If he lives close to the bar he walks or if not takes a cab. Either way there is walking involved and that is never good.
I think we've all seen this walk, two steps to the side , one forward, three backwards and one forward again. Then comes forward and downward acceleration. The forward steps start getting faster and faster and the upper body starts leaning right and eventually downwards.
The acceleration reaches terminal velocity, the right hand comes up to reach for a non existent hand-hold, and down he goes in some bushes, maybe laughing, maybe cursing. In any case, the greaser's instincts kick in and the old chain-snag-upright-bolt-did-anybody-see-me kicks in.
The rest of the walk home may take a while.
6. The Cops Are On Their Way 50 meter Sprint.
Greasers hate running. It doesn't look cool, they might spin out with Converse and will definitely spill their beer.
As it has been known to happen from time to time, greasers will get into altercations ( usually with non greasers, especially mouthy idiots from the suburbs).
Long story short, shit will happen and the inevitable sounds of sirens will soon follow. Greasers know that is their cue to leave, right now.
They will not run though, they will fuck right off real quick. It kind of resembles that power walking they have in the Olympics, but without those stupid skimpy shorts.
When cops arrive, the louts are still screaming and reeling in their drunken state not knowing what happened and the greasers are in another bar, far away, having a few beers to wind down and being thankful that their pomps didn't get messed up.
7. The Ass Hauler.
There are very few things that will make a greaser really haul ass, running in engineer boots dangerous ( I once twisted an ankle chasing a purse snatcher, he got away, that sack o' shit).
Here are a few statements that will get a greaser, and naturally, every other greaser around, to haul ass.
" Dude , there's someone messin' with your ride".
" Some freak just lit a joint inside the bar."
" Some dude just lit a joint outside the bar"
" Some dude just lit a joint near your car".
" Some freakos are playing bongos next to your car".
" Some hippies are playing bongos ON your car."
"Dude , your hair's on fire".
" Holy fuck, they're givin' away free beer! "
Next time you seem some greasers remember these 7 walks, and just think of that Jack Scott song, " The Way I walk Is Just The Way I walk".