Being greasy (or different, for that matter) is not easy is this Neo-Con world that we live in. Judged by the un-cultured, narrow parameters of the Neo-Con mind, I, for one, am tired of constantly explaining myself and the Rockabilly lifestyle.
I sometimes think it would be better to be misunderstood rather than explaining everything.
Maybe, if you 'splain it just right, they may see some glimmer of light.
Usually, though, the questions are so freakin' dumb that a snarky, condescending response is absolutely necessary.
Here's some random stupidity that I and my friends have encountered over the years.
1. What are you supposed to be ?
In the same category as " Hey Elvis! "
I ain't supposed to be nuthin'. It's not an affectation, it's just a pomp. I like it that way.
The rudeness and presumptuousness of accosting a total stranger is primitive. The ensuing punch in the head often seems to surprise these louts.
I am always alarmed by the astounding lack of style of most people that I see in public, but I just keep my mouth shut ( except when people are yammering on cel phones in close proximity; an involuntary shut-the-fuck-up always seems to come out of my mouth).
I've got a few " what are you supposed to be" of my own.
What Are You Supposed to Be ?
To the white boy hip hop gangsta wannabe: Straight outta Compton ?
To the mullet clad lout: Auditioning for Wayne's World 3 ?
To the skank with 5 pounds of make up scowling at me : First day as a hooker?
To the squares in the liquor store making a fuss over wine: The Duke and Duchess of Windsor?
To the 30 something squares next to me at the coffee shop using words like "perhaps": My grandma?
To the metal-heads on the bus: Last year's air guitar champion?
To all those nasty flagger ladies with leathery skins and cigarettes hangin' outta their mouths: A cop?
To all the hicks at the corner table at the bar: Jed Clampett?
To all the fashion victims: A movie star?
To all the hippies and their contrived outfits: Fuck off!
To the cops that once asked me if I was a Punk: I'm too old to be a punk, I'm a cowboy.
2. Are you going to a fifties party?
A bunch of friends and I just had dinner and were waiting for cabs on the sidewalk when some brain dead square asked us this question. My usual response is fuck off, but one of my buddie's nailed it when he answered, : we ARE a fifties party. That shut her up good.
3.Various dumb questions and left handed compliments from squares.
You look so "retro", like pictures of my grandfather. Well that's the general idea, square. Too dumb to connect the dots; Rockabilly, old cars, vintage threads etc. The faux-elegant attire of this square and that statement tacitly imply that she thinks I'm a goof.
That same square asked me if my vintage eyeglasses were "costume". I was blown away by such stupidity and condescension. I immediately felt like telling her to fuck off, but I was in a situation where I couldn't. I froze in my tracks, mouth agape as I icily asked her " What am I , in Hollywood ?" Idiot. I'm gettin' old and I need the damn things to read.
Oh that's a wallet. On several occasions, my wallet chain became the subject of conversation. I pulled out the wallet from my back pocket to show them that the chain was actually attached to a wallet. The wallet sticks out 3 inches from the back pocket and I am still perplexed at yet another failure to connect the dots. I asked the square what he thought the chain was attached to. No answer.
That chain is big enough to beat the squares with, and believe me, I have often fantasized about using it to beat some sense into them.
4. The Pomp.
The endless barrage of stupid questions that I ( and all other greasers) have had to endure over the years is mind boggling. What is it about a pomp that gets people all bent outta shape. They will see some white kid sporting dreadlocks down to his ass and not blink an eye.
One group that seems to have a macabre fascination with the pomp are drunken cougars. They will invariably accost you in their drunken stupor and start some inane conversation about the hair.
As I had previously mentioned in an older post, the conversation always leads up to them asking what you put in your hair, simultaneously lurching and trying to touch your hair.
The involuntary greaser response is the re-coil. The audacity is alarming. They wouldn't that to that oily hippie with the dreadlocks. I know that I would certainly not want to touch some hippie's stinky dreadlocks.
5. The Big Fiddle.
It's not a fiddle, fool!
I am always perplexed by the fact that most people don't know what the hell an upright bass is.
I heard that in Vegas on more than a few occasions; " Where's everybody goin' with those big fiddles, Martha?"
Most greasers wouldn't be caught dead within 20 feet of an electric bass. We know the difference between an upright and electric, though .We instinctively know that a doghouse is an intrinsic part of the sound.
To not even know what that instrument is mind boggling, but to think that they make violins that big demonstrates stupidity of epic proportions.
I am always amused to see people's expressions when they see a Rockabilly band with the upright bass. They just can't make heads or tails out of it and don't even realize that there is music emanating from it.
I am reminded of a night a few years back. I had a DJ gig in a swank bar filling in between sets for the bands. One particular night a band showed up with a pedal steel guitar. The sound man, for the life of him, couldn't figure out what it was. He was convinced that it was a keyboard. The steel player calmly explained what it was. I don't think that soundman ever really believed him, thinking it was probably a joke at his expense.
It never ends.
There you have it folks, a few idle ramblings about the greasy side of life. I won't even begin to bore you with the details of all the encounters that I have had over the years with squares who somehow feel threatened and my futile attempts to explain what Rockabilly is.
Nowadays, I just tell them to Google it.
Thanks for reading and don't forget to click on the month in the right hand box for older posts.