The satisfaction that comes with being old and greasy has somehow insulated me from the the great unwashed douchebag masses. The insular nature of being part of a microcosm and living the greasy life has made me overly sensitive to outrageous behaviour and outlandish get-ups that I am confronted with on my occasional, and sometimes necessary forays into freakville.
The day to day reality of greaserdom are commonplace to me. I find nothing unusual about the people that surround me-they are all inherently cool. I am surrounded by world class hot rodders, gorgeous burlesque dancers, at least eight rockabilly bass players, dudes that can drink a bottle of Jack, puke in the back of a Jeep and wake up like nothing happened.
I recently did a gig with Canada's hottest guitar slinger and it seemed like second nature. I get rides in all types of smokin' hot rods on my way to rockabilly dj gigs and it seems very normal. I'll be standing in a bar with a pint in my hand while speaking to an incredible array of beautiful women all decked out 50's style, and not even blink. It all seems normal and the whole damned world should be greasy.
Unfortunately it is not. Not greasy at all. It turns out that we are the aberration. In retrospect . that is probably not a bad thing. Someone needs to be around to shake up the status quo.
My walkabout yesterday attested to that fact in a rather alarming fashion. I took a walk in my 'hood and was starting to wonder if someone had slipped drugs in my coffee or if maybe the circus was in town.
A freakshow of epic proportions.
It was a nice day, and I had some shit to do, notably, searching for 50's furniture. I didn't feel like messin' with a pomp, so I threw on a black cowboy hat. It was chilly, so I threw on a 1961 Levi's Big E denim jacket. A Crumline western belt buckle to hold up my britches and a faded Southern Culture on the Skids t-shirt.
The minute I stepped out the door, I was already garnering stares. It's a busy strip with lots of stores and lots of people and the freak show was about to begin.
I am always amazed that people will take things for face value. I thought this city was supposed to be world class, but something as simple as a fifty dollar cowboy hat creates a huge commotion. Big hat = some kinda southern redneck. Yee-haw, fools.
As I began my stroll, I saw a lot of wannabes sporting those fancy, embroidered Ed Hardy hats ( worn a askew, of course) and those fuckers had the nerve to smirk at me?
My first stop was a used furniture place. By used furniture, I mean shit that was found in a dumpster and put up for sale. The dude that runs it straight out of the seventies and I call him " Mr. Rock 'n' Roll".
He plays bad guitar in his store and has a glam rock haircut. He wouldn't let me browse, and kept offering me all kinds of shit I didn't want.
"You want a poker set?", he asked. "How about some pornography ? I got lots of Playboys".
He asked if I was a truck driver after perusing my t-shirt. I told him it was a band from North Carolina. " I've been to Georgia, you know", he remarked.
Fuckin' tool; the band is from NC, I didn't say I was. I got the hell out of that place. It smelled funny, and I was thinkin' there were cooties or bedbugs ready to pounce on me.
Across the street was an antique store. Now nothing says douchebag more than an antique store. It's not so much the dizzying array of over priced flotsam and jetsam, it's the people you will see in the store being complete douchebags.
A couple of middle aged, gussied up and obviously rich douchebag women were there. The overly loud, pretenious conversation they were having was meant to ensure that everybody noticed them. They were pissing me off, all their money did not detract from the fact that they were still butt-fucking ugly.
I scowled at them as I left and they looked slightly upward as they gawked at my cowboy hat.
I made my way down the sidewalk amidst the throngs of freaks, hipster chicks with over sized glasses and hordes of squalling kids, the progeny of hippies who were left to run amok.
Amidst all the shrieking children and cackling hipster chicks . I spotted a clown. Still unsure if was a dude or a chick, it was straight out of Barnum and Bailey. I missed a couple of lights as I stood at the intersection trying to make sense of what I was seeing. A large purple hat and yellow parachute pants certainly stood out. Not unlike a puddle of puke on the sidewalk.
I eventually gave up staring because it was burning my retinas. and kept walking among the crowd of disheveled thrift store rejects. As I made my way to get a sandwich, I had to run a gauntlet of misshapen freaks that wanted me to sign a petition.
I dodged the weirdos and popped in for a donair. The friendly owner attempted a bit of humour as he said', " Hall-o bass, where eez your horse?" Very fuckin' funny. I haven't heard that one before.
I made my way to another strip nearby, where I knew of a mid-century modern store that had some nice stuff. It was filled with yuppies trying to define their identity through buying stuff to fill their empty lives. They haven't figured out that you can't buy cool. After looking at some really nice , but over priced pieces, all the bad haircuts and nasal yuppie-speak was starting to get on my nerves.
I had to walk by the dreaded hippie park. That right there is a five page blog, suffice to say that I quickened my pace as I passed a circle of hippies reading bad poetry and some freaks holding a huge banner that said "free prayers".
I went to buy a six pack and encountered what was possibly the world's drunkest dude, and he was buying twelve more. My brand was in the same fridge, so this smelly lunatic felt that he had to have a conversation with me. I don't speak drunken bum-gibberish. so after he said " Heh mushah wagga go ya?" I quickly made my way to the checkout.
I went for coffee at my favorite place and noticed that were a lot of hammered people staggering down the sidewalk. It was only one pm and I tried to make sense of that. The tourists that were sitting next to me seemed equally perplexed as they looked up from their maps and wondered what the fuck, or whatever equivalent in their language.
As I drank my coffee I observed the constant stream of freaks, each one more alarming than the next and wondered to myself," Where do you even get clothes like that. Is there a secret store that specializes in rags? "
I had had enough and made my way home. I took side streets to avoid all the commotion, but I stepped into a dragon's lair of hippies. There was some kind of event where hippie-musicians put on shows in people's homes. There were tents, macrame and the wafting fumes of pot all around that house. I just walked a little faster as the hippies stared at me , seemingly amused.
As I finally arrived home, I needed a greasy fix. I put on some tunes and tried to eradicate the horrific hippie images that had burned into my brain.
I was optimistic however. A very good friend of mine was hosting a rockabilly night in a cool bar downtown. I let the greasy strains of rockabilly wash over me as I got slicked up for the evening that lay ahead.
Cranking the rockabilly and wielding a large dollop of Black and White grease, I couldn't help but to think, " All my greasy friends are comin' over tonite".