Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Un-Grease

In an un-greasy world, a greaser will feel the pressure of non-greasy forces all around him. We are an incredibly small minority, adrift in a vast ocean of mediocrity, conservatism and nonsensical left wing reasoning.

It is therefore inevitable that we will constantly find ourselves in uncomfortable situations where we are out of our element. We find ourselves in these situations for a myriad of reasons.

Whether through a misguided attempt to convince ourselves to be more open minded, a blind devotion to love, sheer stupidity or just plain old bad luck, the average greaser, feeling like the proverbial fish out of water, will end up somewhere and think one of two things; "This sucks, how the fuck did I get roped into this?" or "Where the hell am I ?"

Here's a few first hand experiences.

1.Critical Mass.

How I got embroiled smack dab in the middle of this quintessential hippie fright-fest is a little perplexing. I build and ride bicycles. One can ride year round in this city and considering the terminal lifestyle abuse that I heap upon my body, I get much needed exercise.

Rolling home one afternoon, I spotted a friend to who I owed 40 bucks. I made a quick U-turn and rode with him for a while. I managed to get the cash out of my pocket while still riding and began to wonder why,all of a sudden, there were so many bikes around me.

It dawned on me that it was the last Friday of the month and I was trapped in the ninth circle of hippie-hell.

I kept my cool, but inside my brain, a huge " Faaaaa-aaak!" swelled up. I was stuck in the eye of the storm amidst a throng of at least 2000 bikes unable to find an escape route.

My Mennen Speed Stick was starting to fail and I was getting stressed out. It gave me time to observe all the obnoxious hippie behavior, however.

The shouting of empty slogans, the rude comments directed at cars, the smug look on theses freakos' faces and the shitty bicycles. So many shitty bicycles. Plenty of socks and sandals as well.

Lacking any mechanical or artistic skills, hippies will wrap macrame on the bikes, or spray paint the entire bike including the tires, some have house plants permanently attached, others have stupid protest announcements stuck in the spokes.

Oblivious to their surroundings and reveling in their own self-righteousness, they are oblivious to the massive traffic jams, pollution from idling cars and general mayhem that they are causing. Row upon row of enraged motorist were starting to scare me.

A brief pause ensued as the head hippie bike buffoons tried to decide which way to turn. I saw my chance and found an escape route from this large bacteria-like organism.

I was relieved, no, fucking relieved. A beer store appeared directly in path as if by divine intervention. I had some beers down by the water and cursed those filthy shit-mongers.

The media were taking pictures and I just hoped I wasn't in one of them.

The following month, I was on my way home on one of my choppers. A bunch of idiots dressed as clowns ( literally, dressed as clowns) were trundling their shitty bikes in the opposite direction and shouted, " Hey man, critical mass is this way"

I have been waiting all my life to use this line in a truly apropos manner, I flipped them the bird as I shouted, " Fuck you , clowns!"

2. Camping.

A lot of people in these parts enjoy camping. I do not. Greasers just don't camp. There is something about pooping in the woods and being 40 miles from the nearest beer store that I find thoroughly unappealing.

Hauling hundreds of pounds of gear up some god-forsaken trail amidst armies of bugs does not sound like a whole shit-load of fun.

If god had wanted us to camp, he wouldn't have invented concrete and indoor plumbing.

A few years back, I somehow got roped into going up north by one of my exes, really far up north. Her friends lived in this spacious log cabin, the kinds that are made from kits.  It was literally in the middle of nowhere, as her friends were quite anti-social. The bathroom alone was bigger than my whole apartment.

When got settled in and drank some beers around a campfire later that evening, I inquired about the sleeping arrangements, my ex pointed to large bag.

Not even knowing how to set up a tent, I thought to myself, " I'm gonna have to get extra shithouse hammered to sleep inside that fucking thing."

My ex probably regretted that decisions due to the elevated levels of methane gas present inside the tent the next morning. When I did wake up, I left my ex floundering in the gas fumes and went to relieve myself in the bushes.

For some reason, there where two horses there.They looked at me, I looked at them. They seemed to have an expression that said " Stupid human, can't even find the bathroom."

I zipped up and went in search of some coffee while thinking " Never again."

That long weekend wasn't a total loss. I had heard that there was a rodeo at a nearby town. We ended up meeting some rednecks who snuck us in and I spent the rest of the day drinking beer and watching calf roping and Bronco busting. Pretty cool.

3. Hippie Restaurants.

I would normally avoid these like the plague, but there have been a few times where I was inadvertently dragged there.

I would always stick out like a sore thumb, as I squinted at the menu, unable to decipher any of the listings. Not sure if actual food was being offered, I would just stick with beer.

One thing that these places have in common is the pretentious attempt to dress the place down. They always, I mean ALWAYS, have mismatched furniture. The staff is always uptight, bitter and completely devoid of any serving or hospitality skills.

Lots of rules as well, don't sit here, sit there, you can't have this or that, put those chairs back when you leave etc. One extra-pretentious place even served beer in mismatched mason jars (on purpose).

One particular night after a long road trip, I decided I wanted a few beers. There was a place close-by that I had never been to. The walls were (of course) plastered with images of Che Guevera.

I sat at the bar and could already feel tension as the anal hippie server approached me. I ordered a beer and felt the tension rise even more. After a second beer, it became even more palpable. I sarcastically asked what the problem was and if I had offended her in any way. Her stoic expression and lack of any response tacitly implied that my mere presence was offensive.

That place embodies the hippie ethic for me. Gimme a good old fashioned dive anytime.

A synopsis of other uncomfortable situations.

1. I once had to pick up a cheque at the local Archdiocese. The cheque (sorry for the Canadian spelling) wasn't ready. I sat in the lobby while a parade of priests walked to and fro. A picture of Jesus on the wall  seemed to be saying "Sinner !'. I couldn't take it. I took off real quick and told the receptionist to send it in the mail.

2. I walked into a christian party by mistake. It took me while to figure out why the music was so weird and everybody looked pie-eyed.

3. I ( and my greasy buddies) always seem to cause a bit of commotion when we arrive at square parties.

4. A few years ago, a few of us greasy cats got together at our local watering hole unaware that they had scheduled a new event. When we noticed the first freak get on the stage we realized that we were attending a fucking poetry slam. The imagery speaks for itself. We were horrified, then got real mad. There is no sound in the known universe quite as grating as a hippie spouting nonsense into a microphone.

5. I once walked into one of those spandex-type bicycle stores by mistake. The looks of disdain that I received were priceless.

6. Cops always eyeball greasers suspiciously. Some cops once asked me if I was some kinda punk rocker to which I replied that I was a cowboy. They failed to see the irony.

7. I am known to some people as "that Elvis dressin' dude". Huh?

8. Some drunken cretin seated next to me at a country show kept insisting that I looked like his dead uncle Ernie. I ran into him and his entourage at a bar after the show. " See, whadda tell you, Uncle Ernie !"

9. We usually get asked the same question; "Are you with the Band?" No, fool, the band is on stage right now.

10. When wearing a band t-shirt we will invariably be asked if that's our band. They seemed perplexed when you explain to them that you are never supposed to wear your own band's t-shirt.

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