Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Wrong Side

Due to Vancouver's west coast location, a recent trend has emerged where some people import right-hand drive vehicles from Japan. I question  the wisdom of such a purchase and the reasoning behind it eludes me. I recently saw a weird looking Mitsubishi van with right-hand drive and the smug owner was not amused when I jokingly told him. " hey boy, yer steering wheel's on the wrong side". I guess hippies' sense of humor is on the wrong side as well.

This whole driving on the left thing has its origins in medieval England where armed people rode horses. The scabbard was worn on the left and it was also easier to mount a horse on the left. So if they had the urge to take a swing at somebody's face with a sword, it made more sense to be on the left side of the road. Riding on the right side had its origins in France, most likely done purely out of spite towards the British, This still does not explain why cars made in France are so ugly and why the French hold their guitars so high.

Being on the wrong side seems to occur with more frequency than most people realize. No self respecting drinker can ever deny being on the wrong side of a bar (the floor) at least a few times over the years. The perspective from down there is unique and in that advanced stage of inebriation gives a whole new meaning to the expression "bottoms up".

This often leads to another situation where the impaired patron is asked to leave thereby putting him on the wrong side of the door; outside. This often leads to walking on the wrong side which is usually the exact opposite direction of home. This must be one of the irrefutable laws of physics; a drunk guy will always walk the in opposite direction of where he wants to be. Some of the staggering boozehounds may have a wife waiting at home who is completely sober and fails to see the humor in the situation that the drunken greaser finds so amusing. This is when he might find himself on the wrong side of the door and will acquaint  himself with the proverbial doghouse. ( I wonder about the origins of this phrase, did some hillbilly at one time actually sleep in a doghouse?)

I recently found myself on the wrong side of the tracks, as it were. I decided to go see my friend's band play an outdoor show that was located a fair distance from my place. Being a nice sunny day, I decided to ride my bicycle. In an attempt to save time, I took a shortcut through an Indian Reserve which is considered private property under Federal law. There weren't too many people around so I saw no harm in it, until I heard a low frequency growl followed by a rapid pit-a-pat sound. As I craned my neck, I realized that I was being chased by a large angry dog. Nothing will get the adrenaline going like being chased by a wild animal hell bent on catching you. I don't recall ever hauling that much ass. I don't know how that dog knew that I wasn't supposed to be there (maybe he had a law degree or something) but that mangy critter knew the score. I was on the wrong side of the tracks and Federal Law. If that dog would have caught me my ass would have been on the wrong side of the emergency room.

Not so long ago, I was having a cup of coffee at the local Italian coffee shop as I spotted a youngish hippie couple hovering around my bike that was locked up out front. They locked their own bikes on the same rack, which annoyed me. Hippies are well known for their misunderstanding of personal space and are usually on the wrong side of it ie; right in your face, but I figured I should let it slide. These two mongrels then sat at a table adjacent to mine and not more than two minutes later the hippie dude sidled up behind me and started fiddling with the window shade without so much as an " excuse me". My initial involuntary reaction was too punch him in the face, because it startled the hell out of me. When I asked what he was doing he proceeded to whine that the sun was in his eyes. I told him  that the sun would be going down in ten minutes and suggested that he should perhaps simply turn around and face the other direction. I guess he was too stupid to realize that he was sitting on the wrong side. He was equally oblivious to the fact that sneaking up on a greaser could get land him on his ass on the wrong side of the sidewalk (via the pane glass window). Not wanting to end up on the wrong side of a jail cell, I had to show a considerable amount of restraint.

This illustrates quite clearly why hippies are usually on the wrong side of everything. Something as simple as appropriate social interaction or basic manners eludes them. Their very demeanor and choice of clothing is specifically designed to be on the wrong side of everything. They usually find themselves on the wrong side of logic and common sense with their dogmatic new age beliefs about everything and anything. They will zealously adopt the opposite side of any issue simply for the sake of being against something, without fully understanding it.

It seems a lot of them usually stay on the wrong side of the shower as well as on the wrong side of decent musical taste. If they somehow manage to get a guitar in their hands that turns out to be the wrong side as well, they should turn the stringed side around so we could be spared from the caterwauling emanating from the wrong side of their brain. I once witnessed one particular hippie promptly drop the guitar on the floor as he got on stage which is pretty much the wrong side of everything ( this was most likely the direct result of lighting the wrong end of the joint).

This still does not explain why I was in a hippie bar in the first place; definitely the wrong side.

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