Life in the big city can be interesting, it is melting pot of all types of people, situations and events, most of which I have no desire to see or experience. These daily encounters are analogous to a beautiful view of the nearby Coast Mountains juxtaposed with piles of dog poop on the sidewalk. You have to take the shit along with the good stuff. One can chose to go through life constantly stepping squarely into the pile of dog poop, or one can be a truly sophisticated denizen of the city and deftly navigate the piles. That is not to say that you have to accept the piles, I am often perplexed at what kind of clueless lout would allow his 100 pound Rottweiler drop a deuce on the the sidewalk and conveniently leave it there. Rottweilers scare me, so I guess I'll never find out.
Unfortunately life in the city is fraught with perilous encounters with dog piles and the best that one can hope for is to hang out in dog-free part of the city. This is an accurate analogy to people and situations that a greasy city-dweller like myself has to deal with. I can either keep rollin', confront them head on or grab a shovel and throw the poop back, as it were.
Hippies do have vaguely canine-like traits. Their odor is similar to dog shit and the wafting fumes have a similar effect on the adrenal glands and produce mild anger. They also have a tendency to incessantly whine like one of those little rodent-dogs. Not unlike a chihuahua who doesn't realize that it only weighs four pounds, they will harangue a much larger dog, unaware that they are about to be chomped clean in half, mauled like a rag doll or maybe just get peed on.
Like a demented dog who barks all night for absolutely no reason, hippies tend to indulge in activities that both annoy and inconvenience as many people as possible. I encountered such a situation recently.
Strathcona park is a large park that borders an industrial area. There is a stock car oval that dates back to the forties which is ringed by stately one hundred year old oak trees. It was a balmy Friday night and the weekly cruiser ride was just getting started. I will readily concede that these weekly cruiser rides are thinly veiled excuses for a two-wheeled boozerama, but that doesn't matter; it's good clean fun a good way to see some sights ( admittedly the last leg of the ride on the way home can sometimes get really wobbly). This park is one of our usual pit stops. It is secluded so there is no chance of being busted for the heinous crime of drinking a beer in public, and there are public bathrooms so we don't commit the other heinous crime of peeing in the bushes.
There was a large group of riders that night and the spirits were high as we stopped for our first beer-break of the night. We spotted a group of people at the other end of the park who had some sort of tent set up but thought nothing of it. As I cracked my second beer I vaguely became aware of sort sort of commotion. The head hippie had trudged about a half mile across the park to confront some of my friends. She was whining that we were too loud and was trying to coerce my friends into being quiet. This is when I realized what was going on. The hippies were projecting movies onto the trees. You read that correctly; They had a gas powered generator ( the irony was somehow lost on the hippies) and were projecting some pretentious movie directly onto the large oak trees. Only the twisted mind of a drug-addled hippie could come up with that one.
Being stupid hippies, they hadn't brought along proper amplification and were probably wondering why we were drowning out the sound and why the amp was producing 101% distortion. It is absolutely true that we were being rowdy. but the relative isolation of this park lends itself to this behavior. The self-righteous hippie thought otherwise and felt it necessary to initiate a confrontation. This to me, is the ultimate hippie hypocrisy. It demonstrated their hollow allegiance to tolerance and open-mindedness. They also haven't had any encounters with greasers yet.
Some of my friends who were talking to this humorless hippie were being far too diplomatic; this is when I stepped in. I tersely brought up a few logical points, such as this being a public space, we're outdoors, get a bigger amplifier, shut the fuck up..etc. all to no avail. I told the licentious interloper to "hit the dusty trail", which is ironic because the stock car oval is very dusty. She finally went away; frustrated, but too stupid to realize that all those round things called wheels that were attached to the bikes meant that we would soon be gone anyway.
I have stated in the past that there is a fine line between yuppies and hippies. When these deluded hippies "grow up" many of them become some of the most rabid yuppies. That amalgam of of Eastern mysticism, crystal rubbing and new-age mumbo-jumbo goes flying out the door when the opportunity to flip a condo presents itself. The baby seals are quickly left on the wayside as thoughts of capital gains swim through their minds.
My favorite liquor store is situated in a new condo complex right on the waterfront. I like going there because the beer is cheap and you get points with every purchase which can be redeemed for more beer. A pretty greasy arrangement. There is a good spot nearby where I can have a beer, reflect upon life, throw rocks at seagulls as I curse them, mutter to myself and ogle...I mean observe yuppie girls jogging by in very expensive and very tight jogging britches. One particular evening my musings were interrupted by a cacophony of whining and clinking glassware. I am not a peeping tom, but am often struck at what one can observe when people leave their curtains open. On my way down there for example, I had brief glimpse through the window of house that got my attention. It was lit with fluorescent lights and a large hockey poster adorned the wall. I can only surmise what type of person lived there, but I am dead sure that I wouldn't want to hang out there.
The yuppie party was in a ground-floor condo near my favorite bench, and the patio doors had been flung open. Like a car crash, I could not help but to look as all that commotion had attracted my attention. I couldn't make out any distinct conversation, but I can only hazard a guess at the vapid and pretentious content. The ridiculous yuppie clothes, bad haircuts and enormous wine glasses only served to enhance the unappealing tone. Even had there been free beer for the taking, it would not have been enough to entice me to go in there. That is a truly hypothetical situation because hippies and yuppies alike never, ever give anyone a free beer. A recent craigslist ad brought that point home with a twist that borders on the inane with its obscene excesses.
I often indulge in the surreal world of craigslist. One can sell all kinds of strange items, find employment or make a few extra bucks. I sometimes look at the gigs section which can sometimes result in small writing jobs or driving some dude with a DUI around. Quick beer money and fairly easy. I recently saw an ad that piqued my interest. I cannot provide the link because the ad is gone, which means that some poor sucker got roped in. Some yuppie ( it couldn't be anything else) had put up an ad for someone to stand in line all nite at the liquor store. The gig paid $150, half up front. The reason you may ask? The Bordeaux wine is coming out and someone was willing to pay good money for some hapless unemployed person to stand outside in the cold, in the middle of fucking nowhere so he would be the first to acquire some Bordeaux wine ( which taste like horse piss by the way). Do you realize how much beer 150 bones will buy? I thought it was weird when people stood in line for hours on end to get the latest I-phone, but this is decadence in its worst possible manifestation. You couldn't make this shit up even if you tried.
Yuppies and hippies love street festivals for some reason. Not satisfied with creating massive traffic congestion, they readily indulge in endeavors designed to annoy entire neighborhoods. The day following a recent rockabilly show, myself and a couple of greasy buddies decided that we needed a hangover-busting greasy breakfast. This is a fairly standard rockabilly ritual and if I have to explain the need for it and the copious amount of booze that created that need, you're doing rockabilly wrong.
As we arrived at the breakfast place which is located at the intersection of two main thoroughfares, we noticed that one if the streets was closed off for several blocks. One of my friend's curiosity got the better of him and after breakfast we found ourselves among the throng of people aimlessly wandering around the street. It seems that we had inadvertently stepped smack dab in the middle of the epicenter of hippie-hell.There was, of course, the prerequisite shitty band. A few blocks away our eardrums were further assaulted by some weird mutant rap, shamelessly delivered in all of its off-key glory by some hippie chick and a canned soundtrack. We somehow got roped into listening a sales spiel about bamboo bicycles held together by ( I kid you not) hemp-based resins. No hippie festival is complete without some dude in a jester suit and sure enough not one, but three of them suddenly materialized before our eyes. That was pretty much the last straw and we made a hasty exit as we ran the gauntlet of various wild-eyed hippies hawking organic wares and disgusting pseudo-food.
I felt relief as I entered the cocoon like-embrace of my friend's enormous '46 Ford. It was like a very large flat black security blanket that had a slight odor of exhaust fumes. We swung by the liquor store to get some beers and headed to a park that is located atop a hill. As the first beer washed over us the hippie madness began to fade. The view was pretty good and, and as I cracked my second beer, I noticed the conspicuous absence of dog poo.