One of the reassuring factors of being greasy is that you can rely on the stability that it brings.This is particularly comforting as one gets old.... ahem.. older. The rules are laid out and it prevents one from doing foolish things, buying dumb cars or indulging in horrific fashion faux-pas. Once a good barber has been secured, cuffs properly measured and a good music collection has been established, life goes on in a perfectly balanced state and all is well in the greasy universe.
Speaking for myself, I look in the mirror and nothing has changed. Well maybe a few more wrinkles, a few grey hairs and sporadic gargantuan hangovers, but overall, it's still the same ole greasy me. I still dig Rockabilly music , ratty hot rods and greasy hair. A lot of my musician friends also experience this, I guess that the old adage is true; playin' Rock 'n' Roll ( ( or even the Blues) does indeed keep you young and keeps the coolness molecules flowing. Some dudes ( and I use the term loosely) seemed to have lost their way, their mind or both. I observe these clueless middle-aged men and the perplexing behavior that they indulge in. I am not sure if these are mid-life crises or just plain un-coolness,
The urban environment is saturated with filthy longhairs and annoying hipsters so observing these middle-aged white guys can be a little more difficult , but rest assured that they are out there. Here are some things to look for.
1. Dumb ole white guy hair.
I never liked long hair on a dude and even today it is an abomination against all things cool and masculine. Some of these old dudes just can't let go of the seventies. They refuse to get haircuts and good aesthetic judgment eludes them , even as their hair turns grey or even white. They then resort to that quintessential dumb ole white guy hairstyle; the pony tail. Pony tails are great if you happen to be a pony, but a grown man sporting one is just wrong. Maybe long ago long hair was meant to signify rebellion, but their staunch adherence to long hair is inexplicable. Hard to be a rebel when you're sporting a pony tail and driving a pink Corvette ( more on this later).
Some of these pony tail guys also seem to have an affinity for scruffy white beards. Those are fine if you happen to be a crusty gold miner in a western movie, some anti-social mountain man or a dumpster-diver. Nothing says "I am deranged" more than a scruffy white beard.
2. Dumb ole white guy transportation.
Probably having never indulged in coolness when they were young, the DOWGs try in vain to find it when they reach middle age. This is reflected in their questionable taste in cars. The car of choice always has been and still is the Corvette. I don't mean a restored 'vette, I am referring to the newer more effeminate Corvettes. One might argue that they are fast. While this is certainly true, I just shake my head when I see a pony tail clad dude driving one. While they are certainly free to indulge in their own fantasies, would it kill them to do a burn out once in a while? My curmudgeon of a grandpa used to drive a '47 Cadillac. As old age made him more and more wizened, he would peer between the steering wheel and the dashboard and muttered about all the dang fools on the road and would sometimes stomp on the gas pedal if he saw a cat in the road. Grandpa never had any aspirations of being cool, but he still drove a '47 Caddy that freakin' rocked.
Another cliche choice of vehicles, or motor cars as the more pretentious ones call them, is the British car. The DOWGs seem to have an affinity for 70's era MGB convertibles or Jaguar E type convertibles. The really pretentious ones indulge in such affectations as white silk scarves, British racing gloves or pompous hats. As they cruise the streets wearing a stupid smirk on their faces, a few basic facts seem to elude them: namely those cars were never cool, they were pieces of shit that wouldn't start if they saw one drop of rain, you still can't find parts for them and did I mention that they were pieces of shit? The uber-pretentious buy them in England and roll around town with that ridiculous right-hand drive. Good luck finding a carb for the old Jag, Nigel.
Some have a fondness for really big BMW motorcycles. Akin to a Volkswagen on two wheels, a motorcycle with horizontally opposed twin is just wrong; unless you are Colonel Klink.
As far as truly ridiculous modes of transportation go, I would have to say that the recumbent bicycle is near the top of the list. This type of bike seems almost irresistible for some ole white guys. They will spout various types of new age rhetoric as they espouse the virtues of riding these unwieldy contraptions. They are blissfully unaware that they look like complete retards when they ride them. There might even be some sort of law that prohibits bike shops from selling them unless the buyer has a scruffy white beard, outrageous clothing ( possibly tie-dyed) likes to rant and rave about conspiracies and is wearing the prerequisite socks and sandals. Extra bonus points if the bike is constructed out of bamboo. Keep in mind that these types of riders never go anywhere without their pot, so it will only be a matter of time until you see one them crash into a tree or ride off a cliff while chasing large pink rabbits.
3. Dumb ole white guy clothes.
These guys seem to have weird taste in clothes and it is difficult to pinpoint one particular style. Some of the old guys that are into cars can sometimes be seen sporting nylon jackets that have " The Fifties" emblazoned on the back. Some seem to have a fondness for really high-waisted pale jeans. Others prefer the time honored tradition of the acid-washed jeans, possibly the ugliest fabric known to man. Some of the local bums around town seem to like acid washed jeans, but they either found them in the trash or they have been wearing them for so long that they became acid-washed. I'm thinking that some of the dumb ole guys have had their brains acid-washed back in the sixties and they are seeing something altogether different when they go out and buy these retina-searing clothing items.
As previously mentioned, a lot of the ole guys seem to have a fondness for socks and sandals. Not just any socks mind you, they have to be wool socks, They will sometimes wear the socks in the summer and wear the sandals without socks in the winter. They just can't seem to make up their minds. The recumbent riders seem completely oblivious that this type of footwear is conducive to getting your toes horribly mangled while riding these bikes that have drive trains more complicated than your average piece of farm machinery.
Some seem to have an unnatural attraction to ponchos. Clint Eastwood used to be able to pull off that look in those spaghetti westerns, but he was a bad-ass and he had two large pistols. It can be slightly unnerving to see some dude with a scruffy white beard coming at you wearing a rubber poncho complemented with shorts and sandals. He might want to babble about some perpetual motion machines or Nicola Tesla, but chances are he's on his way to the thrift store to buy some really thick rainbow suspenders. Since he's already there he might want to stock up on jeans that go up to his chest. Might want to swing by Walmart to get some tin foil to make a hat out of.
4. Other idiosyncrasies.
A lot of the DOWGs seem to develop strange obsessions or weird idiosyncrasies. Some can be seen in the park with six or seven Afghan dogs on a leash. Six dogs is strange enough , but those Afghan dogs just look weird. Others can be found attending shows of bands that have long since passed their prime and are playing the casino circuit. Toto anyone?
Others can be found frequenting Blues clubs. They like the Blues, man, Da Blues. Unfortunately , they can't tell the difference between the real thing and the generic white-boy Blues bands that they are listening to . Howlin' Wolf would probably scare the hell out of them anyways. After a few crappy beers they will develop an urge to get up and "dance" while the band cranks up yet another version of "got my mojo workin". Their arrhythmic gyrations resemble some sort of seizure and cause more than a few onlookers to feel embarrassed for them.
And that's my spin on the dumb ole white guys. I ain't getting any younger and I have come to terms with the fact that I will, someday, be an old coot. I'll probably be sitting on the porch yelling at kids to pull their baggy pants up as I toss empty cans of hair grease and guitar picks at them. I'll crack another Pabst , take a nice long swig and yell " You kids get offa my lawn!" , but at least I won't be wearing socks and sandals.