Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hipster sighting

"Did you see the tight pants that guy was wearing?" asked Brittney, referring to a customer who had just exited the store.

"Yup.  And speaking of hipsters, that's a definite hipster fashion," I said, since we had just been talking about hipsters a few minutes earlier.  I thought about the time when I used to wear tight pants like that, back when it was a rock & roll thing.  "I used to wear them tight too, about twenty years ago when it was the glam rock style," I remarked as I leaned down and grabbed the excess material of my pants leg around my calf.  I bunched it into my fist, tightening it until it clung to my leg all around.  "See?"

Brittney observed the effect.  She laughed and said, "His were tight in the butt." 

I let go of my pants leg and stood up.  I reached around reflexively and grabbed the seat of my pants and then let go quickly, suddenly self conscious.  "Oh.  Yeah... well, he probably wasn't a hipster.  And mine weren't ever tight in the butt," I lied.

"Are you gonna go back to that style now that it's the 'in' thing again?" asked Brittney.

I imagined trying to pull off that style now and pictured my belly spilling over the thirty inch waist of the tight glam rock jeans I used to wear back in the early 90's.  I frowned.  "I don't think so," I said.  "I don't want to be mistaken for a hipster..."

At that moment I glanced outside and watched as a scooter pulled up to the gas pump.  Aha, I thought to myself.  Now that is a bona-fide hipster!  A hipster sighting is always a cause for some fun for me at work, since identifying one isn't always cut and dried.  This one, however, was a dead ringer.  I pointed the specimen out to Britney.  "See there, the guy with the scooter?  That's a for sure hipster.  And a scooter is always a good sign."

Brittney followed my finger to where I was pointing and laughed. "You're silly," she said.  "Weren't you just saying that you wanted a scooter an hour ago?"

I rolled my eyes.  "That's different.  I want one for getting from point A to point B, not so I can display my non-conformity by conforming to the vague rules of an anti-conformist sub culture."

Brittney rolled her eyes at me and smiled.  "Uh huh."

I shook my head and laughed.  "A hipster I am definitely NOT.  I'm stuck in the entirely different sub-culture of early 90's grunge.  At least most people have heard of my music."

"Yeah, like most people have heard of Pinback."

Brittney will never know how close my brain had come to imploding just then.  "Uh... anywho," I said after I'd recovered.  "Back to the hipster.  You know how I can tell he's a hipster?"  The guy dismounted his scooter and began fiddling with the gas pump.  "First off, he's riding a scooter.  That isn't a dead giveaway in itself, but it's a good indicator."  We observed as he abruptly left off what he was doing, and as he approached the store I noted his attire.  He was wearing tight fitting cut-off blue jean shorts, Chuck Taylors with black socks, and a black t-shirt with a picture of a pistol on the front with 'New York' printed in large letters above it.  He was also wearing a backwards baseball cap.

"Ok, see?" I remarked.  "He's wearing the tight skinny cut-offs.  See how tight they are?" 

"Yeah, those sure are some tight shorts," observed Brittney.  "How can he actually like them being that tight?"

"It isn't for the likes of us the question the ways of the hipster," I answered, eliciting laughter from both of us.

"See the black socks?" I said as I resumed my commentary.  "That means anti-establishment, to wear shorts with black socks.  And the t-shirt with the slogan that makes no sense... what the heck is that supposed to mean?  Probably something ironic that nobody has ever heard of or understands except for him and whoever he invites into his loft apartment."  I sure as heck didn't know what it was supposed to mean, unless it was just a simple statement about gun violence in The Big Apple, done in an obvious way as an attempt to be confusing and profound at the same time.  Typical.  "Oh, and look," I said.  "He's even got the country hick baseball cap with the tall flat front."

At that moment the hipster came into the store and wandered back to the cooler.  "Hey," I said to Brittney.  "Leah told me that she teased Nick once about being a hipster.  I think he might be a closet hipster."

"Does he have rich parents?" Brittney asked, since earlier I had been describing hipsters as decadent youths, eternally dependent on their wealthy parents to support them throughout their twenties and thirties so that they could spend all of their time observing the philosophical irony of something or another, while at the same time acting like they didn't care about it.  While drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon.  Or lattes.

I thought about it for a second.  "Hmmm... I dunno," I replied.  "He was a hobo for a while and used to jump trains a lot.  He definitely lived a kind of homeless lifestyle for some time.  Maybe he's a hobo-hipster.  A hobster." 

This got a laugh out of Brittney.  "Oh man, did that make things worse?" she said, referring to my situation concerning Nick.

At that moment the hipster came up to my register.  He placed a soda on the counter and asked for two dollars in gas.

"Well, it didn't help anything, but that's just me being retarded," I said as I rang up the soda and set the gas pump.  "I actually liked Nick just fine before," I said.  "We were right on the cusp of becoming good friends when things fell apart.  I even asked him to be my Godfather once."  I met Brittney's eyes and laughed.  "Man, that would have been awkward."

"Wow.  Yeah, I remember you telling me about that," said Brittney.  "Did he wear the skinny hipster jeans?"

At that moment the hipster at my register gave Brittney a brief but pointed glance, then took his change and exited the store.

"Did you see that?" Brittney said excitedly.  "He looked up when I said hipster!" 

"We've just made an authentic hipster sighting.  We were quite lucky... the hipster in it's natural environment is an elusive creature," I remarked.

Brittney laughed and shook her head.  "You're silly," she said.

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