Strictly speaking, not refreshed.

California is, regardless what its denizens would have you believe, a different country. New York is as well, but that's not today's lesson. Chicago, for example, isn't; neither is Boston. Philadelphia, Denver, Phoenix, Houston, Indianapolis likewise.

By this I mean that you see things there -- and the residents believe* and comport themselves -- in marked contradistinction to those in the rest of the country. Ovah heah (and this is a fairly cosmopolitan place) middle-aged men in ponytails and/or earrings are a pretty rare sight. Come to think of it, there's a lot of middle-aged men dressing as if they were in their mid-20s. There are a LOT of blonde people in California.

Something also somewhat uncommon here is seeing people tattooed to such an extent their original skin color is subject to lively speculation, but ovah theah one could easily lose count in the first half hour if conducting such a census. One of my perversely favorite things were all the hardcore goths in Disneyland. Color me silly, but there is something funny about a pack of sullen youths dressed in jet black standing in line to ride Peter Pan's Flight.

What floored me is a family that had two small children (I'm guessing 5 and 7 years of age) with bleached blond dreadlocks. If my parents put me and my brother in dreadlocks and bleached them blond, when we grew up we'd make Erik & Lyle Menendez look like the Hardy Boys.

Then there are the piercings. You'd be standing in line for something and the person in front of you looked as if she had been shot with adhesive BBs. This explains the relatively empty flights; these people have too much metal in them to make it through airport security in time to board the aircraft.


* There is a vague we're-the-center-of-the-universe aspect to these sorts of folks.


Jaye Joseph said…
Hmmmm, kind of sounds more like you were in Austin...
Badger said…
Ha! Jaye beat me to it. I was going to say, I thought California had exported all those people to Texas, specifically Austin. But NEVERMIND.
Joke said…
Too much surf-ness, not enough cowboy apparel to confuse it with Austin, which is a great city, surrounded by Texas on all sides.

Also, the whole bloody state (with some subtle subregional variations) is like that, while Austin is more of an isolated case study.

olivespearls said…
What, you saw no one in leather chaps with only a g-string underneath?
Badger said…
Cowboy apparel in AUSTIN? When's the last time you were here, 1974?
Joke said…
As of 2003 I saw that at the airport. DEFINITELY no surfers.

Stomper Girl said…
Middle-aged men in ponytails (especially if they've greased them back) are one of my least favourite things, pardon my syntax.
Kim said…
My maternal birth-grandfather (work that one out) has a ponytail. He is 74.


One of the moments I give a quiet thanks that I was adopted.

But this isn't about me. It's about being so very glad that you're back.

Tell me, because I am a glutton for punishment, did you all wear matching outfits this year?
Joke said…
Only some of the time. The fact we were not 100% matchy-matchy excited much comment. In fact, it was the first thing Poppy said to us.


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