Saturday, August 26, 2006


I do a lot of people watching while I walk to work. It's not the world's longest walk, but it does take me past about 200 constantly changing, endlessly fascinating people. It doesn't hurt that at least four of them on any given day will make me feel much, much better about myself and my life choices. Others... will simply confuse.

Last week I walked behind a man whose outfit revealed itself to me in small pieces. I think that was all my brain could cope with at a time; it had to see, analyze and accept each small portion before it could move on.

It began with the hat - the crocheted hat. The rainbowy, bobbles on it like an afghan hat. This is not an unusual sight where I work so I just thought 'hmmm... wonder if that guy went out with the strange woman who seems to compulsively crochet horrible accessories for all she knows?' until he took it off and revealed the carefully plastered four strands of hair stretched over his bald spot. Then I was impressed because a. the strands had survived the hat and its removal and b. the plastering which had made them survive had yet not managed to tame the inherent curliness of the hair. Never seen anything like it. Very interesting.

Then I noticed that he was wearing a brand spanking-new t-shirt. I know this because it still had the sharp square wrinkles left from being pressed in a plastic package at the bottom of a slippery stack of orange and brown t-shirts.

I thought I had hit the highlight though with the shorts. He was wearing black briefs - I know this because he was also wearing paper-thin white shorts. They were that indeterminate length where you can't tell if you're grateful they're not shorter or you wish they'd just said to heck with it and splurged on another inch or two. They also hinched up around the crotch so they had a sort of disconsolate droop at the edges.

I was so pleased with the shorts I nearly stopped there, which would have been terribly, terribly sad because I would have missed the most amazing thing I've ever seen. Over his black ankle socks (passed by without comment because:) he wore... well the closest I can come is saddle shoes. You know those 1950's black and white shoes that bobby-soxer's wore? Only his were sort of camel dung brown on the toes and heels, and a very pale creamy green across the middle. And his feet must have been at least size 15. Huge.

But the very best bit was that he was walking with a slim, silky-tressed blonde wearing a close-enough-for-government-work Chanel little black dress and classic pumps.

And she was holding his hand.


Anonymous said...

Now for the fun part...what were their names? Elvira and Ebeneezer? Pookie and Biff?

child two said...

i would have been too scared after the shorts. i would have moved on to pookie