Thursday, March 16, 2006


I'm so punk rock I can't stand it!

Since Kyle, Brett, Lato and I aren’t known for performing feats of brilliance; we decided that we would do something intelligent for St. Patrick’s Day. I believe the idea was originally Kyle’s, but it may have been Brett’s. We started growing beards a month or so ago, to get them good and thick, which we are going to shave into a beard style know as “Old Dutch” (think Amish looking,) and dye green. We also have purchased an assortment of green clothing to wear. We may not be Irish, but if we’re going to be drinking like an Irishman, we may as well mock their culture at the same time.

I volunteered to pick up the dye, not because I knew of a place to get it, but because I had been drinking and I figured it couldn’t be that hard. I was mistaken. After many days of endless searching (by which I mean one morning of calling around town from my desk while pretending to work,) I finally found a place. Most of the phone calls just got me laughed at, and one lady thought I said “gray hair dye,” and couldn’t understand why anyone would want to intentionally have gray hair. When I corrected her on the color, I’m not sure it made any more sense to her.

The place I finally found it was Hot Topic, one of these alternative-yet-trendy-but-still-way-cooler-than-you-will-ever-be-and-I-secretly-listen-to-Kenny-Loggins-when-I’m-not-working-I-hate-myself type of stores in the mall. That’s how you know it’s not a real punk rock store – it’s in a mall. How counter culture can you truly claim to be if you rent space in a building that is the epitome of America’s consumer driven society and has a food court? Mmmmmmm… court….

Anyway, I went on my lunch hour since I have better things to do after work than go to the mall when all the high school kids are there, such as setting myself on fire while simultaneously excavating ancient Peruvian ruins with a spoon. (When the hell did I become a grumpy old man? I’m not that much older than those kids…except I am.) For the record, the employees working at the store were great. They thought our idea was hilarious, helped me find what I needed, and were way more professional than 99% of retail workers, and 135% of used car salesmen. Unlike the people at Best Buy, who scatter like animals that scatter extremely quickly as soon as you attempt to make eye contact. It was the other customers in the store who pissed me off.

Maybe I should explain – while I don’t wear a tuxedo to work (except on Flag Day,) I do dress professionally. I have to – I work in a professional setting. Usually khakis, a long-sleeved, collared shirt, and well-polished shoes (although under the pants I usually go commando). So I guess I didn’t meet the expected dress code of the kid who is so punk rock that he has no idea who Johnny Ramone is, and doesn’t realize that Good Charlotte is essentially ‘N-Sync playing dress-up. Forgive me for having a job that doesn’t involve selling spiked bracelets and over-priced concert t-shirts of bands that your mom won’t allow you to go see. Although he avoided direct eye contact, or speaking loudly enough for me to hear all of what he was saying, I could tell that he was making fun of me. Being the kind, gentle person that I am, I responded by staring at him and wondering out loud why the kids were out of school today until he shut up and moved to the other side of the store. Now stop glancing at me and muttering under your breath about how I belong at the Gap before I show you exactly how my shoes obtain such a high gloss polish.

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