Every once in a while I am reminded that we moved to our town on purpose. Somehow, it makes the encounters with the fauna all the more distressing (or amusing, as Robert T. informed me that I was full of angst and regretting the move--NEVER!). Anyway, in the years that we've lived here I have been subjected to, exposed to, and interacted with a number of people that I would never have encountered while living in such a culturally diverse town as Miami. You have your weirdos. It didn't take me long to discover that we have ours.
The trouble with living in a big city such as Miami is that you do develop a sense of ennui towards the inhabitants. Like those awful high school days where everybody fit neatly into a clique, you eventually break down your vocabulary and refer to the people who are NOT like you as THEY. The thing is, Miami has an awful lot of THEYS.
In contrast, moving to the country offered an opportunity for anonymity (I don't like a lot of people) and a certain romantic delusion that the rural life is slower and somehow more pure and simple.
What I didn't count on is becoming a THEY myself. Indeed, the revelation took a long time. It started subtly, with people asking if I came from up north (contrary to popular belief, they don't really say yankee). Then, I was mistaken for Mexican. A multitude of times. Now, I don't carry a grudge against Mexicans, it's just that, if someone is going to label me, I'd like it to be the right one. I drew the line the day a drunk, cigarette smoking, trashy white woman asked for a ride back to the trailer park. The implication in the question was of course, that I belonged there, too. That was the last time I wore hiking boots with shortie socks. I try to match, too, when I go out in public.
So, in spite of seeking a purer and simpler life here, I've just traded the kinds of THEYS that I encounter. Just when I thought I'd seen it all and could close my classification book, I was graced with the greatest ever spotting of the Weird and Bizarre. I was sitting outside in the sun (it's cold as a witch's tit today, but very sunny) waiting my turn for an emission test (thanks for the car, Mami) when I see a man walking up the street. He was going at a pretty good clip, too. The first thing I notice is that he's not wearing a shirt. Then I see that he's got a blond mohawk. I had just chalked him up as weird when I noticed the bizarre part.
This guy had a black hairy chest, and as he passed me, I saw that his back was pretty hairy as well. OK, that's gross, but not bizarre you say. Aha! That's when I processed that he wasn't hairy in some spots, and that it was pretty symmetrical.
My mind was slogging along much slower than he was moving, so it took me a moment to grasp the implication of the pattern on his chest and back. As soon as he got to the door of the Quikmart, he pulled out a wifebeater that was stuffed in his shorts, and disappeared inside. Naturally, when he emerged a few minutes later he was carrying a cube of Budweisers. At 9:38 in the morning.
That's when I connected the hairless pattern with the wifebeater. He very graciously confirmed my observation by removing the shirt as he passed by me.
Excuse me while I go throw up.