in the ironic band t-shirt (he was wearing a Primus shirt. A local, just making conversation, mentioned that Primus was coming to town soon. The hipster looked at him as if he were daft, down at the shirt then said, “I didn’t even know they were a band.”) please do not talk sports. I know you don’t know me, but trust me here, you sound stupider talking sports than you do when you talk about the new band you’ve discovered that hasn’t even formed yet! Yeah! That’s hip. It’d be hipper if one of the members hasn’t been born yet but I’m sure you already know that.
I know, harsh. Sports is covered under free speech. But, I’m really trying to help. Really! I’m not kidding this time. The reason is you draw unwanted attention to yourself. I know you WANT attention, but, trust me on this, you don’t want certain kinds of attention.
For the rest of you, because you weren’t there, I’ll relate the tale.
I was at a dive bar last night. I know, for hipsters that’s like clits to Lindsay Lohan’s tongue. They’re just drawn to them. The problem is, although being the first hipster to mark this bar with your half-skinny half-1 percent extra hot split quad shot latte with whip scent is a badge of honor, some of the actual regulars, people who’ve dropped blood on this very floor before your hair band loving parents met, don’t appreciate strangers. Much less strangers they think look strange who start talking sports.
Statements like (and this is an actual quote not gussied up by me), “He’s throwing like shit. His arm must be tired from fucking his supermodel wife.” only cause the regulars to stop mid sip. And you gotta know they don’t like nothing that gets in the way of their sipping.
That statement also caused me a moments pause because the only time your arm would most get tired off field is if you didn’t have a supermodel wife. But it may explain that pinched and pained expressions of the hipsterettes. Things is going horribly awry in the pie.
Regulars may even let it slide, they understand there are different levels of sports fans and game knowledge. But then the hipster, sitting there with his flava sava and Seth Rogan glasses, spoils it all by saying something stupid like,
“His hair is stupid.”
A sports fan in a place like this doesn’t even see a players hair much less comment upon it. The last time these people spoke of a players hair it was Y. A. Tittle’s. To their barber. They wanted to make sure he knew how to cut it to that five o’clock shadow length.
But it was the final thing, after noticing being part of the regulars wasn’t quite working out, he did that may be the most offensive: parroting.
I was talking to a guy who played division one college ball. He was talking about the merits of the opposing quarterback.
“You’ve got to give it to him, he gets in the pocket and gets a good look. He’s finding the open man for some big yard plays.”
“He’s sure finding the openings for some big yardage. It’s because he’s getting into the pocket for a good look.” We hear from behind.
After three or four times of hearing his lines repeated, the guy was incredulous (and yes, hipster dude, he not only knows what it means he can spell it) so leaned over (his leaning from bar stool to their table should have been evidence enough for them to take this gentleman VERY seriously) and asked, nicely I will attest, if he had a thought about the evenings action that germinated inside his very own head or if he was just going to leech off his experiences all evening?
“I know this game! I grew up on this game! Go fu. . .”
This next part of that word was conjecture both on my and the gentleman who stood blotting out the vapor tubed light from their table but I think we all know where he was going. The thing is in his world telling someone to go fuck themselves is akin to having a friend with benefits. No matter how many times he tells one of his ilk to fuck off they’ll always let him use their top secret torrent site to download tunes that are in pre-pre-pre-production.
But, in the neighborhood they’ve recently decided to call home, due to the cheap rents and weather-worn character (that’s hipster speak for shit hole), if you’re not ‘from there’ that tends to become fighting words. Which is where we had ourselves. Now the hipster dude may have thought himself some kind of cosmic warrior but, the truth is, a table leg will still open up a skull.
His only advantage was not the six or eight friends who were backing away nor the three or four hipster chicks cackling in his face, it’s that he was a guest in this gentleman’s home. All it took was a real regular to explain that to him.
So, as a coda to this and all the hipsters out there, if you find yourself someplace new, to keep the local animals sedated and your television absorbed world weariness still the experiences of others, be nice and maybe not so grandiose. Especially in a place where you feel the need to pretend the bartender knows your name.
Oh, you didn’t know I saw when you approached the bar all cocky braying to your friends about how tight you and the bartender are.
“Oh yeah, we go way back. Take my friends orders first and I’ll have my regular.” She looked at you and, to your credit, you saw she had no clue what your regular was and barely had any recollection of any of your frequent appearances. “Yeah,” you began to even your keel. “My regular Bud. Yep. That’s what I’ll be having. My regular.”
So, hipster dude, you’re more than welcome to the neighborhood, things are changing, everyone is aware of that. But the ties in this gritty, blue collar neighborhood run deep. And you’re still in the shallow end. So dip in a toe, wade in a bit, but don’t get in too deep too fast because the undertow around here is a bitch.
After all, I don’t come into your coffee house and bleat about The Delano Orchestra or Mouth’s Cradle, do I? A little respect and a ton of common sense. Is that too much to ask in these frantic and fractured times?
Thanks, hipster dude! Maybe next time the grizzled bastards at the end of this scared and pock-marked start grumbling about you the gentleman from earlier may stand to your defense,
“Hey, leave him alone. He’s a good guy.”
You’ll be hard pressed to do much better than that.