I slapped "Sombrero Guy" down on the table. But then she raised me one ""Hallelujah Lady."
This is a running joke I have with my hairstylist. I work in a very off-beat, bohemian part of town. Her salon is in the mall. There is much Fascinating Humanity in each. And every visit, we routinely swap tales of real-life characters we've encountered like cards in a rummy game.
Our office receptionist keeps me looped in to our local interest. Her clear view of the city sidewalk is a little like being in one of those mini-subs which explores the dark, little-charted depths of the ocean. She's constantly encountering all sorts of amazing new species.
Some with fins and frills to lure in unsuspecting prey...
Some with remarkable communication capabilities and elaborate self-defense rituals...
Some unexpectedly excreting bodily fluids back into the environment...
And others showcasing intriguing mating approaches.
Some are also completely off their nut.
"Sombrero Guy is here! Sombrero Guy is here!" This was my receptionist friend through the inner-office phone. Sombrero Guy's reputation preceded him. I knew the tales, but had not witnessed his self-expressive styling for myself. I ran the two flights downstairs.
By the time I got there, I could just make out a slim figure in the distance. A stringy, knobby man, in denim mens' acid-washed Bermuda shorts, a rumpled t-shirt, a giant red sombrero...
And teetering in shiny black stilettos.
It made a statement.
Mostly, we think the statement is, "I get dressed while very, very strung out."
The "Hallelujah Lady," on the other hand, comes to walk around the mall in the mornings accompanied by her constant exercise buddy, Jesus Christ.
Now, I have heard people say the phrase, "I walk with the Lord." But up until now, I wasn't aware that it actually involved laps and a pedometer.
Anyway, maybe it's from feeling the burn, the freedom from those extra calories, the endorphins, or maybe the Son of God is an even tougher motivator than personal trainer Jillian Michaels...
But not long into her circuit of the mall, the Hallelujah Lady will be out there, praising Jesus, waving her arms (burning off even more calories) and her shouts of joy echo off the store fronts and through the food court.
People turn and stare. The hairstylists all peer out to watch. And the Hallelujah Lady carries on, undeterred, exercising-- or perhaps exorcising-- both Body and Soul.
Well, I do realize that for her sheer enthusiasm, Hallelujah Lady is going to be an awfully tough one to beat for my next hair appointment. But I have hope. Recent coworker witnesses have documented sightings of a new local lifeform...
A guy who commutes on a uni-cycle during rush-hour while playing guitar.
We've thought a lot about this, internally. And the best we can determine is that clearly, he needs the guitar, given unicycles do not, in fact, have a sound-system built in.
And a boring old iPod, well... it just wouldn't have the same atmosphere, would it?
Hats off to that! Or, well... sombreros, if you've got 'em.