Black Spike Heels and a Red Sombrero

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.
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Humorbloggers

11 comments:

kathcom said...

A sombrero with shiny black stilettos? Call Anna Wintour! This may be next season's runway look-in menswear, of course. Mall guy is going to be so disappointed his look was ripped off.

Jenn Thorson said...

Kath- It's definitely a memorable look. Perhaps for the purposes of marketing it could be called "The Klinger."

Surfie said...

I can't say I've ever met anyone quite that interesting on the job. But I do clearly remember a guy who came in to the store where I was a cashier (about a zillion years ago it seems). He had at least a 2 to 3 day scruffy beard happening, unintentionally messy hair, he wore cut-off jean shorts (and I mean SHORT) and a dirty t-shirt. He accessorized this look with badly applied blue eyeshadow and pink lipstick. I could never tell if this was how he left the house, or if this was just the dregs of what was left of his makeup after one hell of a night. He won't be winning any drag queen competitions any time soon.

Jenn Thorson said...

Surfie- Blue eyeshadow, no less-- very 70s. :) I always do find the makeup/beard combo an interesting choice.

Knew a guy in college who went all-out with a granny floral dress, heels, a purse, and makeup... but there was always that beard.

Babs-beetle said...

I'm afraid when I worked in London it was far too dangerous for a man to dress in anything more than a coloured shirt! Those days are gone thank goodness.

Working next to the Drury Lane Theatre meant we saw a lot of famous people. The most flamboyant of these was Carol Channing, who was having a photo shoot, though we were entertained daily by the down and outs who made their home at the back of the theatre :)

screwdestiny said...

I freaking love people watching. Unfortunately, in my small town, it's nothing that eclectic.

Anna Lefler said...

Jesus wasn't wearing a half-shirt and a headband, was he? "Cuz that's just not how I like to picture him...

;-) Anna

Jenn Thorson said...

Babs- Ironically, I saw a guy the other day who, coicindentally, dressed very much like Carol Channing-- right down to the blond bob haircut. :) It wasn't quite as good as the time I saw an Elvis impersonator in the supermarket-- but not bad. :)

I'm sure you saw all sorts of interesting things around the theater. :)

ScrewDestiny- Yes, small towns have a way of keeping the eccentricities a little more contained. They're THERE, but they're a little quieter. Or expressed in different ways.

Anna-- Me, neither actually. Thanks so much for burning that image into my brain. :)

MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings said...

There's something decidely unattractive about a dude in stilletto heels and a red sombrero. A woman, on the other hand.....

Anyway, we had a guy here in Denver who was famous for roller skating around town in a pink tutu and a tiara. He waved a wand at people -- for good luck, I guess -- and actually seemed quite nice. But, sadly, he died young, of AIDS. No joke here, it's just a sad story about an unusual person who made people smile. Sorry. I didn't know this comment was headed in this direction.

VE said...

Are you sure you don't live in Portland? This all sounds about right...

Jenn Thorson said...

Mike- That is sad, actually. I wonder what gave him the initial idea for the rollerskates and costume.

VE- Heh, really? We have a lot of rainy weather like Portland-- I think we're the second rainiest city in the country-- so maybe the eccentricity is a way to liven up otherwise dreary weather?

I dunno, I'm trying anyway. :)