There's a guy who frequents the neighborhood just north of mine. He's one of those guys who is recognizable to everyone -- "oh yeah, I know the guy you're talking about! I just saw him at the west side Shop-fer-Crap last Muffleskin Day!" -- but known by no one -- "no idea who he is. Sure stands out in a crowd, though!" And boy does he! But wait, let me paint you a picture:
- About 6 ft tall.
- Super-skinny. I'm talkin' Tim Burton animated hero skinny.
- Long, dark hair down his back. Stops probably just over his nonexistent heiny.
- Sometimes just moustache, sometimes full-on evil Spock goutee.
- Always wears the same thing: black, beat-up skinny jeans and a black biker jacket. And the leather jacket is always, always zipped up to nipple-height. (I'm guessing -- I haven't actually measured the height of his nipples.)
- Right hand is a razor-sharp, wrought iron hook.
You can't drive past such a fellow citizen and not do a couple of things. Double-take. Watch him in your rear-view mirror. Wonder where he's going or where he just came from. Mr. Scary Biker Pirate Dude, walkin' down to the Piggly-Wiggly for Cheezy Doodles. Senor Biker Pirate Muchacho, off to the pet store for food for his ferret. Forsooth, Biker Pirate Scurvy Dog, how be the puppet show and mime-a-palooza you attended? And by the way, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO YOUR RIGHT HAND?
That's the other thing you can't help doing after driving past old S.B.P.D. (as I'm calling him). You have to wonder what happened to his hand and, more to the point (sorry, couldn't resist) why, when he was faced with the decision about how to replace his now-missing righty, he went with "fully-sharpened, wrought-iron, scary, scary, scary hook!" Not a fake hand, or one of those articulating jobbies that can open and close. No, he thought "this is the opportunity I've been waiting for to finally have a sharp, steel, pokey thing with me at all times." No doubt he'd been forced to suffer many instances where he was needing a sharp, steel pokey thing and had none. Never happen again!
But if you're like me the other thing that you sometimes do, as S.B.P.D. is getting smaller and smaller in your rearview mirror, is wonder if there is a Mrs. Scary Biker Pirate Dude. What would the woman in his life be like? What would be the pitfalls of living w/ someone who always has a meat hook coming off his wrist? Does she have any Black-and-Decker body parts of her own? Any funny stories about getting jabbed by the hook? Complete with ugly-looking puncture wounds of course. Just how big a vat of bactine would someone have in their home when living that life?
So I'm trying, as I wander past my now-familiar cast of Yenta.com characters, to remind myself that they may be no Paul Newman or Nathan Fillion, but at least they probably don't have a sharpened, wrought iron hook for a hand. And that's gotta count for somethin'.