Saturday, May 15, 2010

Hippies in the mist.

Today we planned to bicycle to the Broad Ripple Art Fair, after a bit of pedaling about on the Monon.

Knowing that we were going to be in Patchouli Fume Central, I dressed for the occasion in my Filthy Hippies t-shirt and my faded and sweat-stained Blackwater hat, since they make such lovely conversation pieces amidst the Obama buttons and "Coexist" bumper stickers.

The sky was constantly threatening rain while we put probably twelve miles of asphalt under our tires. At one point we stopped in a bike shop, where a young guy on a Surly fixie called out "Does that hat say 'Blackwater'?"


His chin went up a little. "You're kinda... far from home, aren't you?"

"Uh, no. Actually I live here in Broad Ripple."

As we pedaled on down the trail, Bobbi, Turk, Shootin' Buddy, and I came up with possible alternative answers to his question. Some of the droller ones:
  • "No. Actually the secret meeting is here in Indy this month."
  • "You're not cleared for the answer to that."
  • "No. We're doing security at the Art Fair."
  • "Gotta wash the blood off someplace."
  • "Actually, I'm here to give a class on waterboarding to the IMPD."
Ah, l’esprit de l’escalier...


Fred said...

The really good ones always come five minutes too late...

Last harassment I got OCing, "do you have a permit for that?" I answered nicely, but I really should have said "Mam, it's Wisconsin, I couldn't even get a permit for it if I wanted to. There is NO such thing here." Oh well.

Anonymous said...

Well, sure...if it's lifted chins and apr├Ęs le fait riposte you want, a Blackwater hat is hard to beat.

But for furrowed brows and the hilarity of suspicion and confusion, it's got to be Marko's simple but voluminous retort:

They'll be conflicted over the whole "Is he fer us or agin us?" thing for hours, as you pedal merrily on your way, quietly but efficiently insulting and confounding the great unwashed among us.


The Jack said...

Ahhh and a fixie owner too. Delicious.

The far from home bit is great shows their insular tribal thinking and their intrinsic fear of the other. That or the guy's a tool.

Hehe, love the art fair security one.

Keads said...

I LOL'ed at that one! Forgot the NRA neck badge at the German restaurant, resplendent with it's life member ribbon (pretty tacky) and instructor pin (pretty cool) today. Much the same thing!

Waitperson: "So you here for the convention?"

Me: "No I am here for lunch! Convention is 4 blocks over."

And thanks to everyone now, I am now Google searching all more than pedestrian terms I may throw out!

I bet you locked them up Tam, so how is Indy to live, I may need to move! Or is it in fact pretty much the same everywhere? You have gotten around!

(proofreading madly before I hit submit)

Sarah said...

"Filthy hippies" tee? Sweet.

Mine reads "I [club] hippies."

ZerCool said...

There is a large farmer's market near us. MrsZ and I visit it a few times each summer for sundries that are hard to find elsewhere or just plain better from the market.

I try to make a point of wearing my "Peace through superior firepower" shirt when I go. I need to get some gun brand shirts to flaunt.

Keads said...


There is a really great logo out there that has a B-52 as a peace symbol in the ring and has the "peace through superior firepower" logo under it.

Wearing gun branded shirts will work, I have very understated Smith & Wesson and Colt Oxford shirts. They are very rarely noticed.

If you want to grab attention, put on a very graphic "NRA Certified Instructor" shirt. That gets interesting!

Will said...

Hmmm, if you find a good spot to throw out that "waterboarding) response, it may end up in your local MSM as an investigation of the PD! Go for it! That should liven up things locally...(hehehe)

Joe Huffman said...

My favorite shirt I saw at the NRA Annual meeting so far was, "I'd rather be waterboarding".

Yes, as a matter of fact, I do like sick humor.

Shane said...

My favorite garment of liberal annoyance is a t-shirt with a B52 headed away from an expanding mushroom cloud with the caption, "Now it's Miller Time!"

Anonymous said...

I usually save my best lines for telling to the steering wheel on the way home.

How's this one: We're here to open a branch office. (or a recruiting station, or a retirement facility, or a hospital for wounded contractors, or...)

Jeff said...

Art Fair security... Perfect answer! Just think of the repercussions for the organizers.

Anonymous said...

"Ahhh and a fixie owner too. Delicious."

I ride a fixie. Even while CCWing. Then again, mine isn't an affectation to go along with skinny jeans and an ironic mustache. I put nearly 1000 miles on mine in the year and a half since I built it.

I dunno, I took the guy's comments as recognition that BW is in NC, not that you were unwelcome. I wasn't there, so I can't know for certain.


Tam said...

Yes, he was not in hipster costume, and he might have meant it the other way. I'm inferring completely from inflection.

Still, making up rejoinders was fun... :)

Anonymous said...

Ahhh...the fixie, preferably a rat fixie, as the ultra-hip eco-greenie-Leftover campus and around town statement. I'd like to see some of those rattletrap coffee-house curb adornments from student ghetto do much more than creak and shudder to the sidewalk tables of caffeine and profiling.

However, all due kudos to the folks who actually use a sound 'gutterball' set of wheels for the commute. Now, if someone just had a paintjob in appropriate colors that said "Blackwater Security", it'd be perfect trans for such festivals.

In fact, at one of the Ann Arbor, Michigan town-wide fest and fairs celebrating the decline and fall of icky traditional Western Art and the inhalation of happy smoke, I'd pay a discrete camera crew to record the reactions to such a vehicle.

Be sure to have a $500.00 set of wheels and 150.00 leather saddle on it, too, just to stymie the occasional elitist bikie-shop snob. Tho, in Ann Arbor, there is no shortage of 1500.00 bikes being owned & used to save the planet.

Well, thanks for the retort selection. I agree that while extempore wit is a valuable ally in such sitty-ations, it sure wouldn't hurt to have a short catalog of appropriate retorts suitable to the event.

Now, off to pedal to the Toledo, Ohio Maumee Vally Gun Collector's show local gun show. Thataway I don't have to pay the 7.00 parking fee now imposed by the new operators of the facility. Add the 5.00 admission fee, and you could use that amount to actually buy something besides elbow to elbow mass exchange of human respiratory ailments.

A little late today, formost meaningful scores due to vendor and 'walkabout' ignorance, but it's always a treasure hunt, anyway. "Say, how much ya asking for that ....?"

JohnM, West End'o Da Lake,mon.

mariner said...

This reminds me I need a "Celebrate Diversity" tee shirt.

Stranger said...

My usual retort is on the order of "It's not far, just outside Goshen," or one of the towns on Rolf's original "I've been Everywhere."

It leaves them wondering if they have just forgotten someplace or their minds.


Anonymous said...

"I'm here because I ran out of infant grease for mah gunz."

Montie said...

I've only had my Blackwater T-shirt commented on once, but being as this is Oklahoma, it was a guy wanting to know how to get one :-)

Rabbit said...

Maybe it's just because it's Texas, but I get nothing but compliments and positive affirmations when I wear a Kalashnikitty t-shirt. Can't be because I'm good looking.

Crucis said...

"Hippie season starts Monday. We've scouting for all the good spots. We've each two tags to fill."

OTOH, I don't think they'd have the slightest idea what that'd mean.


atlharp said...

Here's one:

"Aren't you a little far from home?"

"Kid, wherever I can carry a gun, eat a damn good steak, and take a shit in a decent toilet I might as well be home.....Savvy?"


Anonymous said...

30 miles on the fixie this afternoon. Try that in your skinny pants!

No gun though. I was dressed for speed and there was no way to conceal a revolver.


John said...


I live on a heavy 'bikie traffic' corner. Lots of skinnypant, zooted up individuals or whole packs-scrums-gangs. Or, whatever is the proper term for lycra-clad, order-barking, leg-churning groups of aggressive weekend pedal-pushers. God save us all from the weekend morning Tour de Maumee.

All winter long, passing that same corner, there are just a few commuter types out there with our packs and fatter tire bikes splashing slush and working hard just to keep a body temperature. But ya got the streets to y'rself, save when you see a fellow winter-grim pilgrim. Kinda peaceful and everyone minds their own business.

Come the spring, and pavement is crowded with the herd of high fashion, high tech, multi-gear riders -- bossing the streets and spreading lycra terror everywhere. ;~`) So, I always get a kick out of the mostly solitary fixie riders I encounter around town, and cheer them on, as fellow radical practicals.

Were my frame and joints not so spent and rent, at this stage of life, I'd goferit, too. Nice zoot fixie mo-sheen, eh? Save that even the in flat old ex-swamplands of NW Ohio I need some gear selection. Otherwise I'd blowout some vital piece of past-it's-prime cartilage or tendon -- just surmounting an expressway overpass. Hell, a tall train crossing makes me downshift and stand on the pedals, anymore.

So a good skoal, to the fixie riders who are actually riding somewhere, with the intent to cover ground. The rolling wreck dudes who are just profiling for the college freshman chicks down at the coffeehouse don't count for doot, in rider terms.

It ain't the machine that makes rider, y'knnow? ;~`)

Ken said...

Maumee? Hey, I just went to Fort Meigs yesterday with my sons. Went through the fort twice, played a few miniatures games with the HMGS-Great Lakes people. They want my elder son for a drummer boy, I think.

PS -- Also, while I was there I picked up a copy of Victory Games' NATO (which I missed having). in pretty good shape, for $5.

Stretch said...

Have an old Schwinn. Finally getting in some saddle time. While stopped at a crossing on the W&OD trail some "lycra-clad" team pulled up next to me. My flannel shirt, baseball cap and jeans drew some unsolicited comments. "Why not get some 'real' bike gear?"
"Cause the lycra wont fit over my ankle holster."
I like to think I helped them set a personal best.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Above comment stolen from my dear friend Bric who thought of it too late to use himself.

Anonymous said...

What exactly is your "Filthy Hippies" shirt? Is it a band, or something else?

More importantly, where can I get one?


Tam said...

It came from one of those online t-shirt shops.

It's done to look kind of like an indie band shirt. There's an open guitar case on a sidewalk, surrounded by the words "The Filthy Hippies. In concert practically everywhere."

John said...

Howdy, Ken,

Happy to make y'r acquaintance. Drop by the Maumee Antique Mall, and find my furniture repair shop in the back corner. Most weekday afternoons, you can just follow the sounds of mild cursing and occasional whiffs of mild solvents.

Yup, NW Ohio is fortunate indeed, to have that historic site in good order and fully-manned [by loyal volunteer staff, mostly], despite recent state budget cuts. For the benefit of Tam's readers: this area is the 'forgotten frontier', mostly because not much glam Hollywood-worthy attention has been focused on events here.

Ohio was just as dark and bloody as the more famous "frontier states". Lots and lots of soldiers and settlers, from the Ohio River on northwards, did NOT die peacefully in bed. For non-locals, Google up Colonel Crawford and Simon Girty. As well, two or three British and Federal forces came to mostly bad ends in the rolling highlands and extensive swamps of Ohio.

Then there was that little 1812 Naval engagement on Lake Erie and the sieges at Fort Meigs and...oh...the massacree of some 600 over-eager Tennessee militia and followers about 1/2 mile from where I sit. Geez, Ginril
Custer hardly scored half that many, eh? The Maumee Library is current landholder over the dead bones.

For the history-afflicted there is much reading and not-too-far driving available, tho some major battle sites aren't really easy to find or even marked.

Hope this isn't too much of a hi-jack of Ye Olde Blog, here, -- I park my commuter-grubby bike outside the shop door, so there's a swing at staying on topic, anywayz.

Diesel said...

Bravo Company USA sells EAG shirts, one of which reads: "Kill bad guys like a champion today!"

I have one, works great for pissing off the granola eaters in Seattle.