I saw something the other day that made me wonder what is what.” What would that be?” you might ask. Well, I will tell you what, after I explain to you that I, at one time, was a young person. I’m sure that I did some things that made older folks scratch their heads in wonder. I grew my hair longer than older folks normally did. I have to say, however that it wasn’t necessarily because of The Beatles. For some reason, I liked the look of much older folks of the masculine persuasion, like Ben Franklin, Buffalo Bill Cody, George Armstrong Custer, Jesus… I think you get the picture. The point is I was, maybe, different than others of my age. Never-the-less, kids my age tended to have longer hair and, as soon as possible, would grow face hair, if they could, and even when they couldn’t. Older folks didn’t care for it so much and would make comments like, “Isn’t that hot for the summer?” or “Doesn’t that itch?” The answer was “I like it this way!”
In my town (Topeka, Kansas), during a few years in the 60s, there was a very strange phenomenon concerning clothes that I don’t think went past the city limits. It was very popular for guys to wear “flag jackets” (a kind of windbreaker with a large differently colored rectangle on the back similar to a signal flag that sailors used to send messages), Adler socks and very tight high-water 501 Levis that came down, maybe, to the tops of their Adler socks. If they felt dressy, they would wear wing-tip-dress shoes—they had to be wing-tips. I must admit that I never had a “flag-jacket”—I just now tried to google it but the only thing that came up was “American Flag-jackets.” I did, however, wear wing-tips to church and other dressy occasions. What can you say? Wing-tips are very cool. I actually had a nice pair of black and white saddle-styled-wing-tips. I was the envy. I would get some to wear on stage today, if I could find some. I also wore Adler socks, because they felt good. You maybe couldn’t tell that I was being stylish, because I wore my 501 Levis (I wasn’t completely out of fashion) longer than most everyone else. My best friend admitted to me much later in life that when we first saw me in junior high school he thought I looked like some kind of dweeb (probably not the words he used) and he was tempted to kick my butt. Obviously his hesitancy to go down that road saved him from a terrible beating, but the point is that I was apparently not following the crowd to any great degree.
Before I get back to my original comment about “What is What?”, let me say that I don’t get the sagging britches thing that has been going on now for a couple decades or more. Why do so many kids and some young men wear their pants like that? Even some men in their mid-twenties are still wearing. Usually they have their underwear sticking up to the waste, but their britches about 4 or 5 inches below that. Sometimes you can see they are actually wearing a belt, but how do they actually keep the pants up? It can’t be that they can run from the police any faster, holding their pants with both hands to keep them from tripping.
Then there are all of the piercings in different places in the face and hoops in the earlobes that you could put a clothes hanger hook through. I guess it’s an attention-getting-thing, but it would be more simple to have a tattoo on their foreheads—they likely have many tattoos everywhere else, so one more wouldn’t be a big deal--that says “Hey, everyone, I am an idiot.” Am I being unkind or disrespectful? Probably. But I digress…
Back to my original “What is What?” comment. I was getting back in my truck the other day, after buying a cheeseburger to eat on the road. It was a hundred degrees out and I see two young fellows going into the burger joint. They were both wearing stocking caps! What is that about? I suppose that they may have both gotten ridiculous haircuts and wearing the woolen stocking caps to hide their shame. I know, there probably isn’t and such a thing as a haircut so ridiculous that some young folks would be embarrassed over, but if there were, baseball caps would most likely have covered that. Or, they could have had a killer air-conditioner in their car and their heads were getting really cold—they had their ears covered. Of course, they may belong to the Michael Nesmith Fan Club, or have just been trying to cover the “Hey, I’m an idiot!” tattoos they had gotten the night before, when imbibing illegal substances.