Thursday, September 3, 2009


"Some of the greatest geniuses of all time were misunderstood"

Said the man in the navy blue wool fedora to his friend.  This dapper dude caught my attention a block a way.  Tall and slender, ripped jeans resembling the ones we sell at the boutique, beat up boots and a roughened "vintage" AC/DC shirt.  Just looking at him I could tell he was not the type who rocked out to "You Shook Me All Night Long".  It was obvious that he chose the shirt because of the color pallet, and not his taste in music. 

He sat next to a bright-eyed girl with a face caked with makeup.  They split a "this tastes just like New York's" pizza. First off that was not a New York Pizza.  New York pizzas are the size of your face, and if you were a true New Yorker that greasy but delicious slice with the perfect ratio of sauce to cheese and a dough so savory it makes your mouth water would be consumed at 4AM for that much needed fourth meal, and you sure as hell would not be splitting that sensational slice for "lunch," you manorexic.  

CPK my ass.  LA does not make pizza like New York City. But LA can make one hell of a taco.   Going to a Taco Bell in LA is like going to a Pizza Hut in New York. 

Okay I confess.  I was basically eavesdropping, but how could I not?  I was sitting on the bench first, eating my lunch and minding my own business. Then they just sat right next to me on MY bench, even though there was an empty bench next to me.  I felt that earned me the right to overhear this conversation. 

The manorexic turns to his groupie who hangs on to his every word.  She never adds to the conversation. She just smiles and nods.  I wonder if she even speaks English.  Ever so often she'll nibble on her slither of not New York pizza.  Mid bite he looks her deep in the eyes as says:

"I'm just weird and misunderstood.  But that means I'm a genius.  Think about it, some of the greatest minds were considered weird.  Einstein, Jesus, Jim Morrison."

I love how Morrison is on the same level as Einstein and Jesus.  I'm surprised he didn't say Brian Johnson (lead singer of AC/DC).  And yes, I agree you are weird sir, you are wearing a wool hat in 90 degree heat. 

Then I started to wonder: where did this self proclaimed genius come from?  What did he do?  What was he too much of a genius for?  

"Abercrombie just couldn't handle this unique mind."

Of course, fedora fellow who just compared himself to Jesus, Einstein and Jim Morrison is a former Abercrombie & Fitch employee.  That explains the ripped jeans.

Just the thought of Abercrombie & Bitch makes me smell that...scent.   You know that sweet and musky aroma that reeks each store and floats down the halls of the shopping mall mixing with the scent of egg rolls, hot pretzels and "tacky".  That scent is a time capsule.  Every time I smell that Abercrombie aroma I flash back to the new millennium when we thought the world was going to end and all technology was going to crash.  But it didn't.  All we got was boy bands, Britney Spears and Bush for president.  The smell of Abercrombie takes me back to Mitzvah season.  Sixth grade.  Being 12 when everyone else was 13.  Getting yelled at by a rabbi at temple for not being able to follow along in Hebrew because I was the only non Jew in Westport.

Abercrombie was the smell of the Mitzvah dance floor smothered in a sea of boys in that classic bright cobalt blue dress shirt who "grinded" to the "Thong Song" with the skinny "popular" girls wearing Steve Madden platforms, Kate Spade box bags, Betsy Johnson dresses, who sparked in their braces, Tiffany's chains and shiny pin straight hair.  As I watched on in the fat corner, thinking I could never fit in because not only did I not own a thong, but worse, I sported high waist Fruit of the Looms because my Mom still bought my underwear.  

Back to the fedora fellow, this story only gets weirder.  Later that night I was out in Venice with a friend who took me to this hip-hop bar.  It had everything I could ask for in a bar,  good music, packed with straight looking men (a rarity in LA), funky decor, and Blue Moons.  Okay, the Blue Moons were not on tap, but they did serve it with an orange, which is key.   Oh, and there was a chandelier in the bathroom, which of course is necessary because nothing says "class" like a chandelier above the urinal.

The bar was packed, which was strange because it was a Tuesday night.  For an explanation I did what I do best: eavesdropped:

“Robby Krieger is playing”


 “One of The Doors. You own a freaking Doors shirt and you didn't know that?"

 "I own it because it's vintage"

 "Yeah, but do you know anything about the band?"

 "I know I like the shirt".

Robby Krieger is defiantly one of my top three favorite alive members of The Doors.   I'm assuming Robby is like the Ringo Starr of the Doors, because he's the last listed member on Wikipedia.  But this still thrilled me.  I saw 1/4 of the Doors, one Door perform live.  I love LA.

And Robby was quite a hottie for a wrinkly old man. Skin like worn in leather and a patch of bright red hair, which obviously wasn't natural because there was crusted hair die around his bald cranium. 

I researched the Robster.  Turns out he's listed as number 91 on the Rolling Stones greatest guitarists of all time.  That's a fun fact.  

Then I got to thinking, I wonder how many chicks Robalicious has laid and if "I knew Jim Morrison" still works as a pickup line in 2009. 

Anyway, halfway through “Riders On the Storm,” I'm trying to peak over the absurdly tall girl in front of me who is wearing heels, how rude.  And out of the corner of my eye I spot a familiar face.  The dapper dude.  I knew it was him because he was still sporting that navy blue wool fedora, and it was basically a sauna in the packed bar.  

Well Jim Morrison said it best, "people are strange."

I'd like to leave you with these lyrics:

People are strange when you’re a stranger

Faces look ugly when you’re alone

Women seem wicked when you’re unwanted

Streets are uneven when you’re down

When you’re strange

Faces come out of the rain

When you’re strange

No one remembers your name

When you’re strange x3

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