Monday, March 19, 2007
Scream Real Loud

Has anyone else encountered the odd phenomenon of theme days? By which I mean, days which seem to acquire a completely arbitrary "theme" in the form of some situation or object that appears over and over again in unconnected contexts?

Like last week, for example, on three separate occasions I saw cops being dickheads for no good reason -- never to me, thank goodness, but always in proximity. And it seemed to be following from the cop doing a less-than-fantastic job. I saw one cop stop directing traffic and give a blistering lecture (though nothing more) to a driver who hadn't stopped fast enough on his signal. I was two cars behind the driver, though, and I felt like sticking up for the guy -- it was night, and the safety lighting given to the cop was woefully inadequate. But the real issue was that the cop was giving some very sloppy, hard-to-decode signals. It was fucking impossible to tell whether he was signalling oncoming traffic to stop or to proceed through the intersection. I'm sure anybody would be edgy about standing out in traffic at night, but shit, there's no need to be an asshole about an honest misunderstanding. (And cops wonder why nobody will be their friends.)

Yesterday the theme was non-functioning brake lights. It seemed like every time I got behind someone in traffic, they had a brake light out. The problem seemed particularly prevalent among white domestic SUVs with 'W' stickers on the back -- but then, there are just a shitload of those around anyway. Today's theme was meth users. I'm seeing them absolutely everywhere, with that drawn, withered look peculiar to the drug. At the gas station today I found myself standing behind one woman (buying four packs of cigarettes and three candy bars) who was dressed for 40 but looked 75, and bone skinny. It's not even that she looked old as such; there's something about methamphetamine that gives users the appearance of rattling around in their own dried-up husk. It goes beyond looking "old," edging off towards corpse-like. I bet going to a redneck bar in sub-rural Tennessee on a Saturday night must be a lot like working as an extra in the video for the Kenny Chesney cover of "Thriller." (Especially if they're line dancing. Eek.)

Or maybe it's just that meth users are like streetwalkers, in as much as once you've learned to recognize them, you start seeing them all the time. (Hell, in most cases it's the same thing anyway.) But if these things are around all the time, why do you notice them on one day and not on all the others? Is it coincidence that similar events coalesce, or is it just a matter of perception?

PS: Heh, this one's fantastically awesome. Go, crazy meth lady!
4:58 PM ::
Amy :: permalink