Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Surreality

You ever see something that appears to be quite real, but your mind just says "No way". Normally I have this reaction when my daughters do a household chore without being told to do so, and I'll stop and stare as they're taking out the garbage...savoring the moment because, God knows, it may never happen again. But what I saw today whilst accessing the freeway was something else altogether.

As I accessed the Shields Avenue on-ramp to northbound SR-41 today around 1:30 pm, I saw two gentlemen hitchhiking with their thumbs out. Full grown, adult men. This in and of itself is not terribly odd I suppose. But here's the kicker: they were dressed as Puritans. You know, those people in the black and white clothing with the buckles on their shoes and the wide brimmed hats that just scream "missionary position only please"? The people from all those Thanksgiving projects you did in elementary school as you glued macaroni to construction paper and ate paste (oh, come on, you at least tasted it on a dare)? Yeah...those people. As I drove buy I gave them a good look thinking "OK, clearly there is a hidden camera here somewhere, and all of this is going to end up on some lame assed reality show, or I am just really, really wasted because somebody slipped a roofie into my venti Starbucks." But they seemed quite earnest in their desire for a ride, I saw no evidence of a camera crew, my Starbucks seemed to be un-tainted, and they had some very non-Puritan looking luggage (when I think Puritan, I usually don't also think "Samsonite") with them that seemed to suggest it was all legit. Thoughts began to circle in my head: are they REALLY, REALLY LATE for a Thanksgiving costume party somewhere? Are they in a hurry and need a ride to oppress some American Indians, steal their land and give them smallpox? Did they just steal a turkey and they're making a break for it? (I saw no signs of any fowl in the area...but still...) Was there a rave in the neighborhood I wasn't invited to??? None of this quite rang true and I was perplexed as to what these two gents were doing on the side of the road. I was almost curious enough to offer them a ride just to hear their story, but then thought the odds of me winding up dead and buried in a shallow grave in an orchard (no doubt with a side of mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and stuffing) were probably about 50/50, and I didn't like those odds. But still, what the fuck, right?

Actually, it was a little unsettling. You know how some people are creeped out by clowns? I think I have something similar in relation to Puritans. I don't know if its the oppressive religious connotations that surrounded their culture, their lust for roasted turkey, their limited clothing color scheme, or their penchant for burning people at the stake, but they kind of give me the heebie jeebies.

Anyway, it was one of those things you just really can't make up, and your brain just can't accept what you're seeing...and yet, there they were...hitchhiking Puritans.

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