Despite what my criminal record might or might not (or might) indicate, I’ve got nothing in particular against “hippie-types.” Really, I judge them like any other minority: based on statistical trends I’ve heard about. Some hippies are fine people, I’m sure.
They sure can be aggravating, though, am I right? Hey, Starchild, I want to have a conversation, not hum simultaneously with you! How do you shake someone out of a reverie like that? (Without accidentally touching any of their dreadlocks, of course.) How do you break that slow stride, and force some active reflection? Impossible, right? No, not impossible.
One D. Chesterton, as it happens, was able to do it not once, but twice last night alone, without even trying. It just came naturally to me during what I thought was a normal conversation. I am that talented.
Occasion #1: “Check out my High School Musical beach towel. It has Zack Ephron and everything! But when I wear this on the beach, it makes me look like a pedophile. What a drag!”
Smile and nod at that, peacenik!
Occasion #2: “… Well, it’s a pretty funny story. See, I’ve been kind of depressed lately, so I’ve been drinking a lot…”
Cha-ching! You can take that silence to the bank, because it’s golden!
On the other hand, I also have learned how to quickly and gently slip a stunned hippie back into a comfortable and dreamy distant state: “Sure, the Mesozoic is the best—obviously—but most people don’t even know about the Permian! I mean, therapsids were basically mammals, and this is 250 million years before the so-called “age of mammals.” They had differentiated dentition and everything!
I’m like a skilled tiger-trainer. I know when to pet the tiger, when to yell at it, when to give it pieces of chicken liver, and when to sneak up and douse its sphincter with pepper spray. It’s the same with hippie-types. (Although, despite the loose-fitting clothing, it’s often difficult to really spray a hippie’s privates with severe irritants to the extant that you might feel they deserve.)
PS—I met some very friendly people last night!