Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The Mystery of the Unintentional Hipster

I am, as usual, on a delayed train. My normal train was so delayed that it still hadn't shown up by the time the Piccadilly dash train left 30 minutes later. That one had signal failure, so I missed my connection and ended up connecting on the slightly delayed one that went directly from my starting point. I left 90 minutes earlier than usual and am getting back an hour late. My day thus far has been 14 hours away from home and counting. None of that was even a little bit interesting, so apologies for the diversion.

What is really interesting is the guy sitting next to me. I've been trying to decide whether he is a hipster, or the guy that hipsters try to emulate in an ironic fashion. He's sporting a bushy prof beard with large, round tortoiseshell glasses. He's wearing a tweed jacket paired with stripy suit trousers and carrying a battered leather satchel.

For those unfamiliar with the term, hipsters are people - generally massive D-bags - who are trying to be deeply uncool to show how cool they really are, if you're cool enough to get it.

The first give away when trying to distinguish hipsters from actually deeply uncool people is age. Hipsters tend to be in their mid-twenties. Our mystery passenger was hard to gauge while hiding behind his bushy, ginger beard but appeared to be in his mid- to late 30's.

He was carrying a battered, leather satchel that was nearly empty and reading a paperback. I didn't see any technology of any kind. Hmm. The leather bag could have been an expensive pre-distressed designer thing or a vintage store find. No clue there, but the lack of an android phone or giant retro headphones made me suspicious. The paperback was just a paperback. Not something poncy like Sartre or obscure in an attention-seeking way...just a paperback.

The outfit had to be the key. We're the glasses prescription or American Apparel with plain lenses? No way to tell. The shoes! The shoes would be the decider. Holmes would be impressed with my powers of deduction. They weren't vegan earth-friendly pull-ons. They weren't Converse. They were just mildly scuffed, black dress shoes from any old department store. This man was not a hipster! He just didn't give a damn about any conventions, and thus was the truly cool.

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