I looked up at the Lindbergh Stop and noticed the back pocket of the jeans of a guy getting ready to disembark at Lindbergh. Is that … why yes, it was … Fat Albert.
This was new to me. Little did I realize that I was 10+ years late on this particular fashion trend train:
The clothes were made by New York’s FUBU and are part of the company’s “Platinum” FUBU line. Back in the day (2002), a leather Fat Albert jacket could set you back $689.
Looks like you could score a pair of Fat Albert jeans for about $30 on Ebay.
… was this piece of … advice? encouragement? sarcasm? … seen scrawled on the sidewalk in front of Bass Lofts Apartments.
Which I like, and not just because it’s the title of a Hold Steady song.
This thought came to me as I was walking home from the MARTA train one night last week. I was walking through Inman Park and headed towards Little Five Points, and was maybe 20 paces behind a trio of girls, also walking towards Little Five Points. A bearded, bespectacled, scruffy looking young fellow — let’s for sake or argument call him a hipster — was walking the other way through the park, towards the MARTA station.
At least one of the girls was smoking a cigarette. As he approached them, the young hipster asked the heroic trio, “Could I bum a smoke off of any of you?” (I may be taking some license here - “Can I bum a smoke off you?” was the phrase I recall from my bartending in smoke-filled bar/college days, and that was some 20 years ago now, so the lingo may be different.) Regardless of how it was phrased, a request for a cigarette was made by this young man to these young girls.
A request that was turned down.
The young hipster continued walking. I must have looked like a non-smoker or maybe because I wasn’t smoking, I was not asked if I had an extra cigarette.
The person walking some 20 paces behind me in the park, however, was.
"Can I borrow a cigarette?" the question was asked.
DENIED! Well, politely declined, truth be told.
But the truth remains that this guy asked two people for cigarettes and was turned down. Not once, but twice!
That got me to thinking …
I’ve never been a smoker, but as mentioned above, I used to spend a fair bit of time hanging out with them. And it seemed to be a universal truth amongst smokers that, if one smoker asked you if you had an extra cigarette and you had one, you offered it up to them. It may well be that I am casting my memories in some golden patina of utopia where all smokers banded together in nicotine-fueled harmony and I’m sure there were plenty of heartless bastard smokers back in the 90s who never lent a cigarette to anyone ever, but …
… I’m also wondering if the amount of a person’s disposable income impacts their willingness to share smokes? I.e. If times are hard, are people are less likely to share a cigarette with their fellow man?
… Or maybe as the price of cigarettes shoots up, they become more precious and people are less willing to share?
Maybe it’s a combination of those factors? Or some other factor I haven’t taken into consideration? Maybe young girls are getting tired of hipsters always trying to cadge their smokes?
This about all the research I’ve done into the issue, but I think it’s a question that may be worth delving into.
Just what does the “Buddy, can you spare a smoke?” test tell us about the state of the United States economy?
Where are the members of the Joint Council of Economic Advisors when you really need them, I ask you? Probably outside, trying to bum a smoke off their neighbors …
Just last week I saw a man on the train wearing a suit and a bowler cap, carrying not only a valise but two (2!) small terrariums, each with a pet turtle inside. This was Atlanta, not Dallas, but in all my many many years of driving my car and picking up hitchhikers and random strangers, in Atlanta and Dallas and points both in-between and nowheres-near, never ever have I had a man, woman or child in a suit carrying turtles ride in MY car. Maybe others have. I can’t speak for them. But as long as there is even a chance, by using public transport, that I will run into a man in a suit carrying turtles, I will remain a fan and a user of public transport.