Thursday, October 11, 2007

People Watching

I love to watch people, always have. Sometimes I wonder if it's polite. I wouldn't particularly want someone watching me. I can't help it, though, I have eyes and they see things. I watch animals too. And plants. And clouds. Pretty much anything except sports. It's the way I am.

The fascinating thing about watching people is speculating about the untold story. There are undoubtedly perfectly mundane reasons for the things they do, but I'm not cognizant, so I have to make it up.

Grocery store checkout lines can be fascinating. I always look at what the other people are buying. Why was the lady in front of me getting a cart stacked full of Cheerios and Cap'n Crunch -- nothing else, but probably all the Cheerios and Cap'n Crunch that were on the shelf. I suppose it's a better buy than a cart full of Cap'n Crunch and Froot Loops, but why so many boxes of cereal? Who is she feeding it to? Will she come back later for a cart of Sugar Smacks and Corn Chex?

(And as an aside, what the heck is Cap'n Crunch made of anyway? I'm sure it's nothing organic.)

The guy who bought eight bags of marshmallows and a tube of Bengay had me speculating for days. Good thing Homeland Security hasn't instituted the Thought Police yet. I have no terrorist leanings, but I will admit to having a rather warped sense of humor; they would probably arrest me on general principles.

A man was standing at a bus stop the other day wearing an orange vest and holding a stick that was about twelve feet long with a ring on the end of it. He was sweeping the stick through the air, tapping the butt of it on the ground, gesticulating as if he was leading an invisible orchestra. He wasn't part of a surveying team, the stick was too long and there was no second guy peering through the little telescope thingie. Would the bus driver let him board with that long stick? Was he even waiting for a bus? Would some road rage prone driver take offense and get out to wrap the stick around the guy's neck?

I look at tattoos and piercings, at clothing and hair. My feeling is that if someone paints their hair bright pink and has it standing out in spikes all over their head it's because they want to be looked at. Ditto to women in clothes cut down to there and up to here. It's meant to attract eyes. Surely it would disappoint them terribly if no one looked.

Juxtapositions can be imagination titillating too. This is one of my favorites.

How did the angry knights end up in the same field as the oblivious young lovers? Will the lovers realize they're in danger before the knights go medieval on them? The lovers can likely run faster than the guys weighted down with armor, but what if there are more warriors waiting to pounce?

How can I not watch people and ask the ridiculous questions? It's so much fun.


Kate said...

Our moniker for people watching is called 'gooking on people.' That probably speaks volumes about who we are.

Anonymous said...

You really need to come hang out with me at Pioneer Park next year. It is the best people watching ever. KC