A speaking engagement took me to Sacramento, Calif., a while back. I am always curious as to the unusual people and unusual things I will see when I go out to the “left” coast.
Some have called California the land of “fruits and nuts.” On this trip, I didn’t have to land in California before I encountered interesting sights.
As I was enjoying an early breakfast at the Burger King in the Nashville airport, I looked up to see a most unusual looking pair coming in my direction. It was a young man and a young woman.
The young man was sporting a most interesting version of a Mohawk haircut. As he checked out the menu at Burger King, it gave me time to check out his “do.”
His head was shaven on the sides. Halfway up the back of his head, his hair was cut short into an inch-wide strip that looked liked a fuzzy brown tongue depressor. The end of the strip was even rounded at his neckline where the “tongue depressor” Mohawk began. No more than an inch wide, it fanned across the top of his head.
It looked like a single row of November corn after the ears of corn had been harvested. The hair stood straight up, a good four inches high. We are talking some serious spritz or hair spray here, maybe even super glue. Either that, or he wet his hair each morning and stuck his finger in a live electrical socket. This dude’s hairstyle was out there.
But his female companion was not to be outdone. Her hair was pink – and not just any pink. It was bright, hot pink.
It made me feel a bit uneasy. I had not left Nashville yet and things were already getting weird.
When I arrived at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in California, I was looking to take a long walk. The bellman recommended a six-block route to Sacramento’s downtown mall, where I could grab some lunch. I needed the exercise, so I took a right outside the front door of the Hyatt and headed for the mall. The mall’s anchor restaurant, the Hard Rock Café Sacramento, was closing its doors soon. I thought I would check it out while there was still time. Lunch at the Hard Rock Café is never a bad idea.
As I walked through the front door, The Rolling Stones were blasting their classic hit, “Get Off of My Cloud.” For a moment, I felt right at home.
Then things got a little weird, again.
At the podium I met a pleasant young woman. Her face showcased a broad smile and a silver ring in her nose. Now I’ve seen all kinds of metal in the faces of members of succeeding generations, but here is an attractive young woman with a ring nose! It was as big as a dime and in the side of her right nostril. I’m thinking, “Why would you put a ring in your nose?”
I had a flashback to my days growing up on a farm, where we used to put rings in a hog’s nose. The rings were brass-colored and formed a triangle when clamped together. The rings kept the hogs from rooting up the lot or rooting under a fence. That’s why we put rings in their noses.
I have no idea why an attractive young woman would have a ring in her nose. Maybe it’s to be different.
It got me thinking. Now, one of those brass-colored triangle shaped hog rings would be different. With her cooperation, I could have fixed it so she was the only young woman in California to have a brass-colored, triangle-shaped ring in her nose. Of course, it might have hurt more than the silver ring; and the right side of her nose might have swelled up and turned red for a few days.
I ordered a Pepsi with my lunch. It came from the bar. The young woman tending the bar brought it out to me. She had a diamond in her face! I know, I know – I’ve seen diamonds in the sides of young women’s noses. And I’ve kind of gotten use to it. I reckon they stick needle-nosed pliers up their noses to attach the back to those diamond studs. This young lady’s diamond was where you usually see a dimple. I ran my finger in my mouth and up under my cheek just to try and figure our how it could be done. Why would you want a diamond in your face?
I noticed she smiled a crooked smile, as if the procedure had damaged a nerve.
When I headed back to Tennessee a few days later, I couldn’t stop thinking about the Mohawk and the face metal. I’ve got to give that hog ring idea some more thought. I may be on to something!