DEVIANT BEHAVIOR IS SUBJECT TO DOCUMENTATION

I am standing at self-checkout number 2 at the Kroger on highway 120, just inside the Fulton County line. Just above the touchscreen where you do all the transacting is this black button like I wore on my jeans jacket in 8th grade, and on it in white are the words, “DEVIANT BEHAVIOR IS SUBJECT TO DOCUMENTATION.”

Amen, I think. Preach it brother, tell it. I have just come from the intersection marked by the Big Chicken, (it’s a different link than the one in my previous entry, I promise!) and on highway 120 prior to stopping at this deviant-unfriendly Kroger I’ve documented a number of deviations from the standard paradigm.

Whatever the hell that is.

First, there were the skipping goths.

Think about that phrase. Not two words you see together much, skipping and goths. Yet as I eased down on my Buick’s squeaky brakes a few blocks from the Johnson Ferry Road intersection they were there. Two goth boys. One with a cellphone pasted to his ear. As he skipped. Across highway 120. They had long dyed-black hair and black clothes, they managed to slump as they skipped, skinny as heroin addicts, unhurried in front of the traffic, under the sullen and setting August sun.

Then I stopped at the light, still wondering at the skipping goth boys of Marietta, and I looked over at the driver to my right.

Homeslice was sitting in a 90’s era Caprice, a dull silver colored behemoth. All his windows open. He wore a camouflage cap which defeated it’s own reason for being with bright splashes of orange in the pattern, here and there. He was smoking lustily, holding the cigarette periodically out the window. He had a little system for flicking ash off the tip. Roll the underside with his finger, tap the topside. Roll. Tap.

He himself was not so peculiar. But why did he have the plow?

Not a roto-tiller. Nope, he had him a plow. A red plow, like what you hitch a mule up to so’s y’all can till the back 40. He didn’t look particularly mennonite. I’ve seen a mennonite driving a minivan talking on a flip-phone, but still, this old boy was just, well, an old boy. With a rather new-looking plow in his Chevy Caprice’s trunk. Ready to hitch to his mule, I guess.

What did he think of the skipping goth boys? Did he document their deviation?

Who knows?

I do know as I crossed the county line from Cobb to Fulton that “Beautiful Day” by U2 was playing on 92.9, Dave FM.

And right before I went into the Kroger that is so eager to document Deviant Behavior I found that for at least a moment, I agreed with Bono. It was a beautiful day. Skipping Goth boys and all.

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