Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Are Americans Hoppier than Europeans?

I come from a long line of crazy people. Not the odd, slightly off-kilter, “she’s a little strange” crazy, but the full-on, white jacket, certifiable, “grandma’s around the bend, through the woods and into the next town” crazy. When the only name to be handed down from generation to generation is "Eli Lilly", you know you’ve got problems in the Tree.

I’ve learned from years and years of field research (Christmases, funerals, weddings and various other family get-togethers) that you never engage the crazies in conversation. Instead, you put them in the rocking chair in the corner of the room and, every once in awhile, you send the younger kids over to ask Great Aunt Toox if she wants more sweet tea. But you never, ever, under any circumstances, go one-on-one with a crazy person. That would be, well, just too crazy.

I was in downtown San Diego, waiting for the walk sign at the corner of Broadway and Front, when this man, who I quickly pegged for crazy, came up to me. While I would like to think that dealing with my family over the years has given me some sort of uncanny sixth-sense crazydar, the truth is, even if you were unfortunate enough to have grown up with a completely sane family, chances are you would have been able to tell that this guy was just not right.

It’s pretty safe to say when someone hops up to you, there is a lot of potential for crazy. If they hop on both feet with their hands cupped in front of them a la bunny style, it’s time to raise the red crazy flag. Because, if you stop to think about it - which I have - there is really not a lot of reasons for an able-bodied adult, who’s not wearing a bunny suit, to hop on two feet.

So I’m standing on the corner, when “Peter” says to me, “what’s wrong with your friend?” Like the non-crazy person I am, I looked around to see who he had mistaken as my “friend”. Since no one was even remotely near me, I said, “Excuse Me?”, and BAM, just like that, cardinal rule of saneness violated! I had now engaged Peter in conversation and, apparently, Peter had a lot to say.

Fortunately for me, I could walk faster than Peter could hop, so I wasn't worried. But, it did get me to thinking. I’ve had some really bizarre encounters with people in Europe, but not once has anyone ever hopped up to me. In fact, I’ve never see anyone hop in Europe at all, and this includes the guy I just saw at Carnavale dressed head to toe in a hot pink BUNNY suit. You'd think that if there was ever an occasion to see a European hopping, this would have been it. But, no, he stumbled along with the rest of us, without so much as a tiny hitch, let alone a full-on hop.
So, I am now on a mission to see if I can spot anyone hopping in Europe. Call it my own little contribution to the pursuit of hoppiness across socio-cultural boundaries. I'll keep you posted!

© 2006 Cindy Lane. All rights reserved.


Anonymous Rod said...

Cindy, interestingly enough, that is the same way I met Pat.

3:44 PM  

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