Creepii Americanus Vulgaris


“I’ve been talking to dead rabbits and feeding bloody walls. I’ve done horrifying things with salad tongs. It’s really eaten into my social life.” ~Jhonen Vasquez

“Our faults annoy us most when we see them in others.” ~Anonymous

He can also smell pheremones...or so I hear.

The second quote has always been a paradox for me. Like whether the chicken or the egg came first, or whether there is a moral and/or ethical difference between drinking Pepsi vs. drinking Coke, or even whether anyone actually laughs at The Family Circus. I’m as much a champion of eccentricity and diversity as anyone, and yet the idiosyncracies of others have been known to drive me bananas. Let me explain a bit. Since I am an Aspergian (as opposed to a neurotypical, or NT), I’m just quirky in some ways. For example, eye contact is difficult for me. I’ve been known to break out in a stage accent if I’m feeling outgoing, or even not so outgoing. I’ve dressed as my favorite movie or TV characters…when it wasn’t Halloween and when I was older than 12. I’m a geek and I wear my geekiness on my sleeve, thank you very much.

Where can a line be drawn on quirkiness/geekiness/eccentricity? Can a line be drawn at all? Eccentricity, although it was accepted as an actual diagnosis in the past, is defined at FreeDictionary.com as “behavior that is regarded as odd or peculiar for a particular culture or community, although not unusual enough to be considered pathologic.” Quirky, from the same source, is described as “peculiar in behavior; idiosyncratic.” Sounds safe enough and harmless enough for me. Certainly not enough to make one think of white rubber rooms, mood-altering drugs and Austrian-accented psychiatrists.

 

If Murdock's a-rockin', don't bother knockin'

In the UK, among other places, eccentricity used to be a medical condition in the way perhaps bipolar disorder is now. Then again, in English literary tradition, being eccentric is a badge of honor. In the United States there is a curiously ambivalent attitude towards those who are “different.” We make movies and TV shows about them, blog about them, wear their images on T-shirts, and yet we might treat the flesh-and-blood versions like pariahs. Schools drill into our heads a mantra that it’s OK to be different, that everyone is special…yet when was the last time Hollywood or Madison Avenue came out with anything that wasn’t a remake, sequel, re-imagining or carbon copy?

I think I’m getting a bit off topic. Having worked in customer service, in one form or another for the last twelve years, I’ve seen eccentrics and I’ve seen creeps. They’re not the same breed. Explaining the difference, I might just use the old Supreme Court definition of obscenity: I just know it when I see it. Another major difference: I generally want to emulate a lot of cool eccentrics. With creeps, I generally want to run away like the knights in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. (On a personal note, I seem to be to creeps what a naked light bulb is to moths. I’m not sure why.)

Want a list of surefire ways I’ll know you’re a creep? Here you go. Note: this is all in fun and jest, so if any of these apply to you, the reader, don’t send me hate mail. It’s just a joke. Kind of.

Anyone over the age of 8 who genuinely likes clowns, dolls, or Shirley Temple films

Casual mentions of one’s personal hygiene or lack thereof

Men under the age of 70 who wear those weird high-waisted pants

The Beavis and Butt-head “hehehe” pyromaniac laugh

Women who keep photos of all their cats in their purse

Crazy Cat Lady...the Action Figure!

Those who go into libraries and bookstores and ask for “Tickle His Pickle” in a loud voice

Talking on a cell phone in a bathroom stall while you’re doing your business

Really, really obese women who think Spandex and/or tank tops flatter their figures

Prisoners who can’t live without the latest issue of Thai porn magazines…because it’s their constitutional right, ya know

Sagging pants, gangsta cartoon character shirts and/or lumberjack hats…sorry, you just look like an idiot.

Anyone who gets “kicks” out of dogfighting or rooster fighting

Men who tenaciously cling to their mullets

Wearing clever slogan t-shirts if one is over 40 (you may be the World’s Greatest Dad; I just don’t care)

Anyone whose religion requires that they evangelize by going door-to-door

Again…most of this is me being lighthearted. Not all, of course…I’ve encountered most of these Creepazoids on the job at one point or another. Maybe some people think I’m a creep for living alone, adoring The A-Team, or rarely going out. Trouble is, I don’t keep stacks of newspapers, 18 cats, or a Silence of the Lambs-style basement in my house. I’m really pretty normal, just not normal enough by mainstream society’s standpoints.

Who the hell wants to be normal? And who defines what “normal” is? I’ve heard it said that everyone is normal until you get to know them.

Bottom line: I want to be eccentric. I don’t want to be creepy. If I start creeping towards creepiness, you, my readers, are obligated to let me know.

Only YOU can say "no" to creepiness!

Be sure to click “Like” if you enjoyed this exciting episode of Prawn and Quartered…Facebook page coming soon!

I'd like to know who paid for this one...Immodium?

Tramp stamps, someone’s name tattooed on one’s neck and/or breast area. Again, you look like an idiot

Women who refuse to get rid of their facial hair

Heavy breathing on the glass at the Chinese buffet…You Go Now!

Guys from foreign countries who shamelessly hit on American women (note: we are NOT a free green card for you)

The middle-aged guys who ride around in ice cream trucks

NOT to be confused with the Sweetie Man

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on February 7, 2011.

One Response to “Creepii Americanus Vulgaris”

  1. “Casual mentions of one’s personal hygiene or lack thereof”

    I work the desk at a hotel. You would not believe how often people need to tell me about their corns, bunions, and assorted itches / rashes.
    I would tell them how to get to the drugstore without knowing that they forgot their vagisil at home…
    *shivers*
    Yes, creepy alert!
    LOL
    As another service industry worker, thank you for putting this out there.

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