Bejewell on July 14th, 2008

Disclaimer:  You may or may not already know this, but I really played this post up in my previous post You’re On Crack If You Think This Post Will Be As Good as the Last One, which was a fucking awesome follow-up to another previous post called It’s Just a Blog, which was also fucking awesome. 

I just *might* have said something about how this post was going to be Entertaining, Insightful and Brilliant.

Okay, yeah, I totally said that.  And I started to write this disclaimer to say, “Well, I *might* have overplayed that whole Entertaining, Insightful and Brilliant thing,” just to cover my ass in case you read it and didn’t like it, and felt like I had tricked you into coming back to my awesome blog under false pretenses.

But then I went back and read it again, and you know what?  It is actually VERY Entertaining, Insightful and Brilliant.  At least, I like it.  And I can be pretty smart sometimes.  So fuck that whole disclaimer thing. 


I am a People Watcher.  I think I’ve always been one — at least, I can’t really remember a time when I wasn’t.  I Watch People all the time, wherever I am, whatever I’m doing.  When I’m at the mall, I don’t window shop, I People Watch.  When we’re out to eat, I shush the Big Bean so I can better hear the conversation going on at the next table.  People (meaning mostly the Big Bean) are constantly perplexed that I never know where ANYTHING is in the town where I have lived for most of my life, but the truth is, when I’m in a car if my eyes aren’t on the road they are looking at the people in the next car.  And the car after that.  And the car after that.

Side note:  I just realized that the above paragraph makes me sound like a terrible driver (and potential stalker) who just watches the people in the other cars and doesn’t pay attention to the road, which could not be further from the truth.  I’m really an eyes-front kind of driver.  Unless there’s something REALLY good going on in the car next to me. 

No really, I do most of my People Watching when the Big Bean is driving.  Which he has to do anytime we go anywhere together because when I drive he is very Obnoxious and Judgmental.

But I digress.

My point is, I’m an addict.

In high school, when my best friend Queen Bee (so named more for her effect on me than her true disposition) and I were bored we’d swipe some booze from my mom’s liquor cabinet (sorry, Mom — but it’s not like you didn’t already know) and head out to the old Austin Mueller airport, where we’d post up at a gate and watch other people wait for each other and greet each other and hug and kiss each other and leave holding hands and sometimes awkwardly try to walk with their arms around each other, which never ends well because our bodies are just not made to do that, no matter how much we want them to be.  

(You see, kiddies, waaay back in the OLDEN days, people could actually just saunter up to any old gate at the airport – no ID or ticket required.  We didn’t even have to take our shoes off!  I know – crazy, right?) 

There I would sit, on a bench with Queen Bee at Old Mueller, sipping my mom’s watered down liquor mixed with Sonic cherry-limeades (cocktails, anyone?).  Often we wouldn’t even speak — just exchange a quick elbow nudge or a sideways Do-You-See-What-I-See? glance every now and then if something really interesting happened or passed by.  

It was Fucking Awesome.

So yeah, I’m a People Watcher.

Another side note:  I Watch People so much that I’ve become paranoid about other People Watching me.  Wherever we go, I am SURE that everyone else is looking at me funny.  And I become convinced that one of two things is true:  Either (a) I have a huge booger/big stain on my pants/spinach in my teeth, or (b) I am the most beautiful woman any of them have ever seen.  I’ll give you one guess which one I most often believe is true. 

Over the years, I’ve had some real Blue-Ribbon People Watching Experiences — a few that have really stood out from the crowd.  Every one of them made me ask questions that I knew would never be answered, but it’s the questions that make People Watching so much fun.  You can use your imagination to try and answer them, or just let them linger.   Mine usually linger.  Sometimes they linger for hours, sometimes days, sometimes years. 

Okay, I have issues. 

Anyway, here are a few of my favorites.


The first one that comes to mind is the Guy Who Looked Exactly Like Steve Guttenberg.  He looked exactly like… well, you know.  

Now, Steve Guttenberg is a pretty ordinary-looking guy, and so was the Guy Who Looked Exactly Like Him (except for the fact that he looked exactly like Steve Guttenberg, which I guess in itself could be considered extraordinary).  But anyway, the REALLY extraordinary thing about this guy was NOT that he looked exactly like Steve Guttenberg, but the large steel briefcase handcuffed to his wrist and the even larger bodyguard shadowing him wherever he went.  

Did I mention I was at McDonald’s?   SO fucking random.

What was in the case?  Drugs?  Ransom?  Blood diamonds?  The glowy stuff from the Pulp Fiction briefcase?  (What WAS that, anyway?)


(And what is up with my latest obsession with that film?   I don’t think I’ve even SEEN that movie in like 8 years but suddenly I’m thinking of everything in terms of Pulp Fiction.  Is that how you can tell something’s a classic?  Or is it just that I have the hots for John Travolta?  And that is a little embarrassing to admit, but I don’t mean Fat-Scientology John Travolta, or even Skinny-Vinny-Barbarino John Travolta, but the In-Between-Look-Who’s-Talking John Travolta, the kind of pathetic John Travolta willing to sell his soul for a comeback.  But only that one.)   

But I digress.

Was the Guy Who Looked Exactly Like Steve Guttenberg on his way to a big drugs-for-money exchange, but just HAD to stop for some McNuggets?  Did a Mac Attack derail his blood diamond deal?  Was the 2-Apple-Pies-for-a-Dollar deal just too good to pass up?   

Maybe he was just using the case and bodyguard to pick up chicks. I’ll never know.   


Next there was The Large Lesbian I found playing the slots at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. 

I was four months pregnant and had to leave the Big Bean and our friends watching Tenacious D at the House of Blues because my enormous swollen feet were hurting before the show even started and it was standing room only. 

(Which pisses me off in itself – WHY standing room only?   The only thing I hate more than standing room only is when I actually pay for a seat but end up having to stand up the whole night anyway because everyone else is standing up and I can’t see over their heads, which defeats the whole purpose of having the show in a venue with seats — if you PAY for a seat you should sit your ass in it so everyone else can too and we can all enjoy the show, and our seats, goddammit). 

Anyway, some guy standing waaaayyy too close to me (I have personal space issues) lit a cigarette just as Jack Black came out and that was it for me, I had to go because I was pregnant and already hot and hormonal and my personal space was being invaded and I really wanted a cigarette too I was very concerned for the health of my unborn child.  No matter how much I wanted to see Jack Black and that Kyle Is-Your-Last-Name-Really-Gass-or-Is-That-Just-Part-Of-The-Act guy rip it all to shreds, I just wasn’t gonna make it inhaling secondhand smoke while trying to balance my waaayy-too-big-for-just-four-months belly on 3-inch heels.

(I honestly don’t know what I was thinking with those heels, except that those boots were REALLY hot but they were also very trendy and I knew I would only have a limited amount of time to wear them before they just looked silly and not fashionable at all, and goddammit I was going to get my money’s worth out of those fucking boots.)

So anyway, I wandered out into the casino, where I alternately felt sorry for myself and played the slots half-heartedly.

But then I saw her.  The Large Lesbian.  She came out of nowhere, about 350 magnificent pounds squeezed into a tiny pair of Daisy Duke shorts, with red cowboy boots on tiny feet (comparatively speaking) and a full face of goth-like makeup with jet black hair poking out from under her battered straw hat.  

How did I know she was a lesbian?  I think *maybe* it was the t-shirt that read “I (Heart) Pussy” stretched over her enormous breasts that gave it away.

Just.  Fucking.  Awesome.  All my self-pity washed away as the questions started – too many to list here. 

Thank you, Large Lesbian – wherever you are.  You MADE my trip to Vegas.


As wonderful as the Large Lesbian was, my all-time favorite EVER People Watching Experience is Sex Limit Fabio Dad.  Spotted at the food court at Six Flags Over Texas, circa 1995.  Towering over the rest of the crowd, at least 6 feet, 4 inches of brilliance, a beautiful mullet of long, blonde hair cascading over his shoulders.  (But just the back of the hair knew how to Party.  The front was All Business.)

Think Fabio, but more bleachy and not as chiseled.

Hey, remember when Fabio got that bloody nose because a rogue bird obviously had a beef with either romance novels or butter substitutes and smashed into his face during a roller coaster ride? 

That was fucking AWESOME.  

And you know what is even more Fucking Awesome?  The smile on the face of the woman sitting next to him in this photo.

But I digress. 

Back to Sex Limit Fabio Dad.  At Six Flags.  Circa 1995. 

He wore black jeans over black cowboy boots in 100+ degree weather, blonde mullet damp from the sweat trickling down his face.  Strolling to the next ride with his short, round, frumpy wife (who came about to his belly button) at his side.  At least five kids of various ages in tow, one tugging on Daddy’s black jean leg and begging for a Sno-Cone. 

The whole scene was truly remarkable, but the best part of this guy, the part that STILL keeps me awake at night, was his t-shirt.  A tucked-in white t-shirt, sleeves rolled up, one side holding a pack of cigarettes in place (of course).  On the front of the t-shirt, what looked like a typical speed limit sign — but instead of “SPEED LIMIT,” the sign said “SEX LIMIT.”  What WAS the “SEX LIMIT,” you ask? 

Why, “69” of course.

It just doesn’t get any better than that, folks.


Have a Blue-Ribbon People Watching Experience of your own?  Do tell!

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21 Responses to “Blue-Ribbon People Watching Experiences”

  1. I agree wholeheartedly that people ought to sit in the seats if the venue has them. That way we can all see and our legs don’t get tired. And besides, the only reason I can think of that a person might want to stand at a concert is so they can dance, but people simply don’t dance at concerts. Instead they stand there with a bored look on their face as if they’ve just paid $60 to see a band that they don’t even like. What’s up with THAT?

  2. I also love to people watch and have that same fear that people are watching me. My favorite people to watch are parents, so I guess I’m a parent watcher – and yeah, part of me is always judging while the other part is trying to make it stop. This causes me to think that other people are parent watchers and judgers and God Help Me if I leave the house with my two boys.

  3. “…(But just the back of the hair knew how to Party. The front was All Business.)…”

    OMG I’m dying, absolutely dying! I now have words to articulate some of the mullets one sees whilst one is driving through parts of Western Maine that could have been transplanted right the fuck out of the deepest south! *banjos play in the background*

    Beej m’dear, now keep up with me here and don’t get THAT look on your face when I mention “BlogHer”…but have you ever thought about how much fun it would be to go and just sit and PEOPLE WATCH? No? Me either.

    I sort of play your game on airplanes because, well because I am a huge chicken when it comes to flying, despite the numerous cross Atlantic trips I have made…being married to a Brit will do that to ya. Anyhow, I sit there and make up stories in my mind about the people on the plane. Like the nun sitting three rows ahead of me, in the center aisle row. She keeps looking back at the gentleman in the seat directly in front of me! They are having a forbidden affair and are flying off to meet secretly at some hot tropical place where they can screw like bunnies and not have to worry about Mother Superior or the gentleman’s wife finding out!

    And then there’s the blond sitting in the bulkhead seat….

    Hey wait a minute? Why am I wasting good material in a comment? A COMMENT! This merits it’s own post! *lol*

    Once again Beej, outta the park m’dear, straight over the heads of the fat beer drinker in the nosebleed seats and outta the park!

  4. Oh, human race – how wonderfully weird you are! One of my fave People Watching moments was at a train station on the NSW Central Coast (think: Australian bogan paradise. Wait, does anyone outside this country use the word bogan? It’s like redneck, only, you know, the Down Under equivalent, which still means mullets and beer bellies, but less with the Louisiana alligators and Texas stetsons. Oh yeah, I got me some cultural nuance right there). Anyway. This woman would’ve been eighty if she was a day, thin in the manner of someone who smokes and exercises waaay too much and has done so for the last sixty years and, like Barbara Cartland of old, presumably has eyesight so bad that she still thinks dressing like a 20-year-old is visually keen.

    So, what made this woman special? Apart from the running mascara and hot pink lipstick, there was the cowprint cowboy boots, the cowprint miniskirt with pink netting hem, the pink cleavage bodice with (yu-huh) cowprint sleeves, the white cowboy hat – AND, under the hat, shoulder-length, scraggly, freaky-peroxide blonde hair in pigtails, each adorned with a pink-and-cowprint scrunchie.


    (Although clearly I lied about the whole ‘no stetsons’ thing. I’m crazy like that.)

  5. Aren’t all blogger types really people watchers at heart? We’re just peeping into each other’s heads instead of at our physical beings. Just as entertaining really!

  6. The aiport- pure genious. I wish I could’ve been your teenage friend. And your right about trying to walk with arms around each other- totally awkward, but great for people watching.

  7. People watcher expert right here.

  8. Hi, I’m formercitygirl and I am a people watcher. Sometimes I worry that women are going to think that I am checking them out as in “How you doing?”

  9. I’m so with you on the people watching thing! I’m addicted. My poor friends who take me out of the house soon regret it when I become more involved eavesdropping on the people next to us rather than participating in our own conversations.

    This post reminds me of a joke a customer told me once.
    Him: “What’s the speed limit for sex?”
    Me: “Um, what? Excuse me?”
    Him: “It’s a joke. What’s the speed limit for sex?”
    Me: “I have no idea.”
    Him: “68! Because if you hit 69, you flip over and eat it.”

    This high school joke brought to you courtesy of Prose and Converse! Enjoy!

  10. Okay, you’ve made me laugh out loud in the office – causing the maint. guy to think I was either crazy or making fun of him..I’m talking belly laugh. I’m a people watcher’s an addiction. I have to make up little stories to go along w/ them too. Yeah, but it’s priceless to do it w/ old friends – they know exactly what you’re thinking. Eye contact and it’s over.

  11. I’m a watcher too. Drives my husband crazy bc I can’t pay attention to our conversations when we’re out and about. My favorite place to watch is the water park. I am absolutely amazed at the bathing suits that people wear!

  12. 1. Sra — If there is a seat there, my ass wants to be IN IT. I paid for it and I would like to enjoy it. So what if the music’s rocking? I can still dance with my ass in my seat. I’ve got mad skills.

    2. Cathy — I don;tknow if you could tell, but I am also Very Judgmental. The Karma Police have a warrant out for my arrest RIGHT NOW.

    3. Auds at Barking Mad — I actually told the Big Bean last night how sad I really was not to be going to BlogHer, because the mere spectacle of all of these writing genius women getting shitfaced drunk and hurting each others’ feelings must be a sight to behold. Maybe next year.

    4. fozmeadows — How much do I love your story? SOOO much. They have Stetsons in Australia? God help you.

    5. catnip35 — It is true, we’re all kind of weirdly voyeuristic in the blog world, I guess. My favorite posts are often the ones with pictures of other peoples’ kids and houses, to put a visual with the words I’ve read. I’m sick. But then, so are you.

    6. Mamasphere — Ahh, the memories. Queen Bee and I lost touch for a while and then reconnected, and the first thing we reminisced about were those trips to the airport. We were weird.

    7. Sarah — Welcome to my world!

    8. formercitygirl — We should start a group

    9. proseandconverse — Your joke was perverse and offensive. Therefore, I loved it.

    10. that girl — Eye contact is never good when People Watching. Only elbow nudges.

    11. Lori — Sea World and any kind of amusement park — those are HOTBEDS of people watching activity. Go to any Six Flags or Magic Mountain or Disney park and post up at the food court. You will never want to leave.

  13. My wife and I like to sit and play “Mystery Science Airport 3000″.

    The Japanese businessman who suddenly turns to approach the Korean TSA agent, looking for help: “Hey. You’re Asian….”

    The janitor with the bag of garbage over his shoulder: “I got rhythm. I got music. I got my trash. Who could ask for anything more?”

    It’s the best game ever.

  14. Backpacking Dad – So THAT’S how that song goes!! I was always missing that lyric…

  15. I wish:
    a) I watched people more. I do, but not – clearly – as intently as you. I think I would appreciate life more.
    b) I had more comedy t-shirts

  16. I live in a touristy place and, let me tell you, watching people on vacation is an endless People Watching GOLDMINE. My favorite are the couples in head-to-toe matching outfits. Extra points if they have matching children. Extra, EXTRA points if their matching outfits involve shiny jackets with their names embroidered in script. Super-extra points if there is a Disney character involved.

    But don’t you hate it when you are people watching and you totally get busted? And you have to suddenly pretend to be very interested in something just to the right of them? But if there isn’t something just to the right of them you then have to squint, like the thing you are looking at is really far away? And then they turn to see what you are looking at and you run like mad? Oh. No, that’s never happened to me either.

  17. I was never much of a people watcher. It’s only been recently that I’ve started doing it. I’m not sure if this means I use to be a self-absorbed asshat or if I’ve become a nosy bitch now.

  18. I am such a people watcher, everywhere I go. It’s like a bad habit, or better yet, a disease! It is fun to do though, but I get the same feeling that people are watching me too.

  19. Boy, I’d love to go get a sonic cherry limeade and mix it with something and head to the airport today. That is my idea of fun. I’m totally serious, not a smart ass.

    I live in the country, so the only person I can people watch is my neighbor, who is a guy with big boobs that I see all summer long. He rides a golf cart everywhere, so there’s a lot of bouncing going on.

  20. I like to watch people but I don’t know that I can recall explicit experiences like yours.
    Once in Thailand I was watching this beautiful young escort escorting a pudgy, flabby ruddy-complected older white man and just wondered what in the world must be going through her head.

  21. I live in a stoner, drunken, sex-crazed hippie hobo beach town. It’s the BEST people watching ever.

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