I've been traveling the past two days so it was nice to finally make it back to rainy Seattle last night and come back home. Unfortunately, I got in late (11pm) and by the time the Light Rail got me into downtown, it was past midnight. As tough and menacing as I look, I figured I wouldn't have any issues if I went down to 3rd and Pine and waited for the bus that would drop me off back at home.
While it's a lovely area full of hustle, bustle and other such things that end in -ustle during the day, that area gets a little questionable in the evening. It's not really dangerous, it's just full of a lot of shady-looking characters.
Guys like the "Walks Past You Every Twenty Seconds And Doesn't Seem To Have Any Specific Agenda Other Than Looking Ominous" Guy and "Yelling Expletives To His Friend Down The Block Regardless Of Noise Ordinances And Other People's Eardrums" Guy. This is their time to shine. And shine they do.
So I get to the bus stop around 12:15 and immediately notice a group of about ten curiously-dressed people hanging out, making noise and committing general tomfoolery. Then I notice many of their hair-styles...dozens of tiny little braids sticking out in all directions. Their clothing is almost uniformally black. It's not until a couple of them turn around that I realize they're all wearing white, red and black facepaint. And then it finally hits me...
Despite the late hour, their big numbers and the amount of noise and revelry coming from them, I'm not scared. I'm enraptured. I remember seeing an ad in the weekly for a Twiztid show and all the pieces came together.
Let it be known that Juggalos do not practice the fine art of subtlety. They were almost all wearing jackets and shirts that either read Psychopathic Records, Twiztid or ICP. They were almost all in facepaint. They're basically the equivalent of the die-hard sports fan who puts on twenty pieces of team regalia and takes his mitt to the game and brings a radio and calls in to the sports radio show before and after the game. They've bought in and they're literally bought everything. Kudos on that, Juggalos and Juggalettes. The NFL and MLB want to speak with ICP's marketing executive...
As more and more buses come and go, it's apparent that the Juggalos are getting restless, as they are wont to do. Seems the bus they expected to be here by now hasn't come for a while and there doesn't seem to be any sign of it. Their unbridled enthusiasm and vigor has been replaced by that uneasy feeling you get as a young, suburban goofball realizing he might just be stuck here in Downtown Seattle at one in the morning with a whole lot of people who don't need facepaint to be menacing.
My bus finally arrives and I get on, along with six or seven other people. The Juggalos continue waiting. One of the Juggalos, very business-like, asks our driver for the deal on their bus. He explains that he doesn't think the bus is coming. Keep in mind the fellow he's having this lucid discussion with is wearing something akin to this on his face.
One of the passengers on the bus gets up and explains to the Juggs that the bus they want stopped running at midnight and they'll have to catch a different one down the street and they'll have to hurry. The conversation is friendly, kind and informative on both ends.
Despite the fact that one person is clearly in his 70's and unaware of what the hell is going on while the other is about 22 and wearing a shirt with fake blood smeared across it and the date is not October 31st, this conversation is just rolling along swimmingly. Other people on the bus join in, sharing their insight and opinions. The Juggalos take in the information, thank their advisers, ask questions, look forlorn about their situation and leave.
When they're gone, the bus driver, the old man and the rest of the passengers go about their business. No one makes a joke about the facepaint or the hair. No one questions why a big group of young people are dressed up like insane clowns in the middle of November. No one seems to think anything weird or interesting has even just happened. In fact, everyone is acting like that was the most normal situation they had been in all day. It was a downright boring encounter.
Maybe that's what happens in the middle of the night on a Seattle bus. Now I know. You get the point in your life where you just don't get surprised by things like that.
Kinda like Big East football. When Pittsburgh took on UConn last night, I'm willing to bet you thought before the game that it was entirely within the realm of possibility for the Huskies to beat the Panthers. Despite the fact that Pitt has looked so dominating and despite the fact that they had the inside track to the Big East.
It was almost too normal when UConn beat them. Just as the idea of an unranked, four or five-loss Big East team representing the conference in a BCS Bowl seems like too obvious and boring. Our sense are so dulled and expectations are so low that nothing really shocks us anymore.
And believe me, the Big East is trying to make you take notice. The conference is reaching into depths we didn't think were possible. The lower it sinks, however, the less we seem to be surprised. At this point, it would be more shocking if one team dominated. Instead, we fully expect UConn to lose their next game, erasing all their momentum, while Pitt will come out and destroy someone, making this loss even more confusing and further muddying the conference picture.
I said it before and I'll say it again, we truly are the Juggalos of the BCS. And just like them, there's nothing that can be done to shock us and the only thing the conference can do at this point is go looking for a different bus...cause the one they're currently waiting for ain't coming. Not this year.