The sun is out! Mr. Winter is running scared. Goodbye you old miserable man! I know he will come back, far to soon, with a vengence. He is leaving not from the sun chasing him away as much as from the crazies. The crazies come out in the sun like turtles on a log in the river. (I know you have seen this on any river). I know you probably have run across a couple in your travels. Most of them are harmless. Some are not. The sun crazies are out and "On the move." YOU have been WARNED!!!!
Just for a minute, reserve your judgment, and do not lump me into the group in which I am discussing, I am my own patented brand of crazy and I know I am not all there. I can live with this fact. My crazy factor is what makes me so much fun. My crazy is independent of the sun, the moon, or any other external factor.
I was stopping by Smitty’s in Easttown to get some quaffable liquid imbibaries to finish off the week. Celebrating as much as possible is my new reality. There is always cause for a celebration, whether it is a day above ground up-right and taking nourishment (courtesy of GWC), the end of a grueling work week, or the loss of a loved one, celebrating is the right thing to do. Grief is fine, and necessary, but the life shared, not the death, should be cause for a celebration. As you know Browndog only drank Molson, so I had to get a few to celebrate his life. However I digress. Where was I? Oh yeah, sun crazies…
As I walked up the sidewalk from the parking lot to Smitty’s I noticed one of the many sun crazies that I saw on this sunny day. This particular individual was walking down the side walk mumbling about some thing. I avoided the urge to strike up a conversation or smile. Anyone that has worked a Home Show with me knows that I am a crazies magnet. They are drawn to me like Cindy Crysby to the crease on a hockey rink. (The hated Cindy would not be nearly the goal scorer he is he had to shoot the puck from more than two feet.)
Driving is one of my favorite times to admire or admonish the sun crazies. Many people complain about the lack of operating skill of the typical non-drivers on the road during the winter. However, the crazies’ factor is in full bloom in the sunny days as well. It is as if the sun crazies are like some kind of reverse vampire. They are drawn to the sun. They wander down the boulevards, streets and highways in some kind of sun induced stupor. It is really bad when the sun comes out right after a blizzard. You know what I am talking about. That particular anomoly is double jeapardy...
I am sure that the sun crazies do not all have a pair of HD sunglasses, as seen on TV, like I have, or maybe they would be able to deal with the sunshine, instead of becoming sun crazies. You, like me, have seen these light induced lycanthropes making a left turn, driving thru a parking lot, or toddling down the e-way in slow motion on any sunny day. The conversation in the operator’s cockpit is as such, “Geez, Margie look at all that sun!” to which Margie replies, “Yes, Harry, it is glorious! Why don’t you slow down a bit to take it in all it’s glory.” To which I reply, “JEEZUS F-ING CREE-IST, F-ING SPEED IT UP OR GET THE F OFF THE PLANET!!!”
These same sunlight lycanthropic crazies wonder up and down the block, thru the parking lot, and all over hell’s half acre on foot. The sun blinds them to the cross walk signs, the other vehicles, and the any other life threatening event that they come across. They are so mercifully free of the ravages of intelligence, they blissfully bee-bop thru the same dimension as the rest of the world, impervious to frantic hand gestures and tongue-lashings.
These sun crazies are not to be confused with the sun zombies. They are different breed entirely. The sun zombie will not move, but lie in the sun, like the sun baked road kill they are. Some of these sun zombies of the feminine persuasion will bath sans top. Do not get caught with the video camera taking liberties of the scenery by your wife. It is much better to give the camera to your 10 year old son. Then it will be cute, curious and funny. Not so much cute, curious, or funny for a middle-aged father. Jus’ sayin’.
The sun zombies also are the reason for the escalating rise in skin cancer. They live on the beach and have the same leathery look of an iguana. Thankfully, thru the natural order of things, they are becoming extinct. The Speedo industry is in a marketing swoon. Too bad. Better get a Speedo now before they also become extinct.
Way back when I was younger and more insane, I used to sell Tee-shirts at art festivals. The sun was out most of the time, and so where the crazies. There was one show in particular that drew more than its fair share of sun crazies, the Ann Arbor Art Fair. (The A²)
Ah yes, the A². We had a ton of fun selling the shirts. We were pranksters. We tied a hot dog to a stick and hit people in the head with the hotdog as we yelled, “Hot dog on a stick!!!” We wrote “See the Monkey on a mirror, and then showed the mirror to people as we said “SEEEEE THE MONKEY!!!” I was always amazed that so many people did not get the joke. “I don’t see your monkey.” Duh! You are the Monkey….” We also sold the shirts right off our backs, sweat and all, and it was a badge of honor to do this. Some of you may say that we were sun crazies as well...I scoff at the idea. We were just young and full of fun...
The A² had lots of sun crazies, but none more famous than Shakin’ Jake. He only came out in the sun. It rained rarely during the A². When it did rain the sun crazies disappeared like hot dogs on a skinny Japanese guy’s plate in a hot dog eating contest…
Shakin’ Jake was “On the move.” He wandered up and down the street, with his guitar slung over his shoulder, zig-zagging thru the crowd. Occasionally he would have the guitar in playing position, and strumming as he walked. It was rarely in tune. most imes it was missing a few strings. He would tell everyone that would listen, what his particular girl trouble was on that particular day. He had a ton of girl trouble. All the time, but hey he was a man, so nothing more really needs to be said.
He was a local icon during the fair. “On the move! Gotta take care of that woman! She wants…mumbling and I think cursing…” I did the A² Fair 13 years, and walked it a couple other years, he was ALWAYS there. On the move. Always bitching about that woman, women, whatever...
There are several rumors and ideas of where and what Shakin’ Jake actually did for a living. Some said he was just a homeless guy that was more visible during the A², but that is kind of boring. I had heard that he was a local barber that closed his shop for the fair and adopted the persona of Shakin’ Jake. My personal favorite was that he was a wealthy man that lived in Ypsilanti. He came out during the fair to do the Shakin’ Jake thing. You can be REALLY eccentric if you are wealthy.
A few years back, at the A² the sun crazies were out in force, and I happened to come across Shakin’ Jake as usual, he was, "On the move"...It had been years since I had done the fair and years since I had seen him.I bought his disc. It was not very good. It was pretty bad. So what? He lived as all sun crazies do. He lived the sun crazies dream. Coming out to be crazy while the sun reigned.
Who really knows who Shakin’ Jake really was? And really what does it matter? He enjoyed the sun and was crazy. I do not know if he is still "On the move." He came out to do his thing, and was there every year, long before I started doing the fair and long after. I drink this, Browndog’s favorite beer, Molson in Shakin’ Jakes honor, and celebrate his life.
Just another day in paradise