Not a lot of people know this, but I used to be a hippy. When I switched from poncey private school to poncey comprehensive school at sixteen, I gave it a really good go.
There were quite a few hippies at the school, who preferred to go around barefoot, which was okay because the school was just by Hampstead Heath, so you could walk on dog turd covered grass rather than dog turd covered pavement. Being a hippy involved:
1. Having hairy armpits.
2. Listening to Van Morrison, Astral Weeks especially ("I love Van the Man, he's so fucking deep, do you know what I'm saying?")
3. Going to 'Smoke Outs' - where you'd spend all night with a bunch of stoners in someone's front room, getting stoned, obviously, then groping someone, passing out and waking up the next morning with carpet burn on your face and bright red eyeballs. Not a good look.
4. Talking shit while you were stoned.
5. Some of the other hippies hugged trees to feel their energy, but I never really got anything out of it.
I quite liked being a hippy, mostly because it really annoyed my mum, ("Why are all your friends so dirty? Why can't they wash their hair?"), especially when I started dating a thirty-eight year old hippy called Roger (I was eighteen). At some point that relationship was terminated, when he came round to the flat while I was out and my mum told him to "piss off and leave my daughter alone." Obviously his hair was that kind of matted dreadlocked style, even though he was white. Obviously he lived in a squat. He was a pretentious tosser who said things like, "Just because this apple is bruised does it mean we should reject it because it is less than perfect?" He was good at sex though....
Where was I? Eventually I got tired of the hippies, with all their talk of past lives ("I had a dream that I was a cat in Ancient Egypt"). And my brush with hippiedom truly ended when I got to university and realized that the acid house era had dawned. Hippies were so yesterday, man.
It was time to shave those pits, to throw out the patchouli and the tie dye skirts. It was time to don a smiley t-shirt and flap your arms like a spasticated penguin, nodding to the lyrics that defined a generation:
"You're twistin' my melon man, you know you talk so hip man
You're twistin' my melon man."
The times, they were a-changin:
Talking shit on weed was so OVER.
If you were going to talk shit, it had to be while you were on E.
Anyway, yesterday I was at the pool I go to, listening in to these two middle aged tattooed hippies, and trying not to laugh at their conversation.
One of them was wearing a bikini, wool socks and DM boots, (even though it was 90 degrees F).
Tattooed Hippy 1: Do you want to hold my stone? It's from India, called a Lingam. It's a power stone, very calming.
TH2: (Takes a brown pebble from TH1): Wow! Not a visible power surge, but it feels good.
TH1: I belong to this drumming group, (TH2 did not crease up in laughter at this), and we have this tradition in the group called a 'giveaway.'
TH2: What's that?
TH1: Well, at the end of each gathering, one of the drummers gives something away to the rest of the group. And last week an acupuncturist in the group gave me this stone. She had some negative energies coming off her, so when I got home I cleansed the stone - I stuck it in some dirt. I've taken to carrying it around to center me. Hey, it's your birthday today, isn't it?
TH1: In that case, I'm going to send you a birthday greeting from this friendly rock.
She actually said that the rock was sending a greeting.
That's when I realized the big problem with hippies...absolutely no sense of irony.
What about you, what trend did you follow as a teen? How bad were the clothes? Do you admit to having once being a hippy?
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