It’s always an adventure (to put it diplomatically) when walking with a Hello Kitty fanatic. Usually they look at my wife, then look at me bravely smiling and give that sympathetic look — tears beginning to well up in their eyes at the pure injustice of it all — which is reserved for the truly unfortunate beings of the world; small kids starving in Africa and me.
Then there are the times when I am forced out on my own with some Hello Kitty item in hand and have to face the unapproving wrath reserved for serial killers and terrorists on the nation’s most wanted list.
True Hello Kitty fanatics have the unique ability to deflect all of the looks of terror of those around them and magnify them onto the non fanatic in the area. This was what she was in for, so I wasn’t at all surprised by her findings:
It’s hard to say which is worse: that the cashier so coldly cut off my life philosophy, or that I was actually starting to believe my own chirpy pro-Kitty blathering. Continuing the walk, I paused with a grin of delight to babytalk an approaching bulldog (standard practice! I’ve never been rebuffed!), and the young owner physically placed his hand between me and the dog and scooted the thirty-pound animal in a wide berth of me on the sidewalk. Jesus. Did I accidentally put on a KKK hood this morning?
Then again, a KKK hood might have been helpful. At least it would have covered the damn (Hello Kitty) barrettes.
Two blocks away from my sister’s place, my get-up finally attracted its first fan. I stood at a corner waiting for a light to change; six or seven feet away, a barefoot (presumably homeless) man, carrying a defunct ghettoblaster and begging for change, gnashed his arms at passers-by and growling obscenities. Equidistant between the two of us stood a prim young-ish mother escorting her five-year-old home from Hebrew school, and waiting on the same light. “Look!” cooed the child, stretching up toward my necklace. Her mom looked me up and down. And up again. Then scooted her daughter three steps closer to Obscene Beggar…
Welcome to the daily life of someone living in Hello Kitty Hell…