(People) Watch Something: The Old-ish, Scandinavian Farmer Crowd

I’m a people watcher.  I love just sitting in a crowd and observing the diverse (or not so diverse) group of individuals around me.  (That admittedly sounds a bit creepy, but I swear, I’m totally harmless).  In fact, it’s often unintentionally hilarious, and last night was no exception.

Let’s break down the crowd, shall we?

The event:  A doo-wop tribute band concert.  (You can see where this is going, can’t you?)

The location:  A glorified, small town pull shed.  (Yep.  You can see where this is going.  Well, unless you thought I was going to say Branson, which is understandable given the subject matter.  But, nope).

The demographics:   Old school farmers (or farm enthusiasts), aged fifty-five plus.  Scandinavians galore.  (Seriously.  Norwegian and Swedish flags were proudly displayed, along with signs for the Sons of Norway club.  But, hey, as a Scandinavian-American, I’m not complaining).

Top five observations of the old-ish, Scandinavian farmer crowd:

1.  They bring their own seat cushions.  Now, considering that we were sitting on metal folding chairs, this wasn’t a dumb idea.  They probably didn’t have a sweaty behind like I did when I stood up at the intermission.  But, if you’re coming with your own oil company emblazoned seat cushions, you likely have no plans of standing up and really gettin’ into the music.

2.  They have no idea what to do when objects get tossed into the crowd.  It was a cute idea to throw a red rubber ball into the audience when the band played “Red Rubber Ball,” but unfortunately (or fortunately, considering the age of the concertgoers),  there was no mosh pit to be had.  (Can you imagine a mosh pit filled with a bunch of white-haired sixty and seventy-year-olds?  What an image).  So, instead of the ball gliding somewhat gracefully through a crowd of outstretched arms, it was lobbed somewhat carelessly around until some poor woman finally got smacked in the back of the head.  Oops.

3.  They are swaybots.  Now, if you’re unfamiliar with the word “swaybot,” it’s a term frequently used by TVLine’s Michael Slezak to describe those audience members who sway back and forth to the music, usually to the point of distraction.  And they look something like this sweet, old lady sitting in front of me who was swaying all.night.long:

(And you thought only teenage girls and arena fans could get their swaybot on?  Now you know better.  Older folks can rock the sway!)

4.  They are master foot tappers.  A cousin of the swaybots, foot tappers are pretty self-explanitory and a little more conspicuous, as they keep their movements pretty well hidden to the larger audience.  There are two types of foot tappers: the bouncer and the shaker (that sounds so wrong, but there’s really no other way to characterize them).  The bouncer usually moves their foot in a distinct up and down rhythm, while the shaker  usually crosses their feet at the ankle and taps one foot against the other.  Some people only use one method, but the older gentleman ahead of me was so talented that he applied them both.  If the song had a very strong beat, he used the bounce.  If it was face paced and chaotic, he used the shake.  (Or maybe he was just shaking out of boredom?  He did get up in the middle of a song to get some popcorn, so…)

5. They are awkward dancers (sometimes).  As I said earlier, when you come armed with seat cushions, you’re probably not going to be dancing up a storm.  If you believe that white people can’t dance, this observation should not be surprising.  But, older people tend to have less shame about these things and will do it anyway.  Some of them were actually not bad, looking like those skilled polka dancers on public tv.  (What? You know you’ve watched some public access polka.  Don’t lie).  Others, however, were just…not good.   The most egregious dancing I saw involved the, “twisting your waist with one arm moving uncoordinated alongside you” move.  Oof.

Who have you people watched lately?

*Special thanks to Mom and Aunt S. for giving me the opportunity to do this people watch.

– l  xo

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  1. […] time for another installment of twentysomething people watching.  Or when I not so creepily observe and write about human […]



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