Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bearded Lady!

Couple of things: first, I saw the Japanese movie "Late Spring" last night with a friend from work. The professor introducing the movie--it was open to all students and staff at the school, but was being shown as part of a film class--made it sound like it was going to be the type of movie I don't like. He droned on and on for fifteen minutes about the Zen-like aspect of the filmmaker Ozu's work, about the space between events and how his movies weren't about plot but rather about character development. No where in there did I hear the words "explosion," "mind-bending," or "light projectile weaponry," and I was sorely concerned. But then it turned out that the movie was great! I stayed interested and engaged through the whole thing, except the five-minute Noh theater performance, which made me fall asleep a little, and then I cried at the end. Which leads me to believe that all the other deathly boring "character-driven" movies I've seen have, in fact, sucked. It wasn't just me and my short, comic-book-driven American attention span! Hurray!

Now, the bearded lady.

I'm short and the counter at work is tall. When people walk in, all I can really see are their shoulders and heads. So when a bearded person with long hair and an Aloha shirt walked in, my first thought was, "Here comes Tommy Chong!" I got up from my desk and my coworker who sits behind me muttered something I didn't quite hear. Tommy Chong opened his mouth and spoke to me in the sweet, high-mannered voice of a lady. I really, really hope my surprise didn't register on my face, because I was shocked. I've been around cross-dressers and transgendered people all my life; this woman was neither. If she'd been a biological woman transitioning to male, the hormones would have changed her voice at the same time as they gave her that fine, luxurious biker's mustache. And if she'd been a biological man transitioning to female, she'd have shaved that shit. Obviously, one cannot simply ask, "Lady, what's with the 'stache and goatie?" so I just had to send Tommy Chong on her way.

I turned back to my desk and my coworker said, "Didn't you hear me?"

"Why? What did you say?"

"When she walked it, I said, 'female.'" He paused, and in all seriousness added, "She's nice. Teaches a circus class."

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