Nonconformists, Singing Off-Key and Tattoos

   Written by on August 25, 2016 at 10:03 am
The stories in this column are true. Averett lives a dull life in rural Southside Virginia with his wife Management, two children and a rotating assortment of goats, dogs, cats, snakes and other local fauna.

The stories in this column are true. Averett lives a dull life in rural Southside Virginia with his wife Management, two children and a rotating assortment of goats, dogs, cats, snakes and other local fauna.

Last week we saw a car with writing all over it. One of the things written on it was if the world was a village of 100 people there would be six Americans and so on down to one non-conformist. The odd thing was my friends said I would be the non-conformist. I thought they were joking. I always thought non-conformists were those weird folks who deliberately don’t do what other people do. I said I wasn’t a non-conformist and they thought I was joking.

All of us were as surprised as the time they accused me of being a “risk taker.” I never take risks except with money, stuff and other unimportant items.

I was then accused of “marching to a different drummer” which is also false. I never march. Sometimes I saunter to a fife. When I am in a hurry I lope to the music in my head.

In any case, I thought non-conforming was something you did on purpose. It turns out the reason doesn’t matter according to the dictionary. If you do things differently than others, then you are a non-conformist, or so they say.

This is how I see it. I conform to a set of rules I have devised over the years, which requires certain behavior from me.

For example, several of the small relatives recently asked me to sing to them. I told them I never sing (or whatever the noise I make is) around adults. When I do they throw stuff at me. This is one of my rules and I always conform. It is less painful for all of us.

I am also often asked why I always fight the system. I don’t always fight the system. I only fight the system when it is wrong and the system is always wrong when it attempts to take away our choices. Making poor choices is how we learn.

The other issue with this non-conformist stuff is that it changes. Years ago when I had a bunch of snakes in the house I was called a non-conformist. There were only a few of us who kept snakes around here. These days, lots of folks keep snakes and my bride Management has evicted mine.

When I was a teenager only a few guys had tattoos. They might have been non-conformist except every one of them said the same thing. “I went out and got drunk and we all got tattoos.” That makes them conformists and drunken ones at that.

Now, everywhere you look there are tattoos. Guys have them, girls have them, they have big ones and little ones. Keeping in mind that I never see anything but arms, legs and necks I suspect there are more tattoos than I realize. I will not be researching this issue.

I suppose the first sober person to get a tattoo was a non-conformist, the rest are conforming and now we are at the point that if you are over 18 and under 45 and don’t have a tattoo you are a non-conformist. Does this change the first sober tattooee into a conformist?

How about those baggy pants with the belt down around thigh level? I have to say they don’t bother me at all. Why should I care how you wear your clothes? The question is, was the first person to do this a non-conformist or did he just not know the difference between his butt and his knees? Then again, maybe he just had a really long torso and really short legs and all of the conformists imitating him didn’t notice.

So here is how it all shakes down. A non-conformist is someone who does things differently than everyone else. Then if he or she starts a trend of non-conformity the rest of the folks are conformists, which in turn make the non-conformist part of a conformist group.

In any case, I refuse to conform to the theory that I am a non-conformist.

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