Pattern recognition, anthropology style, consists of watching for things that make you go “hmm.” A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a kid drive past me. He was wearing a hard expression and a very short haircut. The car was a Ford Focus. And not just any Ford Focus. It was impeccable.
Hmm. An impeccable Ford Focus. And a kid who looked quite a lot like a skinhead.
What might me go hmm was the anomaly. After all, a Ford Focus seems to me (without the benefit of anthropological investigation) a bland little car, vehicle of choice for baby sitters, clergymen, and elementary school teachers…kind and gentle souls, all. Not tough guys.
Yesterday, I was out for a walk and who should zip past me, but another kid with short hair and a tough expression. The car? An immaculate Ford Focus.
I came home with two questions: 1) were these kids skinheads? 2) Is the Ford Focus a skinhead car of choice?
Short of running after the next Ford Focus that whistles past me, shouting, “Hey, are you a Skinhead?” there really isn’t any way to answer the first question. (I think of skinhead as an English invention, and I know they exist in America because I say the movie with Edward Norton. Shockingly limited knowledge, really.)
The second question is a little easier to investigate and I did a Google search with the words “skinhead” and “Ford Focus.” They did not coincide in any illuminating way.
But of course, I may be really barking at the moon. There may not be any “skinhead” car. I mean, why would someone’s politics specify their choice of automobile? On the other hand, it is usually just when I am talking myself down in this way that someone says to me, “Ford Focus? Skinheads? Everyone knows that!”
I am deputizing you, dear reader. Place your hand on the screen and repeat after me: “I do solemnly swear to keep an eye out for Ford Focuses and the people who drive them.” I do not advise running after them shouting questions. That’s my job.