Wednesday, September 15, 2010

From the Grab Bag

When I decided to major in Intercultural Studies at Biola, I had an idea that I would become a Bible translator in a French-speaking African country. I never officially reconsidered this very specific career path; the idea just evaporated of its own accord.

Unfortunately, an alternate plan never presented itself, which is how I came to be working part-time in a coffee house after I graduated. Working in a coffee house in 1994 could have been cool, but I am an inveterate nerd, so the coffee house I worked at was in a strip mall in Brea.

The owners did roast their own beans right there in the shop, and I did learn a lot about coffee, but Regency Coffee Roast didn't foster the sort of coffee house culture that I'd hoped for. Rather than talking books with endearingly shabby literary types, I found myself slinging espressos for guys in dress slacks and button-downs on their way to the office. They called me things like "sweetie" and "hon." And not in a nice way.

Of course it wasn't all condescending white-collar workers and soccer moms. We had an occasional character or two come through. There was one regular couple I dreaded serving, because the wife was (supposedly) deathly allergic to caffeine. Every time I made her espresso the husband would ask five times if I'd remembered to use the decaf beans. Because, if I hadn't, her death would be on my hands. That was fun.

Some of the young people who worked at Regency were cool, and their interesting friends would stop by to mooch discount drinks and leftover baked goods. One day somebody's friends walked in and among them was a woman with her face tattooed. All over. In fact, most of her visible skin was covered in ink. But the designs on her face were so indistinct and blurry, it just looked like a mess. I couldn't fathom why somebody would do something so permanent and extreme. I tried not to stare.

Then I overheard her friend explaining that the woman had a rare skin condition; the skin was never going to be normal, so she figured she might as well have some fun with it. It's not a choice I necessarily would have made, but it made some sense.

It's been years since I thought of her. But just a few weeks ago I was wandering aimlessly around the interwebs when I encountered an article promoting the newest edition of the Guinness Book of World's Records. Prominently featured was this photo of the world's most tattooed woman:

According to her bio, she's from California and she decided to tattoo her entire body because of a skin condition. So, unless it's a just a remarkable coincidence, I've met the world's most tattooed lady.

3 comments:

DaveShack said...

Lucky you! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqL_ja23Nv0

Gypmar said...

Thanks, Dave, for the reminder of that wonderful movie!

Danica said...

Ah ICS - I thought I'd be a tent making missionary in the Middle East, but that idea dissipated for me as well. I'd forgotten you were that major as well.