If you say you don’t ever partake in people-watching, then you’re a liar. We as a species are naturally curious and creepy, and sometimes you catch yourself sitting down in public just observing society. No matter where you are you take in your environment, but some places are goldmines. You wouldn’t want to people watch in a CPA’s office or a funeral, but you would want to sit back and make the world your personal zoo at these places:
This classic spot is where you get some diversity on your people-watching pallet. Any decent sized airport is blending travelers from all over the world. You get your pick of the best/worst the world has to offer. Obese Americans eating $17 slices of Sbarro’s. Pretentious Europeans laughing at the previously mentioned obesity. The classic late family sprinting to their gate while the parents bicker at each other for not leaving earlier while simultaneously rushing their kids like sled dogs.
A personal favorite pastime of mine is sizing up the percentages of who’s likely going to be sitting next to you while you’re waiting at the gate. Usually it comes down to: attractive female (1.5%), solo parent and young tired child (25.5%), obese man finishing his 4th burrito from Taco Bell (70%), and sweet old grandma who’s a tad bit racist (4%).
A County Fair
If you haven’t been to the Bumfuck County Fair, you’re doing yourself a disservice. No, these probably aren’t what they were 50 years ago when they served as a small town’s only source of entertainment for an entire year, but they still bring out a hell of a people watching crop. For every few normal people that you see, you’ll get at least one bearded dude who looks like a cast member of Swamp People mated with a member of the family from The Hills Have Eyes.
Essentially a county fair is a trashier version of a NASCAR race, so if you want to see rednecks losing their god damn minds over alligator wrestling or a tractor pulling heavy things, a county fair is your best bet.
A Trump Rally
This one is self-explanatory.
The DMV is best described by this quote from The Shawshank Redemption:
Geology is the study of pressure and time. That’s all it takes really, pressure, and time.
This same theory applies to the DMV. Yeah, it’s a smaller sample of people with a greater chance of them being normal, but let me know who’s all that normal after two and a half hours of sitting in a cramped room. The nice middle-aged dad with his calm seven-year-old will turn into a boiling pot of batshit crazy after hearing number after number and hearing his child constantly say “how many left nowwwww Dad???”
The dream with the DMV is witnessing someone get up, freak out, and say “Fuck this, I’ll come back tomorrow” only to have their number called as soon as the door shuts behind them.
High School Sporting Event
The obvious negative here is that you’re a grown adult at a high school sporting event. Once you’re over that you can realize that it’s a wonderful place to observe the idiocy of society. Don’t agree? Let me tell you a story.
I went to college in Odessa, TX, home of the mighty Odessa Permian Panthers of Friday Night Lights fame. My freshman year, I accompanied a friend to the game to see what all the hype was about. He was a local and his parents had season tickets. Yes, season tickets to a high school football team. That’s a thing.
Anyways, the mighty Panthers were getting dicksanded by their crosstown rivals, but I couldn’t care less about the game. I was surrounded by adults whose lives were being shattered by these 16 to 18 year-old-kids playing football, and it was hysterical. The greatest example was thankfully right in front of me. I was witness to a man, his wife, and two daughters, neither older than five. Mid-3rd quarter, as Permian gave up another long TD run, I was blessed to observe the man snap at his daughters and defend himself to his wife by exclaiming, “Mojo is losing and they’re sitting there acting all happy!”
Nothing is more hilarious than grown adults obsessing over high school athletics, and I will forever defend people-watching at a high school sporting event just for the chance to witness something like that..
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