February 03, 2005

Dude, that's totally cheating.

One of the Indian architects showed up today wearing a turban, just for the hell of it. He's not a Sikh, he doesn't have long hair, and he doesn't observe any hair-covering customs for what hair he does have, but today he figured a turban was the way to go. We all gawked at him when he walked into the office and demanded to know what the occasion might be, how you wrap that thing, what's it made out of, isn't it heavy, what's that other fabric underneath for, how do you wrap that thing, how does it stay on your head, and most importantly how do you wrap that thing? So he took it off and showed us. It's enthralling.

You take a double-wide strip of thin cotton fabric about two or two and a half yards long, stretch it out diagonally, flip the free corners into the middle, roll the edges in, scrunch it up (don't forget to pull those ends), hold one end in your teeth and start wrapping. The bit in front where it looks like the wrapping switches directions? Optical illusion. You just give the fabric an extra twist to make a point and keep going the same way. The very top, that looks so heavily layered that you could bounce a ruler off of it? Also optical illusion. It's a great big hole that you leave until last and then fill in with one thin layer that you pull over. It explains a lot about why the things aren't deathly suffocatingly hot. Actually, I don't know that for a fact. Maybe they are deathly suffocatingly hot. I'll have to ask.

Apparently, though, this office isn't the only place people are fascinated. Regular patrons at the coffeeshop across the street, who see him there every day, gave him weird and unsettled looks when he wandered in with his new snazzy headgear. San Francisco architecture firm suddenly sprouts dark-skinned men in turbans; Department of Homeland Security raises terror alert level to "orangey-red, we swear we could turn this thing all the way up to red any time we wanted to". Funny, and yet not very funny.

Posted by dianna at February 3, 2005 10:28 AM

you should wear one on saturday! now that you know how to wrap them and all.

Posted by: michele at February 3, 2005 10:36 AM

Hey, yeah! I should make him show me again, though, 'cause I was so interested in the scrunching and twisting that I kind of missed things like which side you start on and which direction you go.

Posted by: Dianna at February 3, 2005 10:46 AM

we have a brand new "outdoor emergency warning system" post outside our house now, intruding on our lovely view, which is basically (gene says) just the wwII air raid siren technology given a new name. (speaking of threat levels.)

Posted by: didofoot at February 3, 2005 03:19 PM

Man, I always have to re-do my incompetent necktie-tying two or three times. I wouldn't last a minute in India.

Do you and Gene have a safety cellar? Maybe some half-desks to crouch under in case of a nuclear attack? Is the siren loud enough to drown out Iron and Wine's Postal Service cover?

Posted by: sean at February 3, 2005 07:32 PM

Sean, they don't need any of those things, because they know how to Stop, Drop, and Roll. Do you? If you can't tie a necktie, you should at least know how to save yourself from every disaster known to humankind.

Posted by: Dianna at February 3, 2005 08:38 PM