Bell Bottomed Karma

Louis and I are lounging by the front window reading newspapers and drinking espresso. It’s early and we’re not expecting customers for an hour.

While Louis skims the Daily News I leaf through the NY Post. I’ve been giving The Times a rest lately. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I like the Grey Lady – but sometimes you need to get the news from a different point of view.

“Well look at that,” Louis says, pointing out the window.

A shaggy haired mutton chopped boy in bell bottomed jeans saunters past, bopping on his heels, listening to his iPod. From the looks of him I’ll bet he’s playing the Bee Gees.

“Oh man,” I say, “That kid wasn’t even born in the Seventies.”

“Bell Bottoms on guys,” Louis clucks, “Not good.”

“What’s with the Seventies being hip again?” I ask shaking my head.

“I don’t know,” Louis replies, “I was traumatized the first time around.”

“Tell me about it.”

“The age of Neil Diamond,” Louis snorts.

“Hey, don’t knock the Jewish Elvis,” I reply.

“But he’s popular again,” Louis counters.

“So’s Barry Manilow.”

“I write the songs that make the whole world sing…..” Louis starts crooning.

“Ugh,” I say wincing, “I remember when my Dad bought a Barry Manilow eight track.”

“Eight tracks!” Louis says smiling, “Do you remember the noise those things made?”

“The ‘ka-chunk’ sound when it switched tracks? Yeah, I remember.”

“Did you have the eight track player in your car?” Louis asks.

“We didn’t have that option in our Volkswagen Beetle.”

“Beetle?” Louis laughs, “If your parents were cool they’d’ve had a van with shag carpeting.”

“My Dad always said perverts drove vans,” I say, remembering a van driver my Dad disliked in 1978. This dude had a tricked out ride complete with plush carpet, a mini disco ball, and “Star Wars” paint job. I even think he crammed a fridge in there. I shake my head. That guy must be fifty years old now.

“Roller skating,” Louis says, snapping his fingers, “Remember that?”

“I had my ninth birthday at United Skates of America,” I reply.

“So did I!”

“That was way before roller blades my man.”

“And how,”

Louis and I spend a half an hour reminiscing about the “traumatic” Seventies. We cover leisure suits, the Son of Sam, our “CHiPs” lunchboxes, the Justice League, and my pre-adolescent crush on Lynda Carter.

“What are you guys talking about?” Kylie asks, joining the conversation.

“Waiter was just telling me how he had a crush on Wonder Woman,” Louis says laughing.

“Wonder Woman?” Kylie asks.

“Hey, I was like ten years old,” I say in my defense.

“Did you like it when she tied guys up with the Lariat of Truth?” Louis asks.

“I don’t know if I liked it,” I reply with a sheepish grin, “But I remember feeling all funny inside.”

Louis roars with laughter. “Now I understand you better.”

Kylie looks at us. “You guys are so weird.”

“What year were you born Kylie?” Louis demands.

“1985.”

“85?” I groan, “I was senior in high school!”

“Shut the hell up Kylie,” Louis says, “You weren’t even a gleam in your father’s eye in the Seventies.”

“Ok fellas,” Kylie says walking away, “I’ll leave you two alone in the Age of Disco.”

Louis and I watch her walk away.

“Did she say ‘The Age of Disco?’” I ask.

“’Fraid so” Louis mutters.

“What was the age of her childhood,” I say, “The Nineties?”

“I guess.”

“Please.”

“I’ll take the Age of Disco any day.”

“Me too,” I reply. “Me too.”

We’re silent for a moment.

“Wonder Woman?” Louis asks me, “You’re serious right?”

“Dude, I had a poster of her on my bedroom wall.”

“I didn’t,” Louis giggles.

“America wasn’t ready for ‘Wonder Boy’ back them,” I say dryly.

“Lynda Carter’s gotta be fifty now,” Louis remarks.

“Older than that I think.”

“Man,” Louis says, “Time is slipping by.”

“Yeah,” I say, “But if you stick around it all comes back round again.”

“Like Karma?” Louis asks.

“Exactly,” I say, “Bell bottomed Karma.”


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