With what's in and fashionable changing faster than you can say, "August Doin's? What's August Doin's?," it's not surprising to find yet another new book on the latest trends and fads.
"The Hipster Handbook" (Anchor, $9.95) by Robert Lanham, Bret Nicely and Jeff Bechtel is the latest attempt at keeping us from embarrassing ourselves in public.
In it, Lanham describes hipsters as the ones you see around town smoking European cigarettes, wearing platform shoes and reading biographies of Che Guevara (who plays shortstop for the New York Mets).
Less specifically, a "hipster" is defined as "one who possesses tastes, social attitudes, and opinions deemed cool by the cool (although the word "cool" is now out, replaced by the word "deck.")
"The Hipster walks among the masses in daily life but is not a part of them and shuns or reduces to kitsch anything held dear by the mainstream," the authors write. "A Hipster ideally possesses no more than 2 percent body fat."
Among the clues you are a Hipster:
1. You graduated from a liberal arts school whose football team hasn't won a game since the Reagan Administration.
2. You frequently use the term "postmodern" (or its commonly used variation "PoMo") as an adjective, noun and verb.
3. You carry a shoulder-strap messenger bag and have at one time or another worn a pair of horn-rimmed or Elvis Costello-style glasses.
4. You have refined tastes and consider yourself exceptionally cultured, but have one pop vice (ElimiDATE, Quiet Riot and Entertainment Weekly are popular ones) that helps to define you as well-rounded.
5. You have kissed someone of the same gender and often bring this up in conversation.
6. You spend much of your leisure time in bars and restaurants with monosyllabic names like Plant, Bound and Shine.
7. You bought your dishes and a checkered tablecloth at a thrift shop to be kitschy, and often throw vegetarian dinner parties.
8. You have one Republican friend whom you always describe as being your "one Republican friend."
9. You enjoy complaining about gentrification even though you are responsible for it yourself.
10. Your hair looks best unwashed and you position your head on your pillow at night in a way that will really maximize your cowlicks.
11. You own records put out by Matador, DFA, Definitive Jux, Dischord, Warp, Thrill Jockey, Smells Like Records and Drag City.
Here in the Rim country what is hip has never much concerned us, and a Hipster is what we call an old person who is prone to breaking his or her hips.
But it's high time we became hip, in our own unique way, of course. So here is how you know your hip in the Rim country -- and one of a select group of hip Rimaroos known as Rimaroosters:
1. You dropped out of high school, but go to all the PHS football games and make that "Hook 'em Horns" salute with both hands simultaneously (although you have to stop chewing your tobacco while you do it).
2. You frequently use the term "August Doin's" instead of rodeo, and have no idea what an adjective, noun or verb is.
3. You carry your smokes in your T-shirt sleeve and have at one time or another worn a Payson Concrete & Materials cap.
4. You have unrefined tastes and are proud of your lack of culture, typified by the fact that the reading material in your bathroom consists of back issues of "Bridle & Bit."
5. You have kissed your horse and often bring this up in conversation.
6. You spend much of your leisure time in bars and restaurants named after highways.
7. You bought your wardrobe at a thrift shop, and consider chicken-fried steak an upscale entree.
8. You have one Republican friend whom you always describe as Barbara Brewer.
9. You enjoy complaining about Trailer Trash as you set out in front of your 1957 model on a three-legged lawn chair.
10. Your hair is always unwashed and you position your head on your pillow at night in a way that allows you to scratch it easily.
11. You listen to KMOG and own a recording of either "Rhinestone Cowboy" by Glen Campbell, "Big John" by Jimmy Dean or "16 Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford.
Oh, and that thing about 2 percent body fat? You don't even want to know the average body fat of Rimaroosters.