The other day at work it go really busy all of a sudden so I bopped over to the front lanes to help the cashiers out. As I was logging into the register and called the next person up I glanced at the guy who walked up. He was unusually dressed, almost as if he was picked out of the late 1800's and dropped into present day.
He had on a long brown trench coat, a brown bowler hat and a very simple brown suit. As he was standing there while I rang him out his coat shifted and I could see was wearing an old brass skeleton key on a brass chain around his neck.
At first I thought it was for Halloween but then remembered Halloween had already passed. Then it dawned on me. He reminded me of the steampunk movement that has grown more popular lately. As I realized this I smiled at him and he kind of gave me a bewildered smile back.
"I'm sorry," I said. "I didn't mean to stare. It's just, the way you're dressed reminds me of steampunk. Have you heard of it?"
He paused for a moment as if surprised by my comment and smiled for real this time as he said, "That's exactly what it is. I do steampunk."
"Oh how cool, I think steampunk is so interesting."
I handed him his receipt and told him to have a great day and started to call up the next customer when he goes "I'm sorry, I need a high-five for that." So I laughed as I high-fived before sending him on his way, still smiling over our momentary bonding experience.
And that, is one of the many reasons why I love my job. All of the different people I meet every day keep things interesting.
In case you don't know what "steampunk" is sub-genre of science-fiction. Think H.G. Wells and Jules Vern. Check out the wiki page for a more technical definition and history, but basically my favorite way I've heard it defined is "what the past would like if the future had happened sooner."
So many cool projects have come out of the steampunk but my favorite so far has been the steampunk Iron Man that won the New York Comic Con.
I mean look at it! How cool is that? I love the idea of industrial age steam technology being combined with modern day objects and ideas.
Even though it probably makes me a huge nerd I think it's all really cool. I even started reading a comic called "Lady Mechanika" because of the steampunk theme it's centered around.
The comic book series takes place during the Victorian-era in Britain where the main character is in search of her "creator" because she has no memory of who she is or how she came to be part human, and part steampunk technology. It's a really interesting read if you're looking for something new and non superhero related to pick up. I give it two thumbs up and can't way for the second issue of the series to come out.
Also, if you're still interested in reading more about steampunk, check out this article that the New York Times did on it.