Weird Visual of the Day

Humans are infinitely varied creatures. Why not celebrate that?

My family has this game we call “Weird Visual of the Day.” Whenever we’re out and about, we look for people and things that are ever-so-slightly out of the ordinary. We’re not looking for the kind of full-on strangeness that’s sad or dangerous. We’re not looking for spectacle. We’re not looking for people whose hobby is looking outlandish. We’re looking for the kind of everyday oddballs that you find in any medium-sized city, especially in a college town like ours.

It’s not competitive. My family doesn’t keep score. It’s just a way to remind ourselves to keep our eyes open, because humans are such wonderfully varied creatures.

Like the woman and her dog wearing matching coats…and shoes. Or the couple wearing deer costumes and glittery masks doing a slow-motion dance in the middle of Maynard street, accompanied by a tambourine. Or the guy sporting a hairstyle I can only describe as “Elvis Mohawk.”

Or the people who put a tiny volcano in their front yard.

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Or the time we were at a high school football game and the woman two rows ahead of us took it upon herself to turn around and teach our entire section the words to the school song. Patiently. Loudly. Out of tune. Her companions were embarrassed for her. I was delighted.

I was shopping with a friend when we saw this in the mall parking lot.

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My friend was horrified. “Who would do something like that?” she asked.

“Someone way more fun than us,” I answered, reaching for my camera. Seriously, how can you not love this stuff?

Weird Visual of the Day is my favorite thing because I love quirky people. Happily, this weekend, I’ll be surrounded by them.

I’m going to a science fiction convention called “Life, the Universe, and ConFusion.” I’m sitting on four panels. When I’m not paneling, I’ll be mingling with scientists, gamers, authors, and artists.

At ConFusion, I don’t expect to see the weird visual of the day. I expect to see the weird visual of the hour.

I know my fellow con-goers will not let me down.

About the author: Alex Kourvo writes short stories under her own name and near-future thrillers under the pen name M.H. Mead. She is sure that at some point, she has been someone else’s Weird Visual of the Day.

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