Tyler McGrund, a hipster, has found himself at a loss for any more things to do that are off-beat and avant garde. Having cycled rapidly through absurd facial hair styles, clothing representing numerous historical periods, a pet skunk and traveling everywhere by pogo stick, he suddenly discovered himself at a loss for new ways to come off as free from the bounds of society.
“It just gets tiring, you know,” said McGrund, eating his lunch of croutons dipped in caramel fondue. “My fixed gear bike was just awful on hills, but then everyone got one and I had to switch to one of those old-timey bikes with the huge front wheel just to keep ahead. Do you know how hard those things are in traffic? And you can’t just stop and put a foot down at a red light, you have to get all the way off it at every stop. I’m actually glad they became a ‘thing’ with yuppies and I had to go pogo.”
And it’s an arms race of originality that has cost him financially as well. Current estimates put his annual spend on terrariums, glass-blowing lessons, trips to Brussels (McGrund claims he’s “All about Belgium right now”) and mismatched patent leather shoes at upwards of 45% of his annual income. It’s also hurt his personal life.
“My girlfriend was all into it for a while saying I was, like, the only true individual she’s ever dated so on our fourteen and a half week anniversary I took her urban spelunking. We wound up to our necks in wastewater in an abandoned electrical service tunnel and after that she stopped returning my texts. Now I only use payphones.”
McGrund is part of a growing number of urban individuals suffering from what experts call “Hip Check.” Marcia Wellington, professor of Sociology at SUNY explains: “You can only go on so long being the driving force of cultural adoption before you just burn out,” she said on a call to her office in Albany. “You spend all this time discovering a band, restaurant or hairstyle from feudal Japan and next thing you know some asshole digital marketing manager for a pharmaceutical company has adopted it and is telling his friends in sales. At least before social media the process used to take a few months, now you can probably only ride a really good bit of artsy bullshit for three weeks, tops.”
McGrund did not know what the future held as he looked out over his shared backyard full of Chinese dragon costumes, homemade hovercraft and mobiles made from taxidermy.
“I might become a farrier. For a while.”