I have spent quite a few years attending the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas. SEMA is the trade organization that represents the automotive aftermarket - everything from brakes and tires to pinstripes and step bars. Like any organization, especially one that represents as large and as diverse a group of companies, buyers and consumers as SEMA does, there are people from all walks of life, profession, and personal achievement.
Over the past few years I have noticed, or maybe have become more aware, of the increasing trend of 40 somethings dressing like they are 20. They are trying so hard to be young and hip again…that they look like they are trying so hard to be young and hip.
By the fourth day of the show this past year I had finally defined the attire, hairstyle, accessories and attitude that is the Afflictedick poseur.
So how do you spot the wild Afflictedick in it’s natural habitat? First, I need to paint a picture for you. The first part of the name is afflicted, this comes from the offender ALWAYS wearing one of those badass Affliction brand t-shirts. When I say badass, I mean it honestly. They are great looking designs, and any 20 year old Army grunt, biker, or gym rat can probably pull them off perfectly. However, I rarely see those people wearing them anymore. It is almost always some middle-aged, half-bald guy, trying desperately to contain his ever-increasing beer belly with a t-shirt that is 2 sizes too small with a wicked tattoo-looking eagle blazened across his chest.
The second indicator of an “afflictedick” is the dark orange tan that looks like a pork chop on the cover of the Shake and Bake box. Somebody must have told these guys that a nice spay tan hides your age spots, laugh lines, and forehead wrinkles. When in fact, I think the greasy sheen of the spray tan causes lights to reflect off these features and over accentuates them.
Next, is the facial hair. Rarely is an afflictedick seen sans a goatee, beard or mustache - and everyone has some crazy look to it. Popular styles range from the ‘Hulk Hogan’ horseshoe, the Abe Lincoln ‘unstache’, the Tony Stark Super-Styled goatee, the 12” ‘flavor savor’ chin stalactite, or the sharply trimmed pointed ‘burns. Take your pick, or if you can’t decide you can always just mash them all together and be the ultimate afflictedick.
For the bottom half, you must have a pair of them swanky, bedazzled, skinny jeans sold at any number of young adult fashion stores: Express, Abercrombie, American Eagle, or the mack daddy of them all - Buckle. Oh, don’t forget to get them a couple sizes smaller, they really make the afflictedick stand out a little more. For the shoes, a nice pair or ostrich or alligator skin boots keep them jeans clean when your wading through the big ol’ pile of BS you just left in your wake.
Completing the look are the accessories. Piercings are a must, as they show everyone that you are not THAT old. The ‘Mom’ or barbwire tattoos confirm you are indeed a badass. The requisite Iron Cross dangling from a nice thick chain perfectly frames the aforementioned facial hair. And the 6 rings on your 4 fingers proves you are a master at ‘getting the good stuff’ from the gumball machine in the lobby of your local Denny’s.
The last part of the name afflictedick is DICK. And this is because I have yet to meet one of these guys who is just a genuine, normal, well-rounded, NICE GUY!. They are all so self absorbed, cooler than you, 'look me, I am a bad ass", arrogant jerks. At least maybe that is how they are when dressed in the afflictedick attire. I think maybe it is like a super hero identity to them. When dressed in normal clothes they are Clark Kent, put on the afflictedick costume and, BAM! here comes the ‘tude.