The rise of the Grungester


Hipster style at a fashion show. (Peter V. Bella)

Chicago Tribune columnist, John Kass, wrote a column predicting the demise of the Hipster. (Subscription may be necessary)

This prediction was due to an article claiming men were getting facial hair transplants in order to grow beards or fuller beards. They wanted the hirsute Hipster look.

The minute wannabes decide something is fashionable, trends die. It happened with the beatniks, the hippies, the preppies, Valley Girls, and greasers.

As seen in the video below, the Hipster is a humanoid creature in a state of constant evolution. Eventually hipsters will become extinct.

As hipsterism is becoming fashionable and dying out, the Grungester is on the rise, again.


The Grungester has been around for quite some time, decades actually. You have seen him everywhere. He is your average neighborhood guy. The Grungester is anywhere between 21 to senior citizen. He can be a professional, blue collar worker, or a retiree.

You can usually find Grungesters in neighborhood saloons owned by moms and pops. The saloons sport signs of "Cervesa Fria" or "Zimne Piwo"*. The Hipsters are still trying to figure out the irony of how two guys can own so many saloons  in one city.

The Grungester is no slave to fashion. He or she dresses as they please. Unlike the Hiptster, who coordinates their look with uncoordinated fashion, the Grungester wears what ever they grab, or is clean.

The Grungester bathes or showers regularly. Grungesters may look like bums sometimes but they do not want to smell like bums, or Hipsters.


The Grungester may look well put together or like a scary clown. He may be shaven or sport a weeks worth of growth.

The Grungester may look well put together or like a scary clown. He may be shaven or sport a week's worth of growth.

The Grungester may wear white socks with designer loafers or argyles with cross trainers. Sometimes the socks do not match.

In warm weather Grungesters may wear white athletic tee shirts and Bermuda shorts.

Grungester women can be seen in sweats, fur coats, and fashionable boots or jeans; tee shirts, and ball caps. They may be well coifed or their hair may be in disarray, well made up or no make up, depending on the day they are having.

The Grungester male may wear work clothes, clean or dirty, loud sports jackets, jeans with a blazer, or a suit with a logo tee shirt. The clothing may be clean and pressed or the Grungester may look like he slept on a park bench all night.

Grungesters come in all shapes and sizes, unlike the skeletal malnourished looking hipsters.

Grungesters do not waste their money on bicycles or whine about the lack of amenities for cyclists. They worry about the important things, like knowing where the nearest bathroom is.

Grungesters do not do yoga. They will twist you like a pretzel or stand you on your head if you anger them.

Grungesters do not by stretch limo style strollers to take their kids out and about. Grungesters carry their offspring in their arms, where they belong.

Grungesters drive real cars and trucks. They do not go in for Smartcars, which Chicago potholes will gobble up or electric cars, which need charging every few miles. Grungesters want to get from point A to point B in minimum time.

If a Grungester owns a motorcycle, it is a real one, a large Harley or Japanese bike. Grungesters to not ride petite pastel scooters.

Grungesters can be found drinking anything from Hamm's or Old Style to imported beers; shots of bourbon or Seven to sipping cheap scotch or brandy. No frou frou drinks with whipped cream, fancy flavors, or umbrellas for the Grungester. Martinis are made with gin.

Unlike the Hipster, Grungesters are not fussy about their diets. They can be found eating pickled pigs feet, large dill pickles, pork chops, chili, lamb shanks, hard boiled eggs, ham off the bone, sauerkraut, Italian beefs, dirty water hot dogs, and other urban delicacies.

They like hearty food that satisfies the soul and cures the rumble in their bellies. Food that goes well with beer and booze.


Grungesters can be found eating pickled pigs feet, large dill pickles, pork chops, chili, lamb shanks, hard boiled eggs, ham off the bone, Italian beefs, dirty water hot dogs, and other urban delicacies. (Photo: Hormel)

The Grungester has no qualms about getting a Maxwell Street style polish, pork chop sandwich, bowl of chili, menudo or pozole in the wee hours, after a night or day of drinking.

Note, unlike the Hipster, the Grungester can be found in saloons at any time of the day or night. The Grungester even knows which saloons open at 7am. Many Grungesters are shift workers. After the midnight shift, they stop off for a "night" cap, or two or three.

Some start the day with a few pops on their way to work, just to clear their heads.

You will not find the Grungester shopping at Whole Foods or or farmers markets. The Grungester may even eat out of cans or frozen foods, if he cannot cook or is unmarried. The Grungester buys his food. He does not dumpster dive in the name of sustainability or the environment. Grungesters to not have silly notions.

When the Grungester is not socializing or watching sports in the corner saloon, he can be found sitting on his stoop, with a quart of beer, or in inclement whether, sitting in the Lazy Boy, watching the idiot box.

Grungesters usually own their own homes. They are fanatics about their lawns.

The Grungester has no need to wander the streets aimlessly or hang out on popular street corners, like Hipsters. Grungesters do not want to be mistaken for sex workers.

The Grungester is not a slave to the cell or Smartphone. The Grungester prefers not to be bothered by texts, tweets, or calls. The Grungester could care less about your Facebook status. The Grugester knows that talking, Tweeting, or texting takes time. During that time cold beer gets warm and warm sandwiches get cold. It is also difficult to handle a phone when you are trying to eat a pickled pigs foot.

The Grungester wants to be left alone. Where ever the Grungester is, he definitely is not there. "He's not here," is a common refrain in Grungester bars.

The Grungester loves sports. Unlike the Hipster, who spouts poetry, listens to strange music, and can discuss French philosophers ad nauseam , the Grungester whiles away his time watching baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, or football. The Grungester, no matter how broke he is, will bet on games.

The Grungester reads. Real books. Unlike the Hipster, the Grungester is not fussy. If it is between two covers, the Grungester will read it. As to music, whatever is on the jukebox is fine. There is one exception. No slash your wrist music about broken romances or deaths of loved ones. Grungesters want to be entertained not depressed.

Grungesters are religious, irreligious, political, apolitical, caring, or apathetic. All that stops at the saloon door. They prefer talking about sports, traffic, work, the opposite sex (same sex in the case of gay Grungesters), or their families. Politics and religion are reserved for church or the voting booth.

Some Grungesters sport tattoos like Hipsters. Unlike the Hiptsters, Grungesters only have a one or a few small ones. They do not go in for using their whole body as a canvas for ink art.

Grungesters may have a pierced ear (ears in the case of women). They do not have multiple piercings on their bodies, faces, or in unmentionable places.

Unlike the beatnik, hippie, greaser, hipster, and urban cowboy, the Grungester will never become fashionable leading to extinction. The Grungester is just too plain ordinary and normal for that.

Long after the Hipster joins the ranks of the antediluvian dodo bird, the Grungester will still thrive.

*"Cold beer" in Spanish and Polish for those who do not live in Chicago.

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