phrases tossed out of the ether… oddly discomfitting

This was weird.  I passed by a group of bar-hoppers leaving a bar — the individuals located in a gray area between full control and a tad tipsy.  And I heard this jab tossed backward:

“You’re like… The Trenchcoat Mafia!”

And then a woman in the group made her way out of the exit, and I see, yep, she’s wearing this sort of long trenchcoat.  She laughs at the jibe and repeats it.

Quickly scanning them I see that, yep, they’d have been in high school in 1999.  The Trenchcoat Mafia, to refresh one’s memory (and set a couple things straight) were a cliquish set of students at Columbine High School, largely graduated in 1998, a pair of mass murderers on the edge of this social grouping making for an unfortunate retro-fit recoloring of their high school years when it was plopped into a popular narrative via media distortions off of peer misapprehensions.  I would be tempted to suggest this would make for a horrible high school reunion experience, but (1) they’d be largely the type to forego such things anyway (2) Technology has largely shoved high school reunions aside (a positive aspect of facebook finally) and (3) I imagine any high school reunion out of Columbine would be a little odd.

None of this figures into the chuckling toss-aside.  It is a strange reference point.  It’s about the same as “Don’t drink the kool-aid”, but probably rather narrowly generational specific in probable usage.  Just a few years older and the likely automatic jestering reference would be to a creepy (sexual assaulting) flasher.

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