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Products Reflected In "Flower-beards: Summer's Hottest Trend? Or Death Sentence?"

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The wake for Tyler started at six o’clock, which was going to be difficult for me to make on time. My part of the eulogy was scheduled for six thirty and even that was pushing it.  My Brompton fold up bike was stolen outside of the Royal Palms Shuffle Board Club in Gowanus last night, and thusly I needed to borrow Lucians’ handcrafted Almond longboard if I was going to get there in time. And I really, really, really wanted to hear Yuko and Siggy play the theme to "Greatest American Hero" (Tyler’s favorite song) on their hammer dulcimers. I would barely have time to go home and change (into my Warby Parker monocle and steampunk top hat).

Tyler was an awesome dude and I miss him terribly. He had an ethereal pixie spirit quality to him. He, of course, would say he simply had a “Joie de Vivre.” Which was in fact tattooed in comic sans across his back. Just above his tattoo of Barney Rubble as Winston Churchill making a ‘victory’ sign while doing an ollie. I can still remember the day we were in Wicker Park and that fucker came up with his idea for the Himalayan salt app. “The perfect thing for my ‘Bloody Sundays,’” he screeched. “Bloody Sundays” was the name of Tyler’s Bloody Mary parties he had on Sundays, post brunch. “Blunch,” he called it. “A mixture of Brunch and Lunch,” which was absurd of course because brunch already was comprised partly of lunch. But that was Tyler!

Tyler made an obscene amount of money on that app. He spent close to $40,000 on a house boat in a canal in Prinsengracht* that he only went on once, and dumped the rest of the money into a start-up called “Castrator,” an app that let you rate the casts of people who’ve broken bones. The jury is still out on that one, although it was enough for Tyler to start demanding that we refer to him as a “Lifestyle-Tech Artisan.”

Tyler was always on a quest to stand apart from those around him (at any cost). Just last week, while the two of us were walking to the Mission District to pick up my artisan-handcrafted umbrella, Tyler mumbled, “two bowties.” He stopped suddenly and I didn’t realize it until I was already inside the locally sourced sorghum popcorn pop-up store just down the street. Noticing I was now by myself, I looked back and saw Tyler, still in the street, jotting down notes furiously in his “A Touch of Freud” humanely sourced moleskin journal. He looked up and noticed me. He waved the journal in the air crying, “My look will be visual music!!!”

“What grand notion have you ‘eureka’d’ this time?” I sniffed. Tyler started gesticulating wildly, much like the time he was stung by either Alfredo or Princess T’Kia (it was difficult to tell them apart), part of the African honeybee hive that he employed (yes he paid them!!) to make his cardamom-infused essence of honey knee cream. He started squealing about how he had been looking for a way to further express his individuality in this man-made world of calculatedly branded faux bullshit marketed to the mindless, gullible, bourgeois who don’t understand how their sense of being “unique” has been cynically crafted and manipulated from afar by capitalists who are complicit in this self-serving cycle of selfish consumerism. His solution, he proffered, was that he would wear not one, but two double-sided, 100% pure Welsh angora bowties (hand crafted by James and Jesse McClintcock of “Gentlemen’s Division” clothiers) on top of each other.

He was so excited, he decided to abandon me there and to rush over to Shoreditch High Street and tell Demitri and Countess Vachon (who were at their shoppe, “Philosophical Waistcoats”) about his grand idea. I let him go, not knowing it would be the last time I saw him. He never made it to the vest store. Apparently, according to the police report, as he was on his way over to the Greek Yogurteria/tattoo parlor in the Pearl District, it all happened.

The news of Tyler’s death was shocking. But sadly, in today’s cruel, judgmental world, not at all surprising. As you may have already heard, some “Normies” beat him to death.  It’s really just too awful. Particularly knowing that later that night I was supposed to meet him in East Austin at Corinne and Yeorgi’s. They were having a “Girls” marathon (to celebrate Lena Dunham’s 100,000th tweet) and Tyler absolutely worshipped “Girls.” Upon further studied pensive reflection,  Tyler certainly didn’t deserve the kind of fate that befell him that night. I mean, yes, some of us thought that flower beard thing he insisted on walking around in was stupid, but come on, beaten to death? Couldn’t they just have punched him in his smug face a couple of times? It seems a bit harsh of a reaction. Again, yes, wearing flowers in your beard is a pathetic way of drawing attention to yourself and demanding the world see you as a precious, creative, unique creature deserving of respect and awe. But murdering that person?! I mean come on now, that’s sooo unoriginal!






Photography by @eliography

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