Closer than clothes

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Laundromat bulletin board

I went to the laundromat last night after work. They've got Wi-Fi now (good!); you have to hunt down an attendant for the password (bad!); there are no power outlets so you can always be chargin' (ugly!).

A guy waiting for his clothes to dry had an Ovation acoustic guitar with him. I saw him patting his pockets down in search of a pick. I remembered seeing one at the bottom of my laundry basket, so I rooted around, found it and handed it to him. He thanked me and began to play.

I had a shaker/thunderstick in my car's trunk (because that's where all my percussion instruments have been hiding out since this summer's CampCamps), so I went and got it and played along. He was kind enough to pass the guitar off after a little while.

We made 40 cents. That would've covered seven minutes' worth of dryer time. We gave it to a man who'd walked in and was asking people for change.

First and foremost as a way of using language

Weird Al Yankovic – White and Nerdy Live

Mary Bucholtz, a linguist at the University of California,
Santa Barbara, has been working on the question for the last 12 years.
She has gone to high schools and colleges, mainly in California, and
asked students from different crowds to think about the idea of
nerdiness and who among their peers should be considered a nerd;
students have also “reported” themselves. Nerdiness, she has concluded,
is largely a matter of racially tinged behavior. People who are
considered nerds tend to act in ways that are, as she puts it,
“hyperwhite.” […]

That's how Benjamin Nugent's New York Times essay "Whos [sic] A Nerd?" begins.