"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Friday, March 13, 2009

Escaping Haute Couture

My sojourn here in Halibut Cove is drawing to a close. Should all go well, my hosts, whose house, cat and boat I have been tending in their absence, will board an airplane headed north to Alaska sometime the middle of next week. Weather permitting, because water travel is necessary to leave my temporary abode, I should arrive at my own domicile by next weekend.

I’m sure it’ll take a couple days before I readjust to life on the outskirts of Moose Pass. After all, I will have been in the cove for nine weeks by that time. I will collect Pablo the Parrot from the parrot-sitter, and he will scream at me for a few days, telling me exactly what he thinks about my long absence. Then, slowly but surely, his desire for a good head scratching will win out and we will bond once again, with only an occasional reminder of my misdeed.

While I’ve been here, I’ve had plenty of time to catch up on various writing projects sporadically-in-progress. I wanted to have a manuscript substantially completed before I left. I hoped to have a number of new stories written, and ideas for more. Instead, my muse has been conspicuous by her almost total absence. I haven’t touched the much hoped-for manuscript. My past visits here usually resulted in numerous stories, but this time I can think of only a couple that warrant saving.

This missing muse syndrome is something I brought with me, not something that started here. All of this means I have had way too much time to spend with the television, and that means I have noticed something that ordinarily would have slipped right on past me with no regard. That thing? WHAT IN THE HECK HAS HAPPENED TO MEN’S FASHION?

Let me explain. I live in the country. Haute couture here is selecting the Moose Pass annual summer solstice souvenir tee shirt color that best compliments the winning design for that year. High fashion is a new Carhart jacket with black quilted lining, not blanket lining. Or, fleece jackets that don’t pill. While we have progressed, thanks to technology, from the ubiquitous white vapor-sealed bunny boots to lighter-weight cold-weather footwear, those military surplus Mickey Mouse boots are still the boot of choice when conditions are tough. With or without laces.

I suppose there are a few men who have suits and ties, but there really aren’t many occasions to wear them in Moose Pass. But the men on TV? It’s not only that their ties are wide enough to do double-duty as bibs, but what’s with the striped suit jackets? They all look like gangsters. Really. Gangsters from the forties.

Once in a while a TV guy will wear a jacket with muted stripes, and I guess those are okay, but most of them have, well, vertical prison stripes in a contrasting color. And I’m seeing lots of checkered ties. Do you remember what happens when striped and checkered fabrics are telecast? They don’t hold still. They jitter and jerk and jump. They shimmy and shake and shout. In general, they make me nauseous.

So, I’m looking forward to being home and having less time to spend with the TV. Back to where denim jeans and tee shirts are the appropriate dress code. Besides, having been away for nine weeks means winter is almost over, so pretty soon I can get out the Spandex strategically-padded bicycle shorts and the gloves with no fingers and the bright lime safety jacket and the black brain bucket with the cool stripes on it.


  1. The last 9 weeks have been a long, strange trip here, too. And men's ties aren't the half of it.

  2. Hi Gully
    My own jeans and T-shirt based philosophy is that suits and ties invariably dress up lies.