Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Day 59 -- The 17 Year Itch

Gather 'round, kids, and I'll tell you a tale about a store called "Abercrombie & Fitch."  Now, back in my day, they used to have a little something called "clothing." You would purchase these items, put them on your body, and they would keep you warm and protect you from the elements.  I know that might seem like a tall tale, but it's the truth...ask anyone that hails from these parts.

Okay, now that I've got playing the part of Old Prospector out of my system, I can return to the business at hand.  Of course, there is some truth to his, ahem, yarns.  In fact, at one time, I applied for a job at Abercrombie (they were recruiting in the food court of my graduate school...I must have missed those Fortune 500 companies) and they told me that the dress code for their employees was, and I quote, "A flannel shirt, long shorts, and hiking boots."  And this was long after the whole Seattle look had swept (and quickly fled) middle America.  Although I haven't darkened their door for a long time (due to an unfortunate "ma'am" incident a few years back),  I can be fairly certain that their tags no longer bear the phrase that is on this sweater's label: "Reliable Outdoor Goods," and that the only thing that's long in the employees' dress code is their legs peaking out under those Daisy Dukes--and that applies to the girls AND the guys). I guess this sweater could be considered one of the last of its kind...although I can tell you in all honesty that I never put it to the "reliability" or "outdoor" test.  Maybe I will today (does walking through the parking lot to my car count?).

This Abercrombie sweater hearkens back to 1996 (although it is possible that I could have purchased it during the January of '97 after-Christmas sales..but, for the convenience of this title, let's assume that it was '96), and has siblings in orange (yeah!) and dark green (sigh of indifference).  I know this for a fact because I wore the dark green version in support of the Green Bay Packers when they played in Superbowl 31 (I spared you the Roman numerals.  You're welcome).  It's not face paint, but, then again, I'm not really that into football--a tribute sweater is about as far as I'll go for the NFL.  And it worked...the Packers won that Superbowl.  Perhaps I should have worn that sweater more this past season...maybe Aaron Rodgers would have come to thank me personally in recognition of my efforts for his team (hey, I only said that I wasn't that into football.  I never mentioned anything about my appreciation for cute quarterbacks).

Some people like to start their day with oatmeal.  As for me,
I greet the morning in an oatmeal-colored sweater (and a Diet Coke).
Only one of the above gave me enjoyment...

They may look innocent here, but those little wool fibers sure pack a wallop!

As soon as I pulled this sweater over my head, I knew that I was in for a long and uncomfortable day.  Despite the fact that I wore it with my usual layering tee (don't worry...I have more than one), I had the instant sensation that I was on a hay ride.  The little fibers were busy itching me while I taught, and I found myself planning my day around when I could change out of this veritable hair shirt.

Since I have an older brother, I am well-versed in the ways of itching powder (it's not just for sleepovers anymore), and I can tell you that this sweater could hold its own against that vile substance any day.  I can't figure out how I ever wore this sweater without breaking out into hives...or, at the very least, soaking in a bath of calamine lotion afterwards.  The only reasonable explanations that I can come up with are that either wool fibers get itchier with age (unlikely), or that I wore this sweater with a thicker shirt underneath (perhaps even a mock-T, as was the style back then).  My Lycra long-sleeved T was no match for the diabolical powers of this yarn, and I soon succumbed to the itchiness and waved my oatmeal-colored crewneck in surrender.  Sure I was defeated in this battle, but I knew that the war is still waging on as there are two other family members out there, camped out in my closet and possibly infiltrating some of my cashmere sweaters' bunkers.  Although this sweater kept my reasonably warm, it was neither soft nor was it fun to wear.  I don't recall ever wishing that I had an oatmeal sweater to complete an outfit, and, if I did, I certainly wouldn't be coveting this particular boxy and unflattering over-sized crewneck.  The only thing "good" about this sweater is written on its tag.

My rating: Gilbert Gottfried.  I know, I know, his voice is his gimmick.  I get it.  But it doesn't mean I have to like it.  He's annoying.  Like this sweater, I can only take the irritation so long before I have to change (the channel, the DVD, or the sweater.  Take your pick).  I did enjoy his work in Aladdin...but that was in small doses and played to his strengths (read: He played an annoying bird.  Typecasting, anyone?).  I would no sooner watch a star vehicle featuring Mr. Gottfried than would I wear this sweater on an all-day field trip to some art museum in the city (complete with a long bus ride through rush hour traffic with screaming junior high students. Wow, that was vivid.  Let's hope I never have to experience that).  I can appreciate that he's still "reliable goods" and consistently finds voice-over work in various commercials and cartoons, but that's where I think it should stop.  I'm the adult here...if a sweater is itching me, then I am perfectly within my rights to get rid of it.  If a comedian is not funny and his voice grates on my very last nerve, then I am under no moral obligation to keep watching his stand-up routines.  Hey, Dane Cook has a perfectly normal voice, and I feel no remorse when I turn him off the millisecond I see his smug little face, so why should I feel bad for disliking Gilbert Gottfried (as a comedian, of course.  I'm sure he's a perfectly lovely person.  Dane Cook, however, not so much).  

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