A Thin Line

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August 2010 - Posts

Pay attention boys: Too much plaid is a bad thing
Recently, as I was out having lunch, I witnessed something no woman should ever have to. I saw a man in really tight knit pants. Pants that left nothing to the imagination. Pants that were, well, in a couple of words, too small. 

I’ve heard it said that clothes make the man. Not in this case. They can, however, make the man do lots of things he shouldn’t.

After witnessing his, um, attire, I began to think about men and the clothing they wear, and I’ve been taking mental notes the past few days.

I’ve seen young men walking around with their way-too-big britches hanging down so far you can see their underwear. I’ve even seen grown men dressed like that. Pull your pants up already! Nobody wants to see that.

I’ve seen men walking around in clothing that doesn’t match. I’ve seen men with dirty collars on white shirts worn with ties. I’ve seen men with pants that are too short. I’ve seen men wearing socks with sandals.

I’ve seen enough. So I have devised some guidelines for you guys. Pay attention. Us girls are.

1. Clothes need cleaning, unless you plan to reduce your circle of friends. If you have never washed your clothes yourself, here’s a tip: separate them. Wash colors separate from whites. If you don’t, you’ll wind up with pink underwear. And your girlfriend or wife, once you snag one, will find it hard to take you seriously if you are wearing pink underwear.

Also, make sure you read the labels in your clothing so that you are only washing the things that should be washed, and taking the things that should be dry cleaned to the cleaners. Believe me when I tell you that it’s not attractive to wear a jacket with the sleeves only reaching your elbows.

2. Go through your closet and drawers and get rid of all of the clothes that are too small, too large or have holes in them. Also, throw out the clothes that aren’t age appropriate; no one wants to see a 40-year-old man wear a T-shirt that a 13-year-old would be ashamed to wear.

3. If you take clothes to the cleaners, only take slacks, jackets, suits and dress shirts. Don’t take your underwear to the cleaners. When you take underwear to the cleaners, it raises eyebrows. Trust me.

4. Buy jeans that fit. Don’t buy them too tight, and don’t buy them too baggy. Either extreme sends a message you really don’t want out there. And when buying pants, generally speaking, make sure they’re the right length. We get some flooding around here, but you don’t have to purchase your pants accordingly.

5. Button up your shirt and get rid of the medallion. The 70s are over.

6. No man should ever wear polyester. Ever.

7. Too much plaid never looks good, even on the golf course.

8. Either tuck the shirt in or leave it completely out. A combination is not necessary. 

Overall, men, wear clothes that fit you well and are clean and pressed. You can’t go wrong with that.

Now...let’s talk about that comb-over...
Posted: Aug 27 2010, 11:29 AM by Red On The Head | with no comments
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We'll take our religion on the 50 yard line, please

We once heard someone criticize Southern women for dressing up to attend college football games. The individual, who will not be named, just didn't get it.

Southern girls like to look classy…and besides, it's not just a football game. It's a major life event.

Perhaps a quote from some dude from Alcorn State that we read once will sum it up best: "In the East, college football is a cultural exercise. In the West Coast, it is a tourist attraction. In the Midwest, it is cannibalism. But in the South, college football is a religion, and every Saturday is a holy day." 

College football in the South is a religion, and no matter where you choose to worship, the feelings are all the same. The traditions make you swell with pride, and you just can't wait each year to put on your school's colors and head to the stadium to witness the first time toe taps leather for the season.

The entire South is just about ready to explode each year as summer gives way to fall. Everyone can feel it…football's coming. Preseason magazines are suddenly everywhere. Wallet-size team schedules appear on the counter at the gas station and grocery store. Everyone from the littlest girl in her cheerleader outfit to the boys painted head-to-toe in school colors to the grandma in pearls gets worked up – fired up – for the first kick-off.

Game day is the highest of holy days for the college football faithful, but the pre-game rituals are a vital part of the experience. For many, this means firing up the grill and tailgating before heading into the stadium. You get to eat heart attack-inducing foods that are messier than a small town divorce. But it's good, man.

Game day means smack talking the opposing team and its fans. It means screaming until you are hoarse, and it means that by the end of the first quarter, you're on a first-name basis with the fans all around you, who high-five you every time your beloved team scores.

Yes…in the South girls may don pearls and sundresses for the opening game, but that doesn't mean they don't yell hard and loud for their team.

This is one church where speaking in hushed tones is frowned upon.

Amen, brother, aaaa-men.

Posted: Aug 20 2010, 12:00 PM by Red On The Head | with no comments
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Ear muffs, pan flutes and starring roles in 70s crime shows: It's back to school time!

The school bell will soon ring in the new school year, and for many, that first day in the classroom is a source of fear and trembling. You can look at the front page of any local newspaper and see the face of a terrified kindergartener clinging to his mommy for dear life.

I don't remember much about my first day of school. But I do remember getting excited as school approached each year. Yep, I'm a dork. 

I loved the smells – Pine-Sol, chalk, pencil erasers and shavings… I even loved the look of things. The floor was especially shiny that first day, and the desks were arranged just so. The cheery crap the teacher had stuck all over the walls hadn't faded or frayed yet, and actually did make the room look bright and, well, smarter.

Everyone was wearing their best new school clothes, and we all looked good. I mean really good. New shoes, too. Bright, shiny, new shoes. With black soles, so that we could properly scuff up the newly-polished hallways.

And on the first day of school, you could always find a clean section of desktop on which to write your initials. If you were really lucky, you got a desk that had been scrubbed with Comet, so it was a clean slate. I liked to write my initials in the Comet residue. Good times…

I remember very clearly my first day of college. I went to a small college, but it was still much larger than my little high school. So when I walked into my very first class, there were more people in it than in my whole high school graduating class. It was a bit intimidating. I remember seeing people eating and drinking, and I thought, "Wow! So cool! You can eat in class!" 

The professor was running late that morning, and as we all watched the minutes click by on the clock above the chalkboard, some older, wiser dude said, "Fifteen minute rule…" I later found out this meant that we were only obligated to sit there for 15 minutes, and if the teacher didn't show, we could leave without penalty. I'm not sure of the validity of this whole thing, but it sure had street cred at my school. Everybody knew about it and everybody lived by it.

As I thought back to that day, I wondered, what could I have done to make that day more…entertaining? Here's what I've come up with. Feel free to use any or all of these things to make your first day of school more fun. And much less terrifying.

• Hold a pipe and respond to each point the teacher makes by saying, "Quite right, old bean!"

• Sit on the front row and color in the illustrations in your textbooks using all the brightest colors in the Crayola box.

• Introduce yourself to the class as "Master of the Pan Flute."

• Give the teacher a copy of "The Watch Tower," and ask him where his soul would go if he died tomorrow.

• Wear earmuffs, and every now and then, ask people to speak up.

• Replace all of the dry erase markers with permanent ones.

• Squint thoughtfully at the teacher, while looking puzzled. In the middle of a lecture, ask him if he was ever in an episode of "Starsky and Hutch."

• Ask whether the first chapter will be included on the test. If the answer is no, rip those pages from the textbook.

• Sing all of your questions…with gusto.

• Scratch and sniff all the pictures in your textbooks.

• Address your teacher as, "Your Excellency."

• Bring a "seeing eye" rooster to class.

• Ask for an additional copy of each handout for your invisible friend, Velma.

• Blow kisses at the other students.

• Interrupt the teacher periodically and ask, "Can you spell that?"

• Wear a black hooded robe to class and carry a scythe. Don't speak to anyone; just point. 

Note: While we don't condone bad behavior in any classroom for any reason, we do condone tongue-in-cheek humor. Have a great school year!

Posted: Aug 13 2010, 12:32 PM by Red On The Head | with no comments
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Ready or not...we're in for a blow
As mid-August approaches, we find ourselves, here in Florida, in the midst of the most active part of hurricane season. It's that special time of year when you can turn on the television and hear a weatherman make two basic meteorological points: 1. There is no need to panic. 2. We could all be killed.

If you are new to this particularly exciting time of year in the Sunshine State, you may be wondering what you need to know. Based on our experience, here's the scoop. Buy enough food and bottled water to last you and your family for at least three days. Put these supplies in your car. Drive to Iowa and remain there until Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately, most people will not follow this sensible and well-thought-out plan. Most Floridians will remain right here in Florida.

One of the most important things you can do to prepare for hurricane season is to make sure you have adequate homeowner's insurance. If you own a home, you must have hurricane insurance. Fortunately, this is cheap and easy to get, as long as your home is well built and is located in Iowa. But if your home is located in some area where it might actually see hurricane action, most insurance companies would prefer to not sell you hurricane insurance, because they will likely, at some point, have to pay you for damages. So you will likely wind up with insurance coverage with a premium that equals the replacement value of your house. And the kicker is that at any moment, this insurance company can drop you like a load of bricks.

Your house should have hurricane shutters on all the windows and doors and, if it's a big storm, the toilet. There are several types of shutters. Plywood window coverings are cheap because you make them yourself. The disadvantage is that you make them yourself and they will, in all likelihood, fall off.

Sheet metal shutters have the advantage of working well, once you get them in place. The disadvantage is that your hands will be bloody stumps after putting them up, and will be useless until New Year's. Roll down shutters are easy to use, and will definitely offer your windows great protection. The disadvantage is that you have to sell your house to afford them.

There's a new-fangled product called hurricane-proof windows, that are supposed to withstand anything a hurricane can throw at them. The sales people at the store, in Iowa, can tell you all the details.

Most emergency preparedness folks will tell you to be sure you hurricane-proof your property. Check your yard for movable objects like grills, patio furniture, visiting relatives...anything that hurricane-force winds could turn into a projectile. It's recommended that you throw these items in your swimming pool. So if you don't have a pool, you should build one immediately.

You should make sure you know what the evacuation routes are in your area, and have your route planned out. This way, instead of being trapped in your home when the storm hits, you'll be trapped in your car, along with hundreds of other evacuees. So you won't be lonely.

If you do evacuate, you'll need supplies. You don't have to buy them now, though. It's customary to wait until the last possible minute, and congregate with all the other locals at Wal-Mart. There you can duke it out for all the necessary supplies:

• 23 flashlights.
• At least $137 worth of batteries.
• Bleach. Yes bleach. No one knows why. But you must have it.
• A big knife that you can strap to your leg. This is useless in a storm, but looks cool.
• A large quantity of raw chicken, which you can use to placate the alligators.
• $35,000 in cash or gold, so that after the storm passes, you can purchase a generator.

Remember: as the storm draws near, it is crucial that you watch the news on television as reported by people in rain slickers standing right next to the water's edge telling everybody to stay away from the beaches.

Good luck.

Posted: Aug 06 2010, 11:23 AM by Red On The Head | with no comments
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