Friday, October 11, 2013

Which came first....Mr. T or the t-shirt?

Isn't it ironic that the one thing I can do well, I mean really world-class-well, is tie a necktie?  Why couldn't it be picking winning lottery numbers, or collecting hot women's hotel room keys a la James Bond?  (Disclaimer:  This would have been long before K, of course.)

Yesterday I was asked to do something I haven't been asked to do in 40+ years;  a total stranger stopped me on the street and asked if I knew how to tie a necktie.  I said yes, and he whipped one out and asked me to please help him out.  So I put it around my neck, round / round / tuck / pull, and there it was.  I loosened it, slipped it over my head, handed it to him, and off he ran.  I didn't even have time to ask him what this was all about.

Several light years ago, back when I was in college, I was the go-to guy for half the guys in my dorm who needed a tie tied.  Starting mid-afternoon on Saturday's guys would come to me one after another, waiting sometimes two or three deep, for me to tie their necktie, which they were sure would help them "round the bases" later in the evening.

The irony of all this is I absolutely HATE to wear a necktie myself.  I will lie, cheat, or fake appendicitis to avoid going to a wedding or a funeral, the only two occasions that in my mind still require a necktie.  In retirement I'm down to one suit and one sports coat, and two for marryin' and one for buryin'.   (At my age the buryin' one is now inching ahead in use.)


As I see it the guy who invented the necktie is in a sprint straight to hell with the guy who invented the business suit.  I live in's 110 degrees....and I'm supposed to button my top shirt button, cinch a tie tight around my neck, and put on A COAT?  Does this make any sense at all?

After a little research I found that it was Croatian mercenaries fighting for the French in the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) who were first seen wearing knotted kerchiefs around their necks to denote their regimental affiliation.  And of course the French, being the little sissies they were (are?) thought it looked cool and made it fashionable.  Damn them all!

Today my wardrobe, courtesy of LL Bean, looks more like this.

I figure I started out life wearing a little "onesie" t-shirt, and I'll go out wearing a slightly larger XL t-shirt.  As God intended it.  :)

Happy weekend everyone!



  1. I was really bad at tying neckties all through college. I usually had my dad tie them for me. But after I went to live on my own and had to do it myself I went onto the Internet and found a how-to site and practiced until I more or less got it right. In our office though we have a reverse sexism thing going on where I have to wear a tie and woe if my pants are slightly wrinkled while the women can all come in looking like hobos. I ought to file for discrimination.

  2. Erma Brombeck once wrote that men are silly creatures when they put a noose around their necks and tighten them. ;)

  3. Retirement means two stacks in the drawers. One stack of different colored T-shirts and one stack of cargo shorts that will go with any color T-shirt. Put on socks, skivvies, T-shirt and shorts and you're good to go.

  4. After college I had a job dressing mannequins for a local department store and I had to learn how to tie a dress knot on someone else--in this case a mannequin. It was much harder than making a tie knot on myself. But it did make it easier to show my son how to tie a knot.

  5. Please add panty hose to your list of stupid and useless articles of clothing!

  6. When I was a kid, we had to wear neckties (the girls, I mean). I don't know when that went out, but I sometimes wonder why it became the fashion in middle class schools. I have never seen any theories. Anyhow I got quite good at tying them too but they always came loose in the end and finished up by my ear.

  7. Incidently I love Love Love Love you in a suit all dressed up.....I know I may never see again but I have some photos....and the "marrying" tie .... that's a Brooks Brothers and my Mom picked it out :)

  8. As Kelly's comment indicates - fashion is about looking good, not necessarily being comfortable. And we can add high heels to the list of things women wear to torture ourselves!