Letter from Langdon: Singing a Sad Thong

Some call it fashion; Richard Oswald calls it cracked. Trend analysis from NW Missouri.

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Awhile back I walked up to the ticket taker to pay admission into the JV football game. That’s when something happened that’s never happened before: I was offered the senior discount.

She didn’t even ask if I had AARP. I know it wasn’t hair that tipped her off. I had my team cap firmly in place. But the white fringe of the old bald eagle was clearly visible along with crows feet and other signs of wild life. 

Age is like outrunning a grizzly: It’s hard to stay ahead of even if you keep in shape. 

This silver fox should probably shape up, but I get fed up sometimes, not about aging but about all the stuff we have to put up with.

Take insulated cups for instance. 

In the old days we took our coffee in the car the same way we drink it at home, in a coffee cup. As some old geezer once said, “Many’s the slip twixt cup and lip.” So someone invented the tip-proof, spill-proof insulated to-go cup. They were great for awhile — until the Chinese started making them cheaper than we could. Now I can’t even buy one that works. That really messes up my favorite attire. 

Perhaps this is a non-dribble model, but wear a bib just in case.

All the spill proof cups these days are dribble cups. That seems to be part of the Asian plan of conquest, to demoralize us first by getting our jobs, then by staining the only U.S. manufactured garment we own. 

Creeping recession, higher taxes, and foreign debt along with dribble cups, are only part of it. Deep at the core of the plan lies a master stroke of evil foreign genius known in the world of espionage and foreign intrigue simply as “flip-flops”.

Yes. Those imported, silly sloppy looking sandals that everyone wears will be the death of us. 

In the fifties when a few preadolescents wore them to the pool they were known simply as thongs. The dog chewed mine into oblivion. Good riddance.

Then in a cruel twist of fate the next generation hijacked the name and applied it to racy underwear. I stopped calling flip-flops thongs after getting puzzled frightened looks about comments relating to the annoying “squish-slap” thongs make when you walk in them. 

That always leads to explanations about life in the fifties.

Care to see my AARP card?

Anyway, these days thong-sandals are just called flip-flops. Like underwear that fails to fulfill a basic mandate, flip-flops have been refined. They definitely aren’t your grandmother’s thong anymore.

There are embroidered flip-flops, artificial leather flip-flops, sequined flip-flops, pastel flip-flops, even terrorist flip-flops. Flip-flops will be the death of us. They are the footwear of an industrially conquered people.

Napoleon once said that an army marches on its stomach. Imagine an army trying to march on flip-flops. Our enemies could want nothing more than for us to dress our troops in their faulty footgear.

Is there a flip-flop even a Missouri farmer could love? Nope.

The only real national defense against such evil machinations is a canine corps of teething 6-month-old Labradors—or good old fashioned fifties vintage common sense.

Separated only by a distance no longer than an inseam, flip-flops and thongs have a thing or two in common. But don’t take my word for it. The world of politics is littered with scandalous tales of flip-flops and thongs.

Many of us, not the least of whom are politicians have learned that in case of scandal, one offers absolutely no protection when back-pedaling while the other leaves you totally exposed.

Probably thanks to the makers of thongs and flip-flops, low-rider blue jeans have replaced the old Riders of the fifties made by Lee. I must be getting old, because nothing brings out the animal in me faster than seeing someone dressed in flip-flops, low riders, and a thong.

Way back when we had a name for folks who wore weird looking apparel that made them seem out of whack. We called them cracked. We didn’t have any evidence except their taste in clothes. It was just a guess.

These days it’s pretty obvious. 

 

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