June 5, 2008
Is there anything more miraculous than the change of seasons? Honestly, with the Earth is spinning at a thousand miles an hour it’s no wonder it only takes about a minute for temperatures to go from slightly chilly to make-you-want-to-stick-your-head-in-the-freezer hot. This time of year always makes me wonder what people did in the old days. For reasons I’ve never quite understood, up until some time in the 1960’s, when people, driven by a combination of various drugs and the sudden discovery of color, decided to get naked and start swaying around in mud pits, men always wore three-piece suits made with a flannel-wool-camel hair blend, and women wore dresses consisting of approximately three-thousand layers of velvet. The revolution of the 1960’s was followed by everyone deciding to put on new clothes, but they were so hung over it wasn’t until the 1980’s that they realized that not only do lime green bell-bottoms look horrible, polyester should never be worn next to the skin. How did people survive before the invention of casual wear? And, more importantly, why for several centuries did they insist on wearing powdered wigs? It’s bad enough that they walked around in the summer with twelve layers of clothing on, but they made the problem even worse by wearing wigs on their heads which trapped all the heat, and then, for reasons no one has ever been able to explain, they powdered those wigs. The powder was probably there to soak up the blood that seeped out of their pores once they died of dehydration. Dressing like that in the winter, when everyone’s main occupation was standing around next to open windows, wasn’t a problem, but why weren’t shorts invented until some time in the last thirty years? And why weren’t casual Fridays invented until some time in the early 1990’s? Not that I’m complaining about office dress codes. I used to work next to a guy who’d come in wearing hot pants and cowboy boots. And that was during the week. For casual Fridays he’d break out his lime green bell-bottoms.