The Ecphorizer

Who Says Slavery's Been Abolished?
Bill Harvey

Issue #55 (March 1986)

When a person sits down to write a column for a newspaper, his or her major concern isn't necessarily proper grammar, or correct word usage, nor even spelling. Occasionally, a point may be made or lent impact by using improper grammar, and some of the writers that I know are the world's worst spellers,

Why do people give free advertising on their butts?

bar none. In my own case, I've got a built-in spelling checker in my computer that's very content to go along behind me and clean up spelling errors. All that I have to do is press a few buttons and Harold (that's my computer's name this week) hums and beeps merrily to himself and spits out misspelled words with great accuracy.

[quoteright]Nope. I don't give a hoot about any of that stuff. What I care about is coming up with a subject that I know something about (or can get information on), and that will be of interest to you. This isn't always easy.

There are a few subjects that I could write about till the end of my days. Things that never fail to amaze me, no matter how many times I come across them. Things that seem to me to be the very epitome of human folly.

One of these things is fashion. Specifically, ladies' fashions.

There is now a move towards doing the same thing to men's clothing that has already been done to women's clothing, but thank God, I'm old enough to more or less ignore the whole thing. I've noticed men's pants and shirts that appear to have been manufactured from extra-heavyweight trash bags, with zippers and elastic all over the place. No thanks.

I'm also more or less permanently astounded that people will pay good money in order to have someone else's name emblazoned across the seat of their pants or on the sleeve or pocket of their shirt, and even on their shoes! That, in my opinion, is dumb!

Do you suppose that the bus company pays money to radio stations to let them put those signs all over their buses? Or, that the major television networks pay money to the soap companies so that they can run all of those wonderful commercials that tell you how to get stains out of your favorite jeans with someone else's name on them? If you do, please contact me at the Pilot immediately. I happen to own a bridge in San Francisco that I think you'd be interested in. It generates a fair amount of revenue, and we can work out the down payment.

Okay, admit it. If you happen to own a pair of those jeans, you paid considerable more for them than you would have for plain-wrap jeans, and in effect, paid that company to do their advertising for them. They're really slick, too. You'll note that they didn't put their company name on the cuff, or even around the knee. They put it where it'd be absolutely certain to be seen. On the back pocket.

As previously noted, I feel it's safe for me to ignore what the current Guru of the Girdle has to say about what's in and what's out. I've already got Ann, and there's not too many other people that I want to impress. This whole name-on-the-pocket thing has, however, ensnared me in its backlash. You see, I feel so strongly about wearing someone else's clothes that I won't buy them. Hell, I won't even take them for free. If someone wants to advertise his company on my butt, he has to pay me, just like the radio stations pay the bus company. Of course, buses are considerably larger than I am, so there would be a corresponding rate reduction, but I'm not free. Then too, I wouldn't expect to get as much as, say, a very shapely 21-year-old blond either. That comes under the heading of exposure and audience appreciation.

I'm fairly certain about what sets me off on this subject this time. I was leafing through one of Ann's magazines the other day. What the heck, I like to look at pretty women. I came upon a section devoted to the latest styles. There was a picture of a very pretty woman, smiling and looking for all the world as if she had the world by the handle. At least, I assume she was a woman, because she had lipstick and eye makeup. You certainly couldn't tell by her clothing. She was wearing a pair of pants that looked as if they had been handed down by her older brother, who happened to be a lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers. I'm positive that they could have been wrapped around her twice, and the cuffs were rolled up at least 6 times and were still below her knees. Her shirt? Well, let's just say that if it were heavily starched, there's no reason why she couldn't have set up light housekeeping in there.

She had a very pretty face, but if I were forced to guess at her figure, I'd say that she weighed somewhere between 10 and 500 pounds.

God, I hope she wasn't paying them to let her wear those things. 

BILL HARVEY has illuminated our pages with a number of his graceful little essays. He also prints them in books under the rubric of the Ike & Dudatt Press.

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Bill Harvey

BILL HARVEY used to submit his material to us with increasingly exorbitant demands for payment. One dollar, five dollars -- who knows where it would have ended? He is now satisfied with mere fame.