The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 3, 2013

Mike Pound: Bow ties are cool — oh really?

By Mike Pound

— I was standing in line at a clothing store the other day when I saw something that scared me.

By the way, I was in the clothing store for the second time that day. The reason I was in the store for the second time was because the first time I was in the store, I purchased two sweaters that I thought were one size but turned out to be a larger size. I thought they were extra-large sweaters, but it turned out they were double-extra-large sweaters.

I have nothing against double-extra-large sweaters. I used to be a double-extra-large myself, but my doctor suggested that I cut back on the triple cheeseburgers or I would turn into one.

So I did, and now I am just an extra-large. A mere shell of myself is what I am.

The reason I thought I was buying extra-large sweaters was because although I am personally not old, my eyes are old, and I saw only one “X” on the sweater labels when I should have seen two of them.

So anyway, I was standing in line at the clothing store, waiting to exchange my sweaters, when I saw something that scared me. It was standing right next to me. It was a mannequin without a head or legs.

The fact that the mannequin was without a head or legs was not what scared me. I’ve noticed over the years that more and more clothing stores have been opting to use headless and legless mannequins. I don’t know who is to blame for that, but I’m going to blame Obama.

No, what scared me was what the headless, legless mannequin was wearing. It was wearing a nice sport coat, a white dress shirt and — gasp — a bow tie.

It seems that every 20 years or so, the bow tie tries to make a comeback, and we have to put up with bow tie-wearing folks who think they are superior to the rest of us regular tie wearers.

It’s irritating is what it is.

This may be a gross generalization, but I’ve always felt that the folks who wear bow ties take themselves too seriously. I know that’s not true in all cases, but in general, I think, it’s true.

First of all, you have to make an effort to wear a bow tie. Tying a bow tie is like tying a fly for fishing. At least I think it is, since I haven’t actually tied a fishing fly. I mean, why spend an hour tying a fishing fly when you’ve got worms?

Now, my friend Bud Morgan, who is an avid fly fisherman, would beg to differ, but Bud isn’t like me. Bud isn’t lazy.

Now, I’m not complaining about bow ties because I don’t know how to tie a bow tie. Well, actually I am, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.

I tried to tie a bow tie — once. They had to call the paramedics to get it off me.

I wore a bow tie to my high school prom. In my defense, it was the ’70s. I had long hair and wore bell bottoms in the ’70s, too. But you don’t see me doing that now.

The thing that really scared me was that there were a lot of bow ties on display. The people who run the clothing store made a concerted effort to basically say: “Look! We have bow ties!”

I don’t know much about the clothing business, but it seems to me that the people who run stores wouldn’t make a big deal about displaying something if they didn’t think it would sell. That would be sort of dumb.

Clothing maker: “I have these bow ties that never sell.”

Clothing store owner: “I’ll take 2,000 please.”

Nope, I’m thinking that the reason the clothing store people have bow ties prominently displayed is that they are back, and soon we will have to endure a bunch of bow tie-wearing folks who will scoff at regular folks.

It’s a good thing I wear Hawaiian shirts. Nobody scoffs at Hawaiian shirts.

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