Saturday, February 3, 2018

What flu shot Brooks?

A positive flash flood of flu
having crested through these
parts in recent days, I took
myself down the road for an
inoculation, for what good it
might do, taking care at the
time to request a reading of 
blood pressure - a narrative
I never have understood, but
which, like Beowulf, I've
come to respect. Besides, it
makes one feel cared for, to
be compressed in a good cause.

The shooting part did not go
well, however, and purely for
that reason. I was wearing a
recently produced shirt from
my childhood haberdasher, 
Brooks Brothers, and found it
so binding in the sleeve that
it couldn't be rolled up, and
had to be removed. It's hard
to convey a basis for bitter-
ness toward shabbiness, if it
isn't obvious; but I laughed
to myself to recall, how my
elder brother, entering those
vain years ending in the syl-
lable, "teen," complained of
an architecture in the stand-
by button-down of our lives
theretofore, resembling a
"tent." Now, compression did
not make one feel cared for,
nor did it seem to respond to
any neutral necessity in man-
ufacture. It felt, together
with more minute details of
tackiness, as if one were be-
ing taken advantage of. 

It's a pity that, whoever
owns this oft-sold brand to-
day has not been furnished a
guidebook to its lore. The
great shirt has doubled for
generations as a pajama top,
as a copious tail for the ex-
pressive drama of shirtlift-
ing, and, actually, as a sur-
passingly comfortable and vis-
ibly classic passport to a de-
cent table. It wore forever,
it held its texture and its
ratios, and it never did re-
quire the removal of a necktie,
to receive a simple flu shot. 
If their underwear now emulates
this decadence, they'll have a
boxer rebellion on their hands.

Daniel Wolmer

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