I have a pair of tan pants, made by … Dickies, an intriguingly long lasting brand name, perhaps because on one level it is a tad juvenile, but on another it’s very manly.
I’m no philologist but I think that’s one of the great attraction of words, their instability and ambivalence. Think about it: manly dickies? But of course.
It’s true these pants from Dickies are manly. They even have a slit pocket at the right thigh where a guy could put his money bag so that he’d notice if someone groped for it. Another manly thing is that they’ve lasted a very long time; I purchased them more than five years ago and they look today like they did when I first bought them down in National City.
Well, they’re still clean enough, except for a few pizza stains down around that lower thigh pocket. I can live with those stains because they have suffered so many washings that they long ago lost the brilliance of that blood-red tomato paste and have evolved into slightly darkened areas more the color of dirt, I’d say.
What causes me to bring all this up is, day after day the online version of The New York Times has displayed an ad urging me to buy (along with some other news sites) something called Pick Pocket-Proof Pants. [Read more…]