#258 Men of the Cloth
No, no. Not THAT cloth. REAL cloth.
Uncle Phil used to be able to feel a piece of material and tell you its composition. This was before they had to label what everything was made of.
“Let me feel the goods,” he’d say. “Let me feel the goods.”
He’d then pinch the fabric, look thoughtfully skyward, take a puff on his cigar and say something like “that’s 60 percent cotton, 40 percent rayon.”
Wow. What a talent.
“Let me feel the goods.”
“Hmmm… a little silk and the rest is linen.”
Now, decades later, there’s ever so slightly the creeping belief that Uncle Phil was making this stuff up.
After all, there was no way to prove or disprove what he said. But we kids were eager to believe, to be mystified, to be bamboozled if that’s what it was.
Now, of course, everyone can be Uncle Phil. Not that you’d want to be. But you COULD.
All you have to do is sneak a look at the content label and you can say “let me feel the goods,” take a puff on your cigar, roll your eyes skyward and say “that’s 50 percent cotton, 23 percent Orlon, ten percent Lycra and the rest is rayon.”
And, if you have the memory for this kind of thing, you will be right.
The rag trade has become far more complicated than it was in Uncle Phil’s day. They make cloth out of all kinds of strange stuff these days. And they give you washing instructions.
“Machine wash, delicate cycle, use only non-chlorine bleach, tumble dry medium. Use warm iron if necessary.”
Okay. You can throw a bunch of stuff in the washing machine and follow those directions pretty easily. But sometimes it gets way more complicated.
And the most complicated of the newly complicated are the no-iron pants. No one quite knows that those are made of. But if you follow the washing instructions and the drying instructions, you get a pair of pants out of the dryer that looks like the Worlds Greatest Ironer ironed them.
Thing is, the instructions are pretty complicated. Thing is if you don’t follow them to the letter, you get a mess.
And they’re not money savers, either.
First off, they cost more than regular pants. Secondly, you almost HAVE to wash them separately, which means using more water and more electricity or gas or both.
Then, you have to break habits. DON’T GO FOR THAT FABRIC SOFTENER!!!! Make sure you set the controls on the computerized, high tech washing machine and dryer properly. And most important of all: REMOVE PROMPTLY.
And they MEAN promptly. In fact, they mean INSTANTLY. In fact, you’d better be there before the machine stops or you’ll get…. Wrinkle city.
To the credit of the rag trade, they have the wrinkle free pants thing down pretty well. And some of them even have the wrinkle-free shirt thing down well, too. Some not.
Technology can make us all dress like Ken dolls.
Now if they could only do something about this certifiably non-wrinkle-free face.
Let me feel the goods.
I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.
(c) 2007 WJR