Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Why a real man would never wear a hoodie

The world is spinning out of control, at least from the perspective of us older generation folks. I present the all-too-common use of the word “hoodie” as a case in point.

I don’t know when they started putting hoods on sweatshirts, but it wasn’t an invention on the scale of those new-fangled readers that are making books obsolete so I presume it probably happened sometime back in the 50s or 60s – the 1950s or 60s. Interesting that we got along all these years just calling them sweatshirts with hoods, as in: “It’s cold today so I think I’ll wear my gray sweatshirt with the hood.”

Then one morning a couple years ago while I was making a bowl of oatmeal (yes, my children, some people actually still make their cereal instead of dumping it out of a box or buying it at McDonald’s), I heard a story about a search for a criminal suspect on a Valley TV station. The suspect, police said, was last seen in the vicinity of McDowell and 32nd street wearing jeans and a hoodie.

Was the suspect, I wondered, a third grade girl? Because what self respecting criminal would be caught dead or alive wearing something called a hoodie. For that matter, what self respecting police officer would use such a term to describe something worn by a suspected criminal.

"A hoodie?" I asked The Consort incredulously. "What the hell is a hoodie?"

Now The Consort fancies herself pretty hip for a grandmother. She actually bought her four-year-old grandson a Justin Bieber album over my strongest protestations that he is an arrogant, talentless teeny bopper whose music could easily rot the mind of the very four-year-old in question. On the other hand, the four-year-old is a Denver Broncos fan, so his state of mind is already in question.

She rolled her eyes and gave me that “what an idiot” look, which, of course, only encouraged me to break into a rant, oatmeal oozing out of the corner of my mouth.

“Even an idiot knows a hoodie has to be a sweatshirt with a hood on it,” I fumed. “But it’s just another example of the dumbing down of the English language in the interest of brevity or something even more sinister – like a Muslim plot to turn all of us white honky Christians into stammering defenseless imbeciles so they can sneak up the Beeline in the dead of night and build a Mosque right here on Main Street. And don’t tell me you haven’t heard that rumor. Or its concomitant (look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls if you still have one) rumor about how that darned Obama is standing right there with them. And of course we wouldn’t want to check any of that out for the truth. It would ruin all our preconceived notions about Muslims and blacks and people born in Hawaii without a birth certificate).

“Anyway,” I continued, “it’s bad enough that they’ve come up with a six-letter word (Praise Jesus it’s not a four-letter-word) for a sweatshirt with a hood, but it’s an effeminate one as well. Real men don’t use words that end in '-ie.'"

I stomped out of the room and outdoors with the dogs to rake some leaves (as opposed to blowing them from one side of the yard to the other with one of those idiotic leaf blowers) pausing on the way out to put on my gray sweatshirt with the hood. There was change in the air and it was creating a sinister chill.

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