Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Booktryst Goes On Christmas Retreat

by Stephen J. Gertz

As usual, Booktryst migrates south for the winter. This year team Booktryst decided to go the southiest. It's not like we wanted to avoid Christmas and retreat as far away from the North Pole and Santa as we possibly could. We simply wanted to go someplace where the opportunities for Christmas shopping were non-existent. 

So, we followed a flock of terns anxious to escape the Arctic and here we are: stranded on an ice floe somewhere in the Ross Sea.

Despite my insistence that we carry only analog communications equipment, Booktryst contributor Alastair Johnston (at rear with flag) unfortunately brought along an iPad. Oh, he of little faith had little faith in fruit juice cans connected by string, my preferred method of telephonics.

Thus we were able to do a little last-minute Christmas shopping. On the J. Peterman website I (at far left) picked up a pair of pants after reading the pitch:

James Dean's Jeans.
James Dean was born on February 8, 1931 in the Seven Gables apartment house in Marion, Indiana. It was originally the apartment house of the eight gables but then Clark moved out, went to Hollywood, and the rest is movie history.

James Dean made movie history, too. In Giant, he wore a pair of blue jeans as insouciant as Dean was impudent. They hung on his hips like a louche gigolo hangs on a woman of means: intently with serious nonchalance. When his jeans spoke they said, "Come with me to the Casbah," apparently influenced by Charles Boyer in Algiers. And when Dean's jeans spoke, people listened. Then ran. Talking blue jeans?

But when showered with black gold, as they were when Dean as Jeff Rink finally hit a gusher, they took on an little something extra, not unlike the jeans that Jed Clampett wore when he discovered Texas Tea in his swamp while hunting for dinner.

It's called swank. They smelled of money. Big money. Giant money. The dollar that ate Cleveland kind of money.

They also smelled of Elizabeth Taylor. But that's another story. And of Rock Hudson. But you really don't want to hear that one.

James Dean's Jeans

A solid 13.5 ounces per square yard of soft yet durable 3x1 work-grade right hand twill cotton denim.

Front scoop pockets with panache to spare, separate watch pocket on the right spells élan, and spade-shaped back pockets for those who dig pockets in spades. Pickaxe-shaped zipper placket for the picky. Six suspender buttons - two metal shank outside on the back and four regular inside on the front - and the classic V notch in the back, and crotch for easy access.

Seams are double stitched with a heavy weight cotton thread. Bartacks at stress points for added durability. Classic mood indigo, the hue of choice for dapper Duke Ellington.

When James Dean said in Rebel Without A Cause, "You're tearing me apart!" he was referring to his soul. His jeans were indestructible.

Men's even sizes: 32 through 46.

Alastair picked-up a pair of oven mitts from Gloves R' Us, which, trumping Amazon's Drone Delivery service, conveyed them via carrier pigeon that dropped them in his lap. Top that, Jeff Bezos! Alastair, who'd planned on giving them to his consort, The Duchess, instead ripped open the box and put the oven mitts on; baby, it's cold outside! Yes, it's cold in the South Pole but not so cold that a hot  portable stove can't turn your hands into sirloin steaks with grill marks.

As you can see, we all bought J. Peterman Arctic Dusters.

100% waxed cotton canvas, finished to repel water, snow,  and women you're trying to make a good impression on. Black lining throughout (mustard lining inside top and sleeve strictly Grey Poupon). Antique brass J. Peterman logo snaps at center front, outside plackets, inside pocket, chin strap, and inside leg strap; outside legs are on their own. Hidden zipper down center front for clandestine action. Snap flap welt pockets at waist with accessory whip to keep the welts fresh.

Men's sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL and XXXL (size matters).

Booktryst will return after the holiday season, presuming our team is rescued from a future certain to include a frozen end.

In the meantime, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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