Thursday, March 31, 2005

First underarms, now Underarmour

Another reason that living in Scotland would be interesting: Reality TV there appears to involve celebrity sumo wrestling. However, the newspaper The Scotsman reports a flap (vague pun intended) has developed over the garb worn in sumo. Apparently, the celebrities aren't all that enthusiastic about wearing the diaper-like garment sumo wrestlers don for the sport, and were hoping to wear either normal underwear or something more modest. The creators of "Battle of the Network Stars" must be rolling over in their graves, provided they're dead.

This raises the unpleasant specter of a US version of the celebrity sumo challenge -- or worse yet, a public radio pseudo-celebrity version. (Although I think it'd be interesting to see a bout featuring Daniel Pinkwater and Nina Totenberg.)

It also, in a roundabout sort of way, directs attention towards an alarming trend I've noticed in my several recent trips to divergent parts of the country: The pheonomenon of guys wearing Underarmour shirts as part of their traveling wardrobe.

I happen to own a couple of these form-fitting shirts for workout purposes -- they're swell, in that they keep various untoned parts of my upper body from moving around too much. However, a) I never wear them outside the context of the gym, and b) I take precautions against blinding anyone by wearing a t-shirt over such garments.

And therein lies the problem -- guys wearing these shirts despite a physique influenced by Krispy Kreme. You know, it hasn't been that long since people actually dressed up to travel by plane. The 19 Minutes staff still throws on a blazer, though that's more due to its inability to pack a sport coat with out having it come out looking like Saran Wrap than for reasons of formality.

In general, the casualization of air travel is probably a good thing, but the Underarmour issue speaks to the wider problem of people's need to call attention to themselves in airports -- which started with the phenomenon of guys standing in the middle of the gate area, hands on hips, and having animated discussions with their subordinates using their hands-free cell phones. The phenomenon progressed with the advent of Nextel phones, which allow users to look even more aggressive as they dress down their coworkers for not having placed the proper file on their desk before they left for the airport. And it's now reached its current stage, marked by guys shouting into their cell phones while wearing Underarmour shirts, taking breaks only to bark expletives at the airport TVs showing NBA games. It sure makes me look forward to the day they allow cell phones on airplanes! Oh boy!

Or maybe I'll just take the bus.


Carol Davidson said...

I'm sorry, but I cannot stand idly by while you cast aspersions on Krispy Kreme. "Hot... glazed... now" has been a life motto of sorts for me. Come to think of it, this could explain some of my relationship "issues."

Mitch Teich said...

Hey, I have no problem with Krispy Kremes or donuts in general (though, as a native New Englander, I'm partial to the Dunkin' variety). The issue here is Krispy Kreme + Underarmour = a sight to frightening to describe on this PG-13 blog.