just say no to tops
February 26, 2010
The hedgehog in the book is a cranky old concierge for a very posh apartment building in Paris. You’ll have to read the book to find out why she’s referred to as a hedgehog. But integral to the story is her secret intellectual life–she loves Japanese cinema, philosophy, Dutch art, and Russian novelists. Especially Tolstoy.
During a pivotal scene in the lobby of the building, one of the arrogant and upper-class residents of the building, Madame Rosen, informs the concierge/hedgehog that another tenant’s doormat hasn’t been cleaned: “Can you bring it to the cleaners?”
Pretty simple, right?
Except, the concierge does a double-take and her head jerks slightly, at the butchering of language that has just occurred. Did you catch it?
“Can you bring it to the cleaners?” Of course, the proper word is TAKE, not bring. You TAKE something to the cleaners unless you’re already AT the cleaners. Right?
Well, in the scenario where I make fun of Rick, Rick plays the part of the ignorant rich woman, and I play the part of the hedgehog.
It’s like this. When we’re hoping to go backcountry skiing, someone usually floats an email. “Anybody getting out tomorrow?” And people chime in. “I’m up for it. What are you thinking?” “Little Cottonwood parking lot at 5:30.” (That’s 5:30 AM, as I think I’ve explained.)
This week, Rick was planning on shepherding Jamie, who had never gone backcountry skiing (but is otherwise a mountain biker strong-like-bull).
Here’s Jamie hittin it on our ill-fated West Scotties tour (story for another day):
On the email thread, Jamie asked about clothing choice for hiking up a mountain before dawn, and then skiing back down it.
Rick helpfully said “You’ll get very warm on the climb. Don’t overdress. Wear a breathable top of some kind.”
Like the hedgehog, when I read this, my head whipped around twice. Did you catch it?
Men wear shirts. Or t-shirts. Or jackets. Or coats. Or undershirts. Or Mexican wedding shirts. Or even pirate shirts.
Men do NOT wear “tops.” Women wear tops. Little girls wear tops. “That is the CUTEST top!” Or “Do you have a top that goes with this dress and these pumps?”
I brought this up to Rick. His defense? His defense is no defense. “Whatever” is what he said.
Just say no to tops. You know. If you’re a guy. Unless you’re a figure skater guy.