just say no to tops

February 26, 2010

I just finished reading a book I quite liked, “The Elegance of the Hedgehog.” This post isn’t about the book, but I need to introduce you to this book in order to make fun of Rick.

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):

jamie west scotties

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.

Really? REALLY?

Just say no to tops. You know. If you’re a guy. Unless you’re a figure skater guy.

34 Responses to “just say no to tops”

  1. Kim Says:

    Now I’m the hedgehog in this scenario (I don’t know if that is better or worse than being the dog).

    A woman would never put a top with a dress; pants or a skirt maybe, but not a dress.

    • dug Says:

      nice with the “when harry met sally.” well played. and to be clear, it’s ALWAYS better to be the hedgehog.

      and to be clearer–you’re a woman, right? that’s why you know the ins and outs of tops.

  2. bikemike Says:

    “Whatever” would be the Hanna Montana defense of an argument.

  3. Rob (dug's brother) Says:

    combined with your last blog entry, I can’t help but think your compensating for something on this one Dug.
    Last post was about the idea that bikers (er cyclists, whatever) cheered because they are always worried about the effects of the bike seat. And when something comes out properly from that region, you are very understandably happy. (that is what you were actually happy about, right?)

  4. stevebpt Says:

    Does that include muffin tops? Just to be clear.

  5. Bob B. Says:

    Here’s my defense of Rick. He needed a generic word for whatever breathable item to be worn above the waste because he didn’t want to be exclusive. If he referred to a breathable coat, Jamie might think, “Coat? I need a coat? Won’t that be too warm?” Or he might have said, “Shirt? I just need a shirt? Won’t that be too cold?”

    By the way, here’s a good place to find affordable jackets:


  6. Jeff Says:

    Men also do not wear “outfits” we wear clothes. Or if you’re a cyclist, a “kit”.

  7. Rick S. Says:

    What sounds better to you? “Wear a breathable button down shirt with a collar and pockets in a neutral color” or “Wear something breathable on top”?

    Come on people of the internet. You’ve got to admit mine sounds better and less gay.

    Now go read Bob’s comment. The man has spoken.

    Dug- I used the following keyword phrase to get to your site “suncrestjackass.wordpress.com”

  8. JB Says:

    I thought this post was headed in a different direction. Kind of like a story I remember about you saying no to “bottoms” and running into problems at a gas station. Can’t remember the details, but I remember it was funny!

  9. Sophia Says:

    A little off topic, but since you mentioned figure skaters’ outfits, I think you’d enjoy this video (not in that way, just that you’d think it’s funny). I would’ve given Plushenko a gold medal for this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1T61vX4wm4

  10. lifein360 Says:

    Tops? Bottoms? Plaid shirts? Figure Skaters? Is this some kind of porn blog?

  11. evilbanks Says:

    Rick said “suncrestjackass dot wordpress dot com ———that’s funny, I don’t care who you are.

  12. evilreview Says:

    i am currently wearing a smock.

  13. Bander Says:

    You have a good point here, dug. Whilst reading through your post, and knowing nothing about Jamie, I immediately assumed he was a chick when Rick told him to wear a “breathable top”. Then I started thinking about boobies. Imagine my disappointment when I realized that Jamie is a man.

  14. […] by Dug’s scorching ridicule of Rick, I thought I might try and add a little substantive content to the pertinent question that plagues […]

  15. Bob Bills Says:


    Just a note to let you know that after I saw you and Jon James on the west side of Scotty’s; my Chilean friends and I skied up past your tracks to the ridge top and dropped into Scotty’s just under the cliffs. I pulled up the avalanche report and read “Considerable” for all North, East and South faces. Some dummies had just jumped of the cornice at the top and skied down the middle of the bowl(Darwin will win someday – No breeding for them!)but, we hung to left side in the trees. It was really nice. The bottom got sketchy with stumps, sticks and some windblown snow. Jon later told me about your side expedition when you missed the road! I hope to hear about it soon. Keep up the writing!

  16. cubsfarr Says:

    My own hedgehog moment. Dug writes, “Do you have a top that goes with this dress and these pumps?” One wears a top with a skirt, not a dress. We all know this, right?

  17. cubsfarr Says:

    Now, to my shame, I see that Km called you out on this straight off. I was so hedgy that I shot blindly down here to comment. What she said.

    • dug Says:

      tracy, farr, n’est-ce pas?

      hedgehog moment or not, having you read, much less comment, is like getting a pullitzer prize.

      I miss you.

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