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Clothes Encounter
There are plenty of silly things to read about on the internet. Any article handicapping suitors on “The Bachelorette” would qualify, as would an in-depth analysis of Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy.

I did see a story today, however, that merits more thought. The headline was almost enough to turn me away, but something drew me in. “Could Your Skinny Jeans Kill You?” it asked soberly, and I immediately suspected that the writer was mocking my gullibility. Still, I wanted an answer — and it turned out to be “Yes!”

I won’t get into details, but let me just say nerve damage and let it go at that. Apparently, such garments are only safe if you stand erect and perfectly still. Even then, you would have to put them on and take them off, and that could potentiate “tibial neuropathies by causing a compartment syndrome." I don’t have to tell you how bad that can be. I assume that culottes or skorts would have been okay.

I do feel for the woman who was at the heart of the story. She was, after all, hospitalized for four days after her run-in with her clothing, and the pants had to be cut off of her in order to administer medical care. She was clearly a victim, but my sympathy can only go so far. That’s because her injuries were self-inflicted, putting her in the sad, special category of fashion victim.

Such people are everywhere, though their misguided clothing choices rarely result in physical injury. Someday, I suppose, we might read of some unfortunate lad falling under a train because his butt-hanging-out trousers finally tripped him up, but most examples of fashion victimhood are only pathetic, not fatal.

The worst injuries are to the comfort or reputation of the victim. Imagine the young man killed by the train, for example, as he walks across the parking lot on his way to the station. One hand is occupied holding up his rad, boxer-exposing pants, while the other is employed shielding his eyes from the sun because he has his baseball cap on backward. He is no doubt oblivious to the drawbacks of his tout ensemble, but the rest of us can clearly see that he is an idiot.

But let’s not get cocky. We’ve all been fashion victims at one time or another. No? What about the button-down collar? What do those buttons accomplish besides making it harder to put a tie on? And then there are the ties themselves — which do little else but provide a showcase for our own bad taste. High heels are on the list, of course, along with most shoes, most hats, and all pre-torn garments.

Yes, we are all victims here, even if we don’t develop tibial neuropathies. If you look at the history of human apparel, you see that it has always been thus — a silly species wearing clothing that is silly. Still, we can imagine a better, more sensible world, and who knows? Someday we might live in a society without fashion victims, a universe where we can all be practical and look good...wearing togas and Birkenstocks.

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Trump supporters are people who know what they believe.
~ JC, Bonny Doon