water polo world Why I wear Hawaiian shirts in the wintertime

long sleeve golf polo Why I wear Hawaiian shirts in the wintertime

“At noon I observed a bevy of nude young native women bathing in the sea, and I went and sat down on their clothes to keep them from being stolen.” Mark Twain, Roughing It in the Sandwich Islands

Watching the suckers I mean, our northern brothers and sisters prepare for the snow storm of their lives, I take my ease in this week’s mild Mississippi temps. I’m sure those pitiable wretches I mean, our friends above the Mason Dixon Line hold the south and Mississippi in particular, in low esteem, and I’ll grant them our elected officials often provide ample ammunition for their disdain. (See education non funding; inadequate health care).

But watching the Yankee huddled masses standing in line at the liquor store in anticipation of being locked up with each other for a number of days, I try not to chuckle while I’m getting an actual sunburn in my backyard here in late January.

Yes I am the Daddio of my patio even in this dead of winter. Temps this week will tickle the 60 degree mark. My little slab of heaven is situated out of the wind, facing the sun and during the noon to 3 pm hours, it gets comfortable enough to peel down to bare skin. It’s Vitamin D therapy that one hoards like a camel’s hump. Sunlight can disappear for days at a time in winter and one makes hay accordingly.

Southerners are accustomed to sun and greenery and sweating and getting thirsty and winter time is an unnatural interruption. Sixty degree days in January provide a signal that all is not lost. It’s the weather telling you to hang in there, Boy.

All of this is to say I generally wear Hawaiian shirts all winter, even if the cold forces me to add on layers of flannel and fleece. My psyche knows that down below,
water polo world Why I wear Hawaiian shirts in the wintertime
next to my heart, are palm trees and blue skies. There is no better balm, when it’s not balmy. By this weekend we will have beaten back January leaving us the pipsqueak month of February to race through before we can really see the light and begin to feel the heat.

The short month kicks off this year with the Super Bowl, a brief visit to the Dark Side before getting right with the natural order. This year’s game will generate more hype and hysteria than ever thanks to the New England Patriots being accused of deflating their balls for better handling during their rainy championship game. Famous Dallas Cowboy fan Gov. Chris Christie has asked for their secret.

Obviously I hope all the denizens of that Godforsaken land I mean New York ride out the storm safely and all the homeless find shelter. Maybe CNN’s Blizzardmobile (yes, they did) will pick up any stragglers and ferry them to refuge. You won’t find any Hawaiian shirts in the Blizzardmobile. For a small consulting fee, I’d be happy to advise.

I have a buddy who says whenever he slips on a Hawaiian, he feels like he’s a comic strip character, where all life is joy and wacky seems reasonable. There are worse ways to feel. I’m wondering if we could airlift Hawaiian shirts to some of the hot spots around the world. What about the demented souls of Isis? Can you see them forsaking their black hoods for silk Hawaiians emblazoned with palm trees? Hard to hack heads when yours is in the clouds.

How about those quibbling, bickering members of Congress? Their approval ratings are only a couple clicks above Isis. Would they still be able to commit claptrap and ooze disdain if they came out of those starched collars and donned a nice rayon number with sand and pina coladas adorning their puffed up chests? John Boehner already has the tan for it.

Hawaiian shirts represent the promise of good times, if not peace on earth. This happy article of clothing is often derided as the garish wardrobe of choice for dumb tourists. But the thing about dumb tourists is, they’re on vacation. Maybe we all need a little vacation, even if it’s only in our minds.

Jim Dees has lived in Oxford for over 30 years and lived to tell the tale.

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