01 July 2008

My Tintin Sweater

My favorite sweater made from Icelandic wool. It cost a small fortune when I bought it at the Tintin store in London. Like many in the US of A, I didn't know anything about Tintin and his dog Miloux or Snowy (a white wire fox terrier). While working in London someone gave me the nickname, Tintin. I was lucky. Other nicknames? Sid Sparkle. Mutley. The Slant Eyed Rice Mongerer. Vodka Ronnie.

Vodka Ronnie or Vodka as he was known, was one of my favorite nicknames for one of my favorite people. A few years ago at a conference somewhere in the states...an old friend of Vodka Ronnie's from the UK (Mutley) was doing the "Grip & Grin" at a cocktail reception when he saw Vodka Ronnie across the room. Mutley had not seen Vodka in donkey years and, thanks to a drink or two, the usually shy and reserved Mutley shouted, "VODKA!" just as a waitress walked in front of him. She gave Mutley a nasty look as did the rest of the room who assumed Mutley was just another drunk Brit placing a drinks order.

Years ago Vodka and I had business in Phoenix. Checking into the Phoenix Biltmore Hotel, the desk clerk asked Vodka if he wanted a smoking room. A keen observation on her part since Vodka was standing there holding and smoking a Silk Cut. Vodka rolled his eyes and said, "Is the room smoking or is it still on fire?" The desk clerk froze as Vodka continued, "I mean, I don't mind a little smoke coming from the walls but if there's a lot of smoke..." Vodka stopped, realizing this wasn't going anywhere with his intended victim, and placed his credit card on the counter. She took the plastic and asked Vodka if he wanted a key for his minibar. "That," replied Vodka, "is the stupidest question I've ever been asked." He took a long drag off his Silk Cut and blew out a stream of smoke just over her head. "Of course, I want the key to the minibar."

The best part of being an Army Brat is not being from anywhere. Since I'm not from anywhere, I'm not connected to anything and consequently I'm open to a lot. Clothes, food, cars, people, countries... While Tintin and Snowy may be the US version of Johnny Quest and Bandit, he means more to me than just a comic character. He represents an openness to all things, places and people. The joy of travel and the desire to learn about what I don't know. By the way, Sting likes this sweater as well.

12 comments:

songin30days said...

Is it a little beat-up like Sting's?

Anonymous said...

Caramba! That's a nice sweater.

Laguna Beach Trad said...

Beautiful pic. Great story. I'm a long-time Tintin and Herge fan. I just gave my old copies of the Tintin books to the young son of a good friend of mine. Apparently Tintin is enjoying a resurgence amongst the 9-12 set. The sense of adventure and cosmopolitanism, and the love of travel, in the Tintin series are very attractive qualities.

longwing said...

Cigars and whisky at the Biltmore. That's a hell of a bar they've got in there.

Heavy Tweed Jacket said...

I, too, must admit to being a Tintin fan, and wondered if your handle was related to the fair redheaded boy and his dog. Lots of Tintin stuff for kids here. Lunchboxes, pen cases, datebooks...

Reggie said...

Growing up in a snooty Euro/Brit-focused US household, I was nurtured on a steady diet of all the Tintin books and loved them, always fascinated by the wonderful, imaginitive drawings and terrific, exciting story lines. Sad comment that "Tintin in the Congo" has recently been murdered by the PC Thought Police.

Other "must" reading material included England's "Boys Own" magazine (I'd spend hours reading them when they arrived in bundles of 3-4 at a time weeks after being published) and when younger England's "Joy Street" series of short stories written by the likes of Hillare Belloc

Small wonder I wound up attending an all-boys English "public" school for a time...

v. Braun. said...

Very good blog here.

Yes, I also enjoyed tintin- but I "only" own a key chain my friend brought me from Paris and a t-undershirt on whose back the Opium-den scene from the "Blue Lotus" is depicted...

Talking about "opnenness to all things and places": funnily enough the video that you linked was "not available in my country" (Im in Central Europe)...anyway, all the best, and keep up the fun writings, v.B. :)

tintin said...

Song in 30- Yep. Small hole in the bottom but who cares, gives it patina.

Anon- Si and gracias.

Longwing-It's a great hotel with a knockout lobby and I always loved the R.O.P. poolside.

LBT- very nice of you to share those books.

HTJ- I bet the Japanese love it. I think it works well with Trad. I like to wear it with a cover coat or my beat up Blue Border.

Reggie-Dig your site. A shame what happened with tintin and the congo. I wonder if that's why they're keeping Johnny Quest under wraps...that thing with Haji's not very PC. I always wondered about Dr Quest and Steve as well.

v. Braun- Thank you for the compliment and visit. The video is Sting doing, Will be Together. He's wearing this very sweater and some very Trad glasses.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic sweater...would love to buy one. Is there an online link to where these are sold?

Bob Spector said...

I'm wearing my Tintin sweater right now. Also bought at the Tintin shop in Floral St. London about 10 years ago!

tintin said...

Bob- These are pretty rare nowadays. I'm thinking they were something like 200 pounds back then but can't remember.

Anonymous said...

GREAT POST,BY THE WAY I SEE ON THE BAY FOR SALE THE SAME TINTIN SWEATER WOOL BY ICELANDIC FOR ANY COLLECTORS LOOKS FOR A GREAT AND RARE TINTIN SWEATER LIKE THIS ONE.