06 November 2009

The Friday Belt Sans Belt - Sting Ray


"Pick up the color?"

I can't get a regular flu shot in Manhattan. Everybody is out of the vaccine. And that's okay because I have a page from the Trad Dad Playbook. His advice to stay healthy during flu season is to consume lots of hot and spicy food. I grew up going to a lot of Mexican restaurants with my family. I assume we went to Mexican restaurants because that's where Dad wanted to go. He was driving. We were along for the ride. In more ways than one if you get my drift.

I remember one place had a Mariachi band. Had they been playing when we walked in... we wouldn't have stayed. While Trad Dad certainly likes music -- he does not like it table side. I remember his expression when the first chords were plucked. In our world... his stress was our stress. The Mariachi Band made their way to our table... big smiles on everyone's faces while a guitar player lead the way. Suddenly the leader's smile turns to a frown and he makes a hard left and moves clear to the other side of the restaurant.

Feeling relieved, I turned to Trad Dad and caught the last second of, "the look." You can see it here. I was tying my tie one morning when I was a 30 year old newlywed and was having an argument with my then wife. I turned to her and said something I shouldn't have. When I looked back into the mirror I saw that very same look. It frightened me then and to be honest - it still does. Who needs to spend money on Saw VI when you can scare yourself.

No belts today. I'm traveling and hate packing belts. You generate a wardrobe beyond cargo shorts and golf shirts and the belt thing can get maddening. The trousers are a traditional English cut with side tabs and buttons inside the waist band for braces. If you're traveling through an airport - leave the braces in your luggage unless you enjoy being taken aside and "wand-ed."

When I worked at Brooks Brothers, I often encountered men who brought their wives or girlfriends. I doubt they brought them along when buying tires. Women are about as useful in selecting men's clothing. If I heard, "...you need to pick up the color of the tie in the shirt..." once - I heard it a thousand times. "That really pops" seemed to have been in vogue then as well. And while I've always loved contrasting colors rather than matchy match - I admit to looking for a turtleneck sweater the color of that spicy Sting Ray Bloody mix. You know...to pick up that color in the trouser so that it really pops.

I'm thinking a cable knit, wool not cashmere, turtleneck. Like the U Boat commander in Das Boot wore -- but in a deep rust. That Bloody mix really nails the color and man is this mix good. There was concern 10 years ago that the owner was giving her product away. At $9 a bottle she ain't giving away anything but it's wonderful stuff. I love it in the morning all by itself. It'll certainly wake you up. And it's one more spice to fend off the flu. You can even use Sting Ray in a turkey chili recipe. It looks a little white bread but I'm betting some folks here have some ideas of cranking up the heat.

13 comments:

L.A.S said...

My roommate in college used to drink bloody mary mix on its own...I always thought it was a sickening practice. While I do not endorse said consumption, I agree that women know nothing in regards to menswear. If my girlfriend dressed me I'd look like a Express or Banana Republic mannequin. Maybe that's why 95% look like shit 100% of the time...

Easy and Elegant Life said...

That is great mix, true. In both cases.

I've recently bought a bottle of Clamato and plan on diving back into the bloodies one Sunday soon. The thing about mixes is that I can't just leave well enough alone. I'm always going to add more spice, lemon, horseradish, cayenne, bullion or something. At least a spiced shrimp with the Clamato. Just because the bloody is a breakfast substitute doesn't mean that you have to avoid solid foods all together.

Yeah, caught myself using the Command Voice the other day, just before my son burst into tears... ugh. Sounded just like a Sgt. Maj. at Sandhurst. Which is how my (Louisiana born) dad sounded when dressing me down. Go figure. Trees and nuts.

Try J Powell for the sweater they may have one.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Forgot to mention. I'm in side strapped trousers today. Some Fridays it is just one fewer decision to make.

Kathy said...

Nothing better than bloody mary mix in a shot glass on top of an oyster.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes when we're out, I ask my wife if I look "dangerous." She just laughs, points to some other guy and says, "Now HE looks dangerous." She could just as well be pointing at you, in your deep rust red, cable knit, Das Boot-like turtleneck...giving me "the look." Find that sweater and get it. You'll look great!

I'd be tempted to tell you not to trust a Bloody Mary mix that comes premixed (after all, with so few ingredients, it's really not hard to do it yourself) were it not for the award and your recommendation. I'll have to try it.

Does it come with a celery stalk?

-DB

Anonymous said...

Oh dear...First the Buick, now the sans-a-belt. Could it be time for a Trad Intervention??? If so, I hope they'll be serving Bloodys made with Sting Ray mix!

Brian said...

Sting Ray is a great bloody mix if you want to kick it up anotch though add to dashes of Predator hot sauce to it.

Jack said...

Your old man was right. Many spices have anti-bacterial properties...they originally became popular for their ability to render questionable meats edible. Tumeric is one good example.

TRAWETS NILTGEOV said...

Q: Hey, kid: Can you make a Bull Shot?

A: Can you make a shoe smell?

Murphy said...

Loro Piana currently has a sweater that exact color. It is a cable knit zipper crew. Lovely.

initials CG said...

Don't complain. Some guys are blessed with genetics. Others can practice in front of a mirror all they want and they couldn't scare a puppy. I just look ridiculous trying that look, and yes, I keep practicing it.

Of course, that look, no matter how silly, will be considered severe emotional abuse in your divorce trial. Go figure...

I should have cited her taste in clothes as severe emotional abuse. Drove me to drink. A lot.

Tin-tin's phred/dad said...

Last flu shot was in 1958. Then had the flu. Haven't had flu since.

Tin-tin's phred/dad said...

I developed the "look" when a young Army private as a defense against superiors who yelled at me. It served me well and intimidated people very effectively.
Refined over the years, it has worked with wife, children, your mom's pets, senior generals, politicians and, especially well with Fed Gov't bureaucrats (who are mostly cowards) while on a Joint Fed Task Force.
Secret to the "look," is to look them square in the eyes, BUT focus your vision about half way between you and the subject. Scares the poop out of people and annoying dogs and cats will run away.
To be totally effective, the "look" needs to be accompanied by the "Voice." Stern, but not too loud and no yelling. Keep it low and firm, with no high notes or tremors. Works quite well with sales people (as you noted in an earlier blog re a car salesman who touched me).