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Banbury Cross

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Post details: Emperor's Old Clothes

Emperor's Old Clothes

If I ever end up at a job interview for an emperor, it will be an unmitigated disaster for I have absolutely no qualifications for the position. My royal lineage is spotty on a good day, I have no appreciation for opulent feasts and there are about 50 things I enjoy doing more than bossing people around. Oh, and I also have don't have much predilection for new clothes which - as far as I remember my fairy tales - is a total must for an aspiring monarch.

See, to me new clothes are like a straight jacket. They restrict your freedoms. Especially if you are a nature person.

I first noticed this as a kid. Any time I was hustled into new clothes my range of possibilities dwindled appreciably. I could not sweep the old concrete tubes lying by the roadside, I could not follow a creek into a tight underpass, I could not join a soccer match in progress, I could not sit down on a tree stump or a mossy boulder and contemplate the enthralling strangeness of this planet. Under the watchful eyes of my Mom, I was slowly becoming a prisoner of the textile industry.

Over the years I had to concede that new clothes do open certain doors, especially in business, but if I have a choice, I still feel much more comfortable in well worn, baggy, even slightly patched rags, preferably with colorful wash-cycle resistant stains from old escapades, delicious wild berries or chemical experiments.

It is not like I enjoy being dirty. It is more about the potential the old clothes bestow upon my world trajectory. If an opportunity presents itself I know I can pursue it to the full extent of my desires, without worrying that I will tear a sleeve or smudge my trouser leg. Sure, looking spiffy is cool, but the sense of freedom associated with adventure ready apparel can be outright intoxicating. That knowledge that should a fox whisk by I could dart right after it into the underbrush is what elevates me to a higher form of existence. Being a supreme emperor of my own destiny. And in that capacity, old clothes are the recommended formal attire for governing. And occasional mischief, too.

No disrespect to new clothes, but all you can really do in them is stand stiff like an ironing board and enunciate capaciously: "How do you do, Lady Harrington?"



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