RUSTY DRAPER | Contributing columnist
In elementary school we learn early about the five Ws — who, what, when, where and why.
The five Ws are what any good reporter worth his or her salt lives by.
At this time in my life, I know my memory is leaving me quicker than a toupee in a hurricane. I can be half way through a sentence and forget what I’m talking about.
So, in saying that, I find myself using the five Ws more frequently.
But there is one of them I ponder over more than the other four — ‘why.’
When I now ask why, its not that I’m gearing up for an argument, or even to make an opinionated statement, although, I have been guilty of both.
I quickly declare myself as a very simple man, who only wants a very simple answer to my questions.
My great drawback in life is that I’m a multi-tasker. I can waste time, be unproductive, and procrastinate all at the same time.
Here’s one of the whys I struggle with:
Why, I ask, do some young men wear their pants half way down they’re butt? Are they proving to the world that they actually own a pair of underwear? Or maybe, they simply haven’t heard of a wonderful new invention called the belt.
Do these young fellas, who engage in such, really have any idea that it’s affecting their bone structure? The next time you see a kid with his pants that far down his derriere, take note about the way he’s walking. Friends, it’s something to behold, much like the “bowlegged cowpoke.”
The reason he walks that way is to keep his jeans from reaching his ankles.
What would push a person to the edge of such insanity?
So now it’s what we’ll call “Confession Time.”
Way down deep in my sometimes confused and complicated mind, I get this urge to grab on to his pants with both hands and yank them northward.
Thankfully, I never did give in to the fires of temptation.
I can hear some of you saying, “Rusty, Rusty, Rusty …, you’re just an old geezer and set in your ways, and you must adjust to this new contemporary life style.”
Well, I want you to know that I just bought a new pair of 4 XL underwear. They are big enough to adequately cover a dining room table, however not advisable.
Unlike these young lads, I can promise you that you’ll never get a chance to see them … unless you come by surprise on a washday Monday and find me helping my wife fold them.
I believe in the wisdom of the Old Dogs. The advice they give us is “Never bite, when a simple growl will do.”
I do remember the day I came very close to breaking this advice. I witnessed a young fella with his pants showing off his caboose, so I stopped him and asked him the simple question: “Why?”
“Well … Good Golly Miss Molly, his response came to me as a huge surprise. I thought for sure he might at least shake his fist at me and tell me to take a hike where the roses don’t grow.
No, his words to my amazement were soft and few in number. But very much to the point.
He told me in a gentle voice that if I didn’t like it … don’t look.
If my dear Dad were alive today, he would have said to me, “son, you’re cruising for a bruising if you ask questions like that.”
Fortunately for me, this teen-ager wasn’t the bruising kind. He probably just thought I was a senile old man. If that were the case, he wouldn’t be too far off the mark.
Now you’ll have to admit that when this young lad said to me: “If you don’t like it … don’t look,” he really did make a good argument.
He had every right to give me that reply, but it still doesn’t answer my initial question of why.
It’s a quandary I’m in when I compare today’s foolish fads with those of my teen years in the ’50s and ’60s.
If a boy was in love with the girl in his class, you know, the one wearing a poodle skirt and saddle shoes, he would start wearing his belt buckle one loop to the right. This was the daring signal to the world that this lad was in love. People would also start to notice that the teenager in love would have the collar of his shirt turned up at the back.
This same cool dude, would comb his hair with a huge ducktail at the back and a cowlick at the front. But how did we keep it in place all day long? Brylcreem.
Do you remember when the makers of Brylcreem used this slogan in all their advertising, “A Little Dab Will Do You?” However, we never followed the rules. We found ourselves using about half the tube per application. If a fly were to land on your head, it would slide right off.
Before closing, who could ever forget sneaking some of your dad’s Old Spice after shave and splashing it generously. We did this when we only had peach fuzz and acne on our face.
Now, young people, this is what cool looked like back when.
To the fellas wearing their pants much too low, this is not being cool.
By the way, the term cool was not something your generation invented.
In my day, with your belt buckle pulled one loop to the right, enough Brylcreem in your hair to lubricate the average car and Old Spice to intoxicate the whole class, that — dude was cool.