Subversive Shorts

I was chatting with my nephew about university and its associated hi-jinks, and he mentioned Bermuda Shorts Day.  It’s been an end-of-term tradition at University of Calgary since the 1960s, but there was a kerfuffle this year because the administrators prohibited the campus pub from serving alcohol during the event.

My mind boggled.  It’s a university end-of-year party and they’re shutting down the pub?!?

I guess I’d understand it if I pretended to be a responsible adult for a moment.  A massive piss-up isn’t healthy for the participants or pleasant for those who have to clean up afterward, but still.  The twenty-something rebel inside my brain was scandalized.  It’s university!  End of classes!  It’s supposed to be a piss-up!

The funny part was the apparent implication of Bermuda shorts as culprits, as if none of these mature and responsible students would ever even consider partying hearty except while under the influence of evil garments.

I made some crack about ‘subversive shorts’, and my nephew laughed.  “That sounds like a title for one of your blog posts,” he said.

Well, dang, he’s right.

So what constitutes subversive shorts?  Judging by the news photos in which they’re wearing either long pants or Daisy-Dukes, these kids wouldn’t recognize real Bermuda shorts if they crawled up their legs and gave them a wedgie.  But that’s okay.  I wasn’t sure what was so special about Bermuda shorts, either, so I looked them up.   Turns out the only defining characteristic of Bermuda shorts is their length, about 1” above the knee:  How anti-climactic.

But I speculated that since the military have worn them for so long without causing chaos, there must be something else about them that incites people to the kind of uncontrolled drinking and mayhem that the U of C apparently fears.

When I envision Bermuda shorts, my mental image isn’t of the restrained and dignified version described in the Wikipedia article.  I tend to think of them in bright madras plaid, which might be enough to incite violence among those opposed to plaid.  So maybe the psychotropic component of Bermuda shorts is loud patterns paired with pasty white legs:

Okay, now I need a drink. And those aren’t even Bermuda shorts.

Okay, now I need a drink. And those aren’t even Bermuda shorts.

But maybe this is all merely the deranged imagining of a heavily medicated mind.  I’m currently stoned on antihistamines, so my brain function isn’t to be trusted.

In fact, neither are my optical functions:  A few days ago I served myself a slice of pizza at the table before turning away to replace the pan in the oven.  Hubby’s laughter made me turn, only to realize that the plate I’d seen in my mind wasn’t actually there at all.  My hot slice of pizza was lying in the middle of a naked placemat.

And get this:  I had modelled those loud shorts only a couple of hours earlier.

Coincidence?  I think not.  The shorts must’ve subverted what was left of my brain.  An uncontrollable drinking binge can’t be far away.

Loud shorts:  Love ‘em or hate ‘em?

* * *

P.S. The first VBBC (Virtual Backyard Book Club) discussion starts today!  Check it out here!

63 thoughts on “Subversive Shorts

  1. I apologize for the interruption, but I’ve just passed another milestone with my book. And I’m pretty sure it beats passing a kidney stone. Just sayin’…

    Eleven hundred pages! And almost 512k words! Before this, the longest document I’d ever written was twenty-two pages of answers to a take-home test in grad school probably nine or ten years ago.

    Hoodathunkit? 🙂

    Now, back to your regularly-scheduled bloggage and hilarity and such. Rock on, friends!


    • LOL! I can’t decide whether I like that pair of shorts because I have no taste and enjoy loud patterns (even though I never wear them), or because they’re such an affront to everyone else’s eyes that it gives me an evil giggle. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        • LOL! Thanks, but the word ‘fetching’ when applied to appearance always makes me laugh. I’ve never been able to look at it the same way since I saw a cartoon about a guy meeting his blind date for the first time.

          He catches sight of her and thinks, “OMG, she’s a total dog.” Then she asks how he likes her outfit and he says, “It’s, um… very fetching…”

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I wouldn’t say that Bermudas are sensible clothing, Diane, not office attire or anything, but they are more than acceptable on the student pub scene. And for some of the designs, well, you need a drink just to look at them!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t believe that no one has commented on your placemat pizza!!! I laughed out loud at that! In a good, supportive, sympathetic yet not pitying way, you know 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well those shorts definitely brighten up a day. Wait let me get my sunglasses and I shall be right back. Having been a teen in the 70’s and early 20’s in the 80’s I’ve seen some fairly wild outfits myself. Now a more subdued dresser I will admit.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. HA!!!! I knew Bermuda shorts were long shorts….but I associated them with bright colors because, well…Bermuda is a vacation spot with bright glaring colors, right?
    Love that your nephew knows you well enough to name blog posts! I bet that sense of humor runs through the family.
    Allergies here in Iowa are in full bloom. I’m drugged on my meds, and I blew out a blood vessel in one of my eyes from sneezing so hard. I went straight to the Doctor (I can’t go blind…how will I read any more about the gang up there in Canada, eh?) and she said it’s common. Going to take 6-8 weeks to clear up, meanwhile I look like an abused woman!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ouch! That’s awful! I hope it clears up soon, and that your sneezing gets a little less violent. ‘Tis the season, though, especially around here where we haven’t had a drop of precipitation in months. They’re promising rain for this weekend and I sure hope we get it.

      Good call on the Bermuda shorts – your reasoning makes sense to me! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • So I was telling my hubby about this post – and wondering if Canada needs to have “safe spaces” for college students – UMMMMM…Wow…the USA is getting pretty sad! Anyway…. he told me about -“Shirtgate”….WHAT?!?!?! Yep, it’s a real thing. I am just flabbergasted!
        Long/short of it: NASA had “crazy shirt day” and a guy wore a crazy shirt that a female friend purchased for him. He happened to be interviewed that day for an AMAZING accomplishment and successful project he completed for NASA and he basically almost lost his job over it!
        Wiki Entry:

        sidenote: this guy looks like and awesome mix of John and Hellhound…. I think I might be in LOVE!!!! Don’t tell my hubby! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • I remember when that ‘shirtstorm’ hit the news – I felt kinda sorry for the guy. Appreciating scantily-clad members of the opposite sex doesn’t necessarily indicate disrespect for their intellect or personhood (says the woman who drools over beefcake), but I guess we’ll never know whether he truly was/is a chauvinistic jerk or just a poor slob who innocently put on his favourite shirt that morning. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  6. You say you aren’t photogenic? Nonsense! You’re adorable in that photo! Cute smile, wonderful pose, expressive hands.
    I think the whole idea of Bermuda shorts is to display pasty legs in the grumpiest garment ever designed. Leave it to the Brits!

    What a hoot! The combo of Bermuda Shorts, talk of denial of beer and the unfamiliar term “piss up” creates images in my perverted brain you don’t even want to think about. A woman pissing up in Bermuda shorts. It must have to do with rolling on the floor laughing – and drunken celebrations.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! Actually, I like the idea of a grumpy garment. I’m envisioning something like the Grumpy Cat meme. I avoid grumpy garments whenever possible, but I think the grumpiest thing in my closet would have to be a very severely-tailored grey pinstripe blazer. I don’t know what I was thinking. 😉

      And I didn’t realize ‘piss-up’ was a Canadianism. I love your interpretation – pretty close to the truth! A piss-up is any party at which the primary goal is to imbibe copious amounts of booze (i.e. “get pissed” = “get drunk”… not to be confused with “getting pissed at someone”, which means getting angry with them). Gotta love slang!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I may be scarred for life by Bermuda shorts. There I wuz, sitting in Fizzix Too class, last day, thank God, in summer school, no less. I was pushing forty at the time (okay, so I was a late bloomer) and struggling to earn a bachelor’s degree.

    So in walks the perfesser called The Sandman. It was a play on his last name, and his lectures were a guaranteed cure for insomnia.

    Probably a dozen hands clapped themselves over mouths to keep from exploding into hysterical laughter.

    This portly old gent walked into the room in what were known at the time as ‘jams.’ Screaming neon floral print baggy shorts and button-up tops…which were just going out of fashion at the time, so his wife picked up a set at the local discount store. For cheap.

    So you’re getting the visual, right? Narrow fringe of white hair around a shiny bald head. Probably eighty pounds overweight, gaudily dressed, knee length shorts wrapped around a huge waist, baggy at that, and skinny, fish-belly white legs sticking out the bottom.

    But it gets better.

    He was wearing black nylon dress socks and huaraches.

    I still have nightmares…


    • OMG, that’s hilarious! I’m still laughing at the visual, but y’know, I’m feeling a sneaky sense of admiration for The Sandman. When I’m old and fat, I might be tempted to do the same thing, just for the knowledge that I’ve left my mark on the world… my indelible, memory-crashing, retina-searing mark… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, I think I had his brother for a professor. This guy had a good head of white hair and a slightly less heavy body and looked a little down at the heels. He always wore very old clothes. He dressed casually, never a suit, just cotton trousers cut like dress pants, but baggy, in shades of gray and faded navy, or a nameless gray-brown. The pant cuffs hung in folds over his ancient shoes. He’d wear the sort of woven shirt that is supposed to have the top button open and worn untucked. He’d top that with a simple cardigan. He had a lot of colors of otherwise nearly identical garments, but no flashy colors. He was always several months overdue for a haircut and he’d miss large patches when he shaved. He had extra hair tufts sprouting from visible orifices. He was missing a couple of teeth which became obvious as he talked. An assault to the eyes, you say?

      When he sat down he hiked up his pants to reveal the most original socks I’ve ever seen. Straight out of the 40’s. They were argyle, or with narrow bands of accent colors running up the inner and outer ankles. Each pair of socks repeated precisely all the colors of the cardi, shirt, and trousers. The dude actually planned his daily outfits with care. I was so delighted. I always looked forward to when he’d sit down so I could catch a glimpse of his socks.

      I was invited to my favorite professor’s retirement party to serve up the rum punch. The prof. I’m describing was in attendance at the party. When I was sufficiently inebriated, I got my courage up and spoke to him and complimented him on his terrific socks. I then raced away before he could respond. I did say I was in recovery.

      Your Prof Sandman seems inordinately brave or else is more terrified of his wife than he is of his students, colleagues, or the unsuspecting public.
      Thanks for a good howling laugh.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I always thought of Bermuda shorts as plaid in pattern too. Needless to say I don’t own any. I play it safe when it comes to shorts–jean shorts and shades of tan are my norm. If I’m feeling wild, I might go with white.

    Liked by 1 person

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