I wear my sweater vest with pride. I know it makes me look like my mommy dressed me for Sunday School, but I won't let that stop me. I'm not trying to be cute or sexy, I just recognize what a smart piece of clothing the sweater vest is.
It's about practicality, you see. The sweater vest keeps the core of my body warm while allowing my arms to move freely, without restriction. Plus, it comes with handy pockets that, OK, I admit I never use, but it's nice to have them.
My other shirts are manly enough -- mostly lined flannels and hockey jerseys in dark colors -- so I think I deserve a break if I occasionally decide it's an even more beautiful day in the neighborhood than Fred Rogers did.
In general, I think I have a healthy balance of machismo. I like sports, but I don't like motor sports. I enjoy the fine arts, but I've never been to a ballet. I like meat and potatoes, but I also think some sushi rice with shitake and oyster mushrooms would be delightful.
People should learn more about me before assuming that my wearing a sweater vest is some sort of plea for homosexual intercourse. If they would just sit down and watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show with me, they would see that I simply do not understand that movie at all.
I have always had a healthy desire, however, to share my heterosexual passion with compatible members of the female gender. And if I'm wearing nothing but a sweater vest.in the process, well, deal with it. My bedroom gets a little nippy on winter nights.
Admittedly, one thing about me does send the wrong message. There is simply no excuse for it -- and I don't know how or why I started doing it -- but sometimes, instead of saying goodbye to people, I say, "toodle-doo."
For some reason, no one objects to me using this expression, which should be reserved exclusively for 60-year-old Tinker Bells. But when I wear a piece of very functional clothing, everyone feels the need to question my sexuality.
Well, go ahead and say what you want. If you've never had your ass kicked by someone wearing a sweater vest, maybe your time has come. That's all I'm saying. Thanks for reading this week's column. Toodle-doo everybody!
Paul Lundgren is a newspaper columnist and a very nice man. His e-mail address is paul [at] geekprom.com.