"Someday's gonna be a busy day..."

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Lumbering in the Hood

Of all the many wonderful things my husband has introduced me to, I have to thank him specifically for two items: the hooded sweatshirt, and the lumber jacket.

D's hooded sweatshirts are Saan store or Mark's Work Wearhouse specials, preferably in tones of grey. They do not zip up, they are not made out of velour and they are never emblazoned with brand name initials. If we're feeling especially fancy, they might have a pocket on the front, or perhaps two drawstrings to pull the hood closer to our skulls. But we don't call them hoodies.

D swears by his hooded sweatshirts. He rarely wears a hat; his ubiquitous hood serves as an all-season head covering. He scoffs at my ratty green toque and happily pulls up his hood in rain, sleet, wind or snow. I even bought him a special hooded sweatshirt as a wedding present - in chocolate brown, our accent colour, of course. He bought me diamond earrings, but we won't discuss that.

As for lumber jackets, I adore them, despite their metal-head connotations. I would never be caught dead wearing one in the city (then again, I did say that about insulated coveralls and I schlepped through uptown Waterloo with D and Neko wearing mine more times than I like to admit), but up here, the lumber jacket is the perfect accoutrement for hiking the fields or shore. They are hopelessly shapeless things, and I've yet to find one that actually fits my smaller frame, but they are warm and cozy. The pockets are generous enough to hold an endless supply of dog biscuits, plastic bags, kleenex, chapstick, pinecones and collected stones. And, as a bonus, I never have to wear mitts since the sleeves extend several inches over my hands.

I used to be a bit vain about what I wore outside of the house back in Waterloo. But in the Kink, I don't give it a second thought. Comfort and practicality have begun to poke fun at my fashion concerns. And no one looks at me funny if I show up in town wearing my blue checked lumber jacket overtop of my pink hooded sweatshirt...although I think the bright yellow rubber boots may be pushing it a bit.


tanzi said...

I love the title of this entry!
And yay! You used "ubiquitous"--groovy word.
Please tell me you didn't wear those lemon yellow boots today...

Susan said...

I can picture it, Kimber! Isn't it great to let your hair down and just be yourself, comfortable? I was thinking of getting rain boots too - there are some pretty ones out there. The yellow ones bring to mind being little and jumping in puddles :)

Muffy St. Bernard said...

"In the kink?"

Do you remember that people who wore lumber jackets at W-O were called "grebos" (presumably short for "greaseballs")?

My sister -- who also went to Waterloo Oxford -- used to sing a song about them. It had many verses, but one of them was:

"Oh, if I were a grebo I'd wear a lumber jacket / 'cause if I didn't have one I don't think I could hack it."

Kimber said...

I remember greebos distinctly, Muffy; I even dated a few! I had a terrible urge to talk about greebs in this post but figured it wouldn't mean anything to anyone. How wrong I was.

Interesting there was a song. Did your sister sing it as she skirted the "smoking compound?"

Kimber said...

Pink boots were what my husband was looking for Susan, but alas, he couldn't find any at the TSC.

tanzi said...

FYI: Just so you can all be in with the cool kids--"greebos" has now been replaced with "skids".
I'll let you know if that changes. Ah, the ever-evolving language of adolescents.

And I think you're assuming we actually took the time to think through the word by making a short form for "greaseballs", Muffy. Were we really that smart?

Muffy St. Bernard said...

It turns out that "gre(e)bos" was a term specific only to the rural schools in that area; it apparendly didn't spread even as far as K/W, and it sounds like it got replaced by the more generic "skid" (thanks for the up-to-date report, Tanzi!)

As for "greaseballs" being the original word, I think I may have heard that from my sister. It makes some sense -- the word must have come from somewhere -- but I don't think anybody has done a study. :)

Another term that was localized (though less so than "grebos") was "yuck a duck." It apparently didn't originate with "Valspeak" the way that similar terms ("barf me out") did.

And my sister was probably afraid of the smoking compound! But I do remember another verse from the song:

"Oh, if I were a grebo I'd hate my mom and dad / 'cause when you are a grebo you hate your mom and dad."