Garanimals and the Schnit

January 04, 2006

Remember Garanimals? They were a brand of kids clothes from when I was young. Every item had some little animal visible, giving 1970s parents across the nation the misguided notion that their kids would look as cool as those kids wearing genuine izods. Their gimmick was that every piece of clothing with one animal on it would match every other cloth with that same animal. It's a very good idea (I could certainly use such a system as an adult), but one that was doomed by stretchy cheap polyester as the material of choice.


I haven't really thought about Garanimals until Friday, when they came up twice in one day. First was when I read a message from Jodie, who wants to do something similar for children's fashion, but with corny food related names rather than animals. I'll do my best not to give away any trade secrets, but chances are that if you feel like you should put your kid's shorts on top of a bowl of ice cream, that some of your money made it into Jodie's checking account.

The best part of the exchange was actually this clip, regarding her husband's proposed company name, which left out her initial:

not only are you trying to cut your friends out...but you're trying to cut your wife out, too. this is sad. i don't know if i can go into business with someone this manipulative. being married to you is one thing, but business is business.

We all need to resolve to use, "this is sad" in our writing more often. Anyway, it was later that night when we went to a local sports bar to watch the LSU/Miami bowl game, where we ran into Rex. Rex was a friend of ours during college. He was known for his regularity at the campus bars, and for blurting out drunken nonsense ("ASPARAGUS!!!"...."Yassir Arafat called to see if you were going out tonight"....miscellaneous Spanish, which was probably nonsense). He was also older than most of us, and the rumors were that he was anywhere from early thirties to late forties back when we were in our twenties. Rex actually looks younger now than he did in college, which isn't really saying much more than that he isn't yet wheelchair bound. Coincidentally, his shirt appeared to be a cotton polo style Garanimal. It was blue and peach colored, and had a pelican to show which pants to wear with it. (That makes me wonder, do the khaki pants in the Garanimals collection just have the logo of every single animal, lined up side by side?) We drank steadily and watched the first half of football, and I really enjoyed catching up with Rex. At halftime, he cut himself off, as his pager had been steadily buzzing to get him to come do his X-ray tech job. Apparently, setting up X-rays is something you can do after five bourbons. But he had a number of good stories for us while he was there. For example, he had recently gone to pick up some middle of the night hot dogs at the Wienerschnitzel on Highland Road. Back in college, there was always a middle of the night run to either Wienerschnitzel or to Taco Bell. (I was partial to Taco Bell, unless I was really, really short of money. Like if I was paying in pennies, Wienerschnitzel was the first choice.) Rex noticed that the guy working the Schnit in the middle of the night was the exact same Asian student who had been working there all of those years ago. He asked about it. "Aren't you the same guy who was working here about 12 years ago?" "Yes sir, you have a very good memory." "I thought you were a grad student finishing a degree." "Yes. I am finished with school now." "So there are no jobs in your field of study." "No." (Hangs head in shame.) You would think that the guy could move up to Burger King, or at least to the day shift at the Schnit after twelve years of service. I suspect that he isn't really a go-getter. This is sad.