Comfort is key for the 80-year-old man with skinny white legs, which are pretty much sticking out all over the place.
RED LATIMER, retired from his management position at a Mason City, Iowa department store since 1977, says he's "really sick and tired" of people staring at his legs, which appear glowingly white and thin for being bookended by a pair of plaid madras shorts and black socks topped by dark brown oxfords.
"These shoes are the most comfortable pair I own!" swore Mr. Latimer, heading his interviewer off at the pass. "And I'm not going to waste my money on any of those nutty-looking tennis shoes, if that's what you're getting at!"
When asked whether he owned a pair of socks in a lighter shade, say, charcoal gray, Mr. Latimer explained, "Black happens to go with everything, or didn't you know that! And besides," he added, "all the rest of 'em fall down to my ankles!"
Bristling at the mere thought of ankle socks, Mr. Latimer continued. "So I suppose you want me to start wearing white socks like a little girl??" he asked rhetorically. "Well, I'm not some kin-dee-gartner playing hop scotch, you know, in my little white anklets like a damn pansy!!"
As if his madras plaid shorts had put in a request to be next on the docket, Mr. Latimer then extolled the virtues of what he called " the best shorts I've ever owned."
Among the sportswear's virtues, according to its owner, are its expandable waistband, its resemblance to "the Biblical coat of many colors," and its ability to hide food stains.
"I won't wear anything else to Country Kitchen!" asserted Mr. Latimer, closing the sale.
© 10.02.09 Kate Heidel