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It's very foolish to thumb your nose at a man's overalls

I wore my overalls to work Friday, y'all. You may be wondering why. Well, there were lots of reasons. Let me share one or three. Fridays are kind of casual, you know, and there is nothing more casual than overalls - at least nothing that passes the decency codes.

I have lost about 50 pounds since last spring, so my jeans swallow me whole. All my khakis were dirty and it was too cold for Bermuda shorts. I wasn't about to wear dress-up clothes on dress down day.

So there you have it. My overalls were about the only sensible choice left.

But you should have seen the stares - and heard the comments - of my students.

One wanted to know if Halloween had been moved up a week. Another wanted to know if I were putting on a show somewhere.

Most just looked at me, while trying to suppress their laughter, and a few just laughed right out loud - which made me wonder what they found so amusing about overalls.

There was a day, you know - in the not too distant past - when overalls were what folks wore. I'm talking primarily now about old men, of course, but kids wore them, too. When I was growing up in Porterdale I wore the same pair of overalls to school every day. Nobody thought a thing about it because all the other kids - at least the boys - wore the same pair of overalls to school every day, too.

And most of the men who worked in the mill wore them, too. And why not? They are just about perfect. Think about it.

For one thing, wearing overalls simplifies things, wardrobe-wise. No need for a belt or suspenders and they have those two brass buttons on either side and the straps are adjustable. You know a fellow's body doesn't necessarily stay the same size all the time - case in point - me.

When you outgrow your pants - or undergrow them, as I have - you are just out of luck. Not so with overalls. If you fall off a little you just button the side buttons and cinch up the straps.

You find yourself at an all-you-can-eat chitlin supper, as I did recently, and eat too much - just loosen those bad boys up a bit and you are good to go.

They are durable, too. It's almost impossible to wear them out, so you don't have to replace them very often.

I'm like the character Gus in "Lonesome Dove," who said, "I never was one to quit on a garment just because it got a little age on it," and there is hardly ever a need to quit on a pair of overalls because you can't wear them out and you can't outgrow them.

Besides all that, they are functional. The ones I wore to school Friday had more pockets, for instance, than a Dodge Caravan has cup holders. There are two basic pockets on the side, of course, which are perfect for sticking your hands in when you are standing around shooting the breeze.

Then on the bib there are all sorts of other pockets - some with buttons, some with zippers and others with snaps. There is room to hide a pouch of tobacco and a change purse and a pencil and, well, all sorts of things in those pockets. With the snaps and buttons and zippers, those items are not likely to fall out, either.

And there are a couple of back pockets, too - one for a wallet and one for a handkerchief. Women can carry purses if they want, but a man in a pair of overalls has room for a lot more stuff than a woman with one of those expensive pocketbooks.

When you think about it, it doesn't make sense that men stopped wearing overalls, does it? Of course all of them didn't. My brother-in-law, for example, works in his every day. In fact, the ones I wore to school were hand-me-downs from him.

Actually, he didn't exactly hand them down to me. I just borrowed them from him 10 or 12 years ago and liked them so much that I never gave them back.

A lot of older men still wear them - every day - because they just got used to wearing them and never got out of the habit.

Every now and then I see women wearing trendy-looking designer overalls, but they are just doing it to be cute, so it doesn't really count.

Now I don't know if there is any connection, but I think the decline of modern civilization began when the majority of men quit wearing overalls. If you don't think civilization is in decline, you just aren't paying attention.

Maybe if we turned back the clock and started wearing overalls again, things would begin to improve. I'm willing to do my part.

I wonder if the Georgia gubernatorial candidates are? I think I'll issue a challenge to the Big Guy and to Gov. Sonny Perdue. I'm supporting the first one who shows up in public in a pair of overalls.

And they can wear any brand they choose - but mine are Liberty. That might be a sign.

Darrell Huckaby is an author and teacher in Rockdale County. E-mail him at dhuck08@bellsouth.net. Have any thoughts about this column? Share them with us at letters@gwinnettdailypost.com. Letters should be no more than 200 words and are subject to approval by the publisher. Letters may be edited for style and space requirements. Please sign your name and provide an address and a daytime telephone number. Address letters for publication to: Letters to the Editor, Gwinnett Daily Post, P.O. Box 603, Lawrenceville, GA 30046-0603. The fax number is 770-339-8081.