There Were Fashion Victims In Those Days

The kind comment of the LA Fire Department’s Brian Humphrey calling me courageous in response to yesterday’s post about the last few months of my job search is greatly appreciated, but it takes a different kind of bravery to post a photo of me I found this morning while looking for my map of Death Valley. You’ll have to check it out after the jump because I’m too chicken to put it up ffront here, but first some background info to help soften the ridiculousness of the shot.

It was taken 17 years ago in September of 1990 in what I would hyperbolize as the prime of my resurrected life. I was about eight months separated from my first wife (and my then less-than-one-year-old daughter Katie). I had an apartment in the south of Glendale and a good enough job with Sparkletts with a route that included parts of Eagle Rock, Glassell Park, Atwater Village and Glendale. In addition the physical rigors of the job had helped me to drop about 40 pounds, aided by the fact that the bulk of my diet no longer consisted of delivery pizza and bags of Reese’s peanut butter cups. As a bonus I enjoyed an increased social life. In short it was a time for me to feel my oats.

Having said all that, hindsight is not kindsight… especially when it comes to the fashions of the past, which ryhmes with aghast which is how I feel seeing the then-me now. So without further delay hence, let the pointing and laughing commence:


(click to doublify)

Indeed, here I am 26 going on 18 and so failing to look the badboy from somewhere within the parking area of my Glendale apartment while astride my beloved 1978 Honda Hawk 400 (that I purchased a few months earlier for a few hundred bucks from a Sparkletts customer of mine). Having freshly painted the gas tank and side panels black with the nameplate colored a then-trendy flourescent yellow (to match the equally trendy Oakley sticker I added, of course) your eyes are not deceiving you: I’m cloaked in an acid-washed denim jacket — with the sleeves rolled up! And as if that weren’t fashion victim enough… that’s right: Lycra shorts, semi-slouchy socks and Reebok high-tops. Go ahead, say it: I look like I’m five years too late to an open call for extras for that 1985 Jamie Lee Curtis/John Travolta flop Perfect.

How I’d love to say that I donned this egregious ensemble strictly for this shoot, but the lamentable fact is with several pairs of these shorts in my wardrobe, this was pretty much my standard outfit when cruising around. In public.

If there’s any consolation to be found it’s the small fact that at least I’m not sporting my rainbow mirrored wrap-around Oakley shades. And before any of you stop laughing long enough to consider submitting letters severing any and all ties to me, don’t do anything too hasty without first remembering that somewhere in that box in the back of your closet is that compromising 17-year-old photo of you, too.

P.S. While I still have a pair or two of Lycra shorts in the dresser, the only time you’ll likely see me in them is while on my mountain bike up in the trails of the Verdugos or the San Gabes. I haven’t worn them on the road since 2003.