Its catalog time again. And as thorough as market research is these days, each and every catalog is a specialized peek into the life I wish I had.

It would seem that this year is my masculine year having received glossy membership to such testosterone-rich stalwarts as Woolrich, Russell’s for Men, and Duluth Trading Company. And while I appreciate their confidence in my ruggedness, I’m afraid I might not be man enough.

Look, I love an Oxbow Flannel as much as the next guy, but I’ll probably never wear one while repairing a snow shoe or brooding next to a pile of wood. Sure, I like the idea of wool-lined, fire hose nylon pants, but then I remember that I live in a house and not on a crab boat.

And just in time for Conceal/Carry, this year, I received my first Russell’s for Men. That’s right, ladies, open this catalog at your own risk, and don’t blame us when you get the vapors so far from your fainting couches.

To truly experience the world of Russell’s for Men, it helps to picture Ernest Hemingway on meth. But you know what Hemmingway never had? A combination adjustable wrench, screwdriver, 1 3/8-inch stainless steel blade, and money clip that he could attach to his belt.

I must say, though, the idea of an ostrich skin bi-fold wallet appeals to me in a very primal way. And I hope, as the ostrich died, he had a moment of clarity where, if only just for a moment, he knew that his entire existence was so that his flesh could eventually absorb humidity from my ass. It’s called holding dominion over Nature, pal. Genesis 1-26. Look it up. And, while you’re at it, note the wrinkles and range marks of the hand-tooled leather Bible cover for just $69.95.

But I think Russell’s for Men’s greatest gift to the holiday season is its comprehensive array of military-inspired letter openers. With the Mark 2, the M3, and the Push Dagger, just to name a few, you can not only open the letter, but you can also kill the messenger.

I’m sorry L.L. Bean, but I’m a man now. Signals? Why don’t you hook up with your friend Wireless and go occupy The Vermont Country Store, you Hippie.

And if you ever feel like filling my mailbox again, be warned that I also now have a desk holster. It fits “most” pistols. Page 25.


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  1. uncle bill wrote