Farmers Protest Grunge
By Alan Smithee
All across America, more and more farmers are participating in Three-Piece Suited Farmers' Day, which is organized by Farmers Against Grunge and held four times each year, on March 30, June 30, September 30, and December 30. This day was first held in March of 1993 and has become a regular event as farmers are becoming increasingly strident in showing their disdain for the turn of events that they have seen in the fashion world.
"Nothing is more pretentious than seeing a schoolteacher, housewife, or computer programmer wearing denim overalls," explains the president of Farmers Against Grunge, Floyd Obrut. "Over the last twenty years or so, practically everyone has started to wear overalls, and we find it absolutely ridiculous, so now we're beginning to take action."
As Mr. Obrut speaks, he motions toward a farmer on his knees, picking turnips; he then points toward a barn in which another farmer is milking a cow. Both they and Mr. Obrut are wearing immaculately-pressed three-piece suits straight from the finest tailor in the region. Over the mooing of a cow and the shouts of a rooster, he speculates, "If people who don't know diddley-squat about manual labor can wear overalls, then why shouldn't farmers be able to dress like investment bankers?"
We see the anger swell in Mr. Obrut as he continues, "I mean, when was the last time a housewife had to milk a cow or slaughter a heifer? It's all so phony! And schoolchildren? Please! The heaviest thing they have to lift is a pencil. We outlawed child labor a century ago. Why do teenagers want to dress like the laborers their great-grandparents had to be? They should dress like ladies and gentlemen. Until they do, we're going to dress just as ridiculously!"
Schoolchildren interviewed at a nearby school didn't understand Mr. Obrut's protests. "Everybody wears overalls," explained one. Another added, "They're so cool." Told of this, Mr. Obrut said, "What mindless cabbages! When will they be taught to use their brains for a change? Haven't they learned any history?"
The membership coordinator for Farmers Against Grunge is Thomas Lemany, who is a bit more restrained in his rhetoric and demeanor but equally committed to the cause. In an interview, he was quick to justify the group's position, saying, "Really, we just don't see the point of wearing work clothes unless one is actually working. Modern suburbanites and city dwellers simply have no need for the work clothes of the farm." Asked what he wears after the farm chores are completed, he says, "A blue dress shirt and blue dress slacks. I wouldn't dream of keeping a dirty pair of jeans on one second longer than I had to. Wearing overalls to change the oil in one's tractor is one thing, but wearing them to the supermarket or to watch televison is absurd."
Farmers Against Grunge has inspired the formation of many similar groups. One such group is Athletes Against Grunge, headed by Dean Whittier, a former Olympic gold medalist. "I just can't stand to see couch potatoes prancing around in sneakers and sweat pants," began Whittier. "Athletic clothing should be reserved for athletes, period. If John Public wants to wear the clothing of an athlete, he should be expected to adhere to the standards required of an athlete," he explained, continuing, "It gets mighty confusing when someone goes to pick out the athletes in a crowd in the mall or the local park, and everyone is dressed in sweats and sneakers. How would we know who's a police officer and who isn't if everyone wore a blue uniform and an officer's hat? How would we be able to spot Superman at a distance if everyone paraded about wearing blue capes with the letter S in a shield?"
As Mr. Whittier spoke in a local park, he pointed towards an unshaven man wearing a pair of sneakers and sleeping on a park bench. A small boy ran toward the bench and awakened the man, saying eagerly, "Mr. Whittier, can I have your autograph?" Whittier exclaimed, "See? He mistook that skid row bum for me-- all because of the sneakers. What's the use?"
Another group called Mountaineers Against Grunge is headed by Paula St. Peter, who led the famous assault on Pike's Peak in January of 1985. "Lots of people wear hiking boots as everyday clothing," she told an interviewer, "and it's simply dreadful. When I started toward Pike's Peak, I thought my hiking boots would make it clear that I was a serious mountain climber, but when I got to the foot of the mountain, the guards started demanding additional identification! They said, 'everyone wears hiking boots these days.' I was shocked and had to spend a day in my hotel room collecting my wits." St. Peter's group is attempting to prod national governments into regulating the sale and use of hiking boots by issuing licenses to those who pass a series of written aptitude tests and a battery of physical endurance hikes. "A license should be an absolute prerequisite for wearing hiking boots," she insists.
Finally, Prostitutes Against Grunge was formed to call attention to the large numbers of people dressing as prostitutes these days. The founder, Candy Appel, says, "All those women wearing mini-skirts and low-cut blouses are really cutting into our business. Our customers can't spot us on the street any more among all the fakes."