by Mike McHugh
Having been on a number of royal Mardi Gras courts, I’ve amassed quite a collection of costumes. Judging from the number of ostriches that must have sacrificed their feathers to them, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not a result of nature that those birds don’t fly.
I’ve been everything from a Greek god to a monster to a King of Middle Earth on court. I’ve worn feathers and sequins and fabrics that would make a shag carpet feel like tissue paper. But none of those costumes prepared me for what I was about to experience as of the Duke of Dominoes for the Krewe de la Famille’s “Games People Play” theme.
“And here are your tights,” Anne said when my wife and I came to pick up our finished costumes. She proceeded to hand me a package that was about the size of a pack of gum.
“Hmmm,” I said, pinching it between two fingers. “Somehow I missed the part about how the Duke of Dominoes comes shrink wrapped.” What with my thighs, I weighed the odds for a serious costume malfunction. They weren’t even close to being in my favor.
“You’ll be fine,” Anne said with confidence. “We’ve put tights around bigger legs than yours over the years in this krewe.”
“Is your husband wearing tights with his costume?” I asked.
“Of course not. Doc has the part of Mr. Monopoly, and so he’ll be wearing a tux.”
“Well, there’s the difference,” I told her. “When Doc goes to the men’s room on the night of the ball, at least he’ll have a zipper. Me, I’m going to need a box cutter.”
When I moved to Louisiana, not once did I envision a time where I might have to shimmy my legs into a pair of tights. I considered it as one of the state’s major advantages. Tights were for ballet dancers, speed skaters, and Spiderman, none of whom you see around much in this part of the country.
“That’s it,” I said to my wife. “I’m backing out.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
“No, I’m putting my foot down.”
“What gives you the say?” she asked. “Because you wear the tights in the family?”
She did have a point. And so the Duke of Dominoes, tights and all, assumed his place on the royal court of the Krewe de la Famille. The applause roared as they introduced me at the ball, with most of it coming from the ladies in the crowd. That’s when it struck me that there just might be a place for tights in men’s fashion. My legs couldn’t have got such attention had I wrapped them in bacon and strutted up to pack of ravenous Dobermans.
I believe that if the good ‘ol boys only knew of the power that tights hold over members of the opposite sex, they might actually outsell camouflage. Bass Pro Shops would dedicate an entire section. They’d have a big sign with the Duck Commander dudes flaunting camo tights and shouting, “Forget the ducks. Attract yourself some real birds!” Even Sy’s legs would look hot.
As for me, I’ve become sold on tights. Just think; I’d be able to carry an entire wardrobe in my pocket. Imagine how much that would save me on airline baggage fees.