Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Seasons According to LL Bean

We’re just a week removed from the solstice, and LL Bean tells me it’s already “Late Summer”.

Which in catalogue marketing code really means…fall.

Yep the F word…on the 27th of June, a week before the 4th of July.

People don’t like to hear it, and they shouldn’t hear it, especially in June, so they call it “Late Summer”.

I guess I should get started chopping up my kindling for the fireplace, if I actually chopped kindling for the fireplace, which I don’t.

But if I did I should get started.

Because LL Bean says I should.

Since it’s already “Late Summer”.

That went fast.

Some people haven’t even gotten sand between their toes yet.

But they can stock up on their versatile lightweight fleece, just right for those cool “Late Summer” nights at camp.

Just in case your unaware, or not a New Englander, or have never ordered from Bean’s, camp is what the folks from Maine call the place you getaway to in the woods and or mountains.

It’s not the place you sit around the campfire next to a bunch of people with braces singing “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt”…whose name, incidentally,  is not my name, too!

Even so...whenever we go out,
The people always shout
There goes John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt!
Which is annoying....

There’re also various long sleeve tees, cozy comfy sweatshirts and sweaters made of thick marled yarn, not to mention—yet still I will—flannel lined sleeping bags…again just the thing for those cool “Late Summer” days and evenings…at camp.

Cuz it’s always nippy at camp.

And if you don’t have a “camp” or go to a “camp”, or even enjoy The Three Stooges, you can still enjoy the warmth of a Comfort Corduroy Big Shirt. It’s a long time customer favor and it just might be the softest shirt you’ll ever wear….especially in “Late Summer”.

And don’t forget the breathable warmth of Fitness Fleece, which will keep you warm during walks, jogs, and everyday excursions—and they’re offered at a great price! Of course, Princess seaming gives them a flattering fit, unlike last year’s very un-Princess seaming, which apparently, I suppose, made you look like a monk at vespers.

Oh, and Scrunchneck is now available in a fun variegated stripe pattern.

Scrunchneck….ahhhh, brings back memories of Miss J, one of my favorite day camp counselors, which was the only camp I ever frequented.   After a few days in the sun the underside of Miss J’s neck developed into this interesting Rorschach pattern of white and red crisscrossing lines.  What you saw there I guess said a lot about what you thought of Miss J.

I often saw the face of God.

Who looked a lot like Lou Costello….

But I digress.

Don’t get me wrong—if you get me at all—I’m not trying to run down LL Bean here. I actually love Bean’s…at least as much as a man can love a mail order-catalogue retail business with free shipping and returns. I probably buy 90% of my wardrobe from Bean’s.  The other 10% I get out of the Goodwill bins at Costco.

They actually make great stuff—those Sri Lankan Down Easterners, really know how to make a sweater—although I have some issues with the colors lately.

Brown Heather?  Light Russet?  Grey Heather?  Coffee Bean…and of course “Camp” Green.

Sounds more like colors better suited for a camp of chronically depressed boot salesmen.

They do feature ‘Bottle Blue” however, which I’m particularly fond of since it actually is the color of the bottle that I imbibe from most evenings…in or out of camp.

The problem with buying clothes from Bean’s is that they’re actually made too well.

They never wear out.

And since they’ve featured the same unpretentious items and styles for the last 50 years or so, you eventually end up owning the entire catalogue.

You find yourself in 20 year old photos wearing the same olive sweater with the same “Friend of Bill” button pinned to the front that you’re wearing today.

But, like I said, they give me free shipping and free returns, plus I like the big tall Grizzly Bear they have in the flagship store in Freeport. The stuffed one, not the guy who works in the shoe department that I mistakenly insulted that time in the 80’s.

I just wish they would let us enjoy the season at hand before they start to peddle the season ahead.   

Oh wait…the “Late Late Summer Pre-Christmas” catalogue just arrived with Santa decorating a pine tree with Golden Retriever puppies, dressed up like cute little elves, on the cover.

I wonder what colors the Cotton Cashmere T-necks come in this year?

And it’s never too early to order your decorative yet edible, Ginger Bread House or Festive Balsa Centerpiece, just right for any table….


  1. really funny!

    Let's ALL sing John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt!

    1. Thanks, TT. Aside from counting bunnies JJJS is one of Z’s favorite walking activities….


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