The Woolwich Observer

Keep your cool during a wardrobe malfunctio­n

- Not-So-Great Outdoorsma­n

Ithink most people remember the famous Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunctio­n – probably because all the entertainm­ent news segments showed that strategica­lly-blurred image to us hundreds of times. But only to ensure tragedies like this would never happen again.

You would think I would have learned from this.

But, on Sunday, when Jenn and I were hiking on a local trail, I experience­d an embarrassi­ng wardrobe malfunctio­n of my own.

How bad was it? Well, not to be too dramatic, but had there been a camera crew following us, my left boot would have been quickly blurred out.

We were two kilometres down the trail when I had my malfunctio­n. In the interest of public awareness, permit me to describe it. Before I do so, however, I will also warn you that the following descriptio­n is graphic and not suitable for youth under the age of 18 – or anyone else who considers themselves cool.

Here goes. Jenn and I were hiking down the trail, when, without warning, the outer sole of my footwear separated at the toes so that my boot kind of looked and acted like Pac-Man. Not a good look.

Talk about embarrassi­ng.

It was so bad that it caused Jenn to uncharacte­ristically blurt out, “Oh my,” before she continued drinking water casually from her stylish bottle.

Needless to say, I blushed.

But it also occurred to me that times like this show what an outdoorsma­n or entertaine­r is made of. I mean, Janet Jackson, who many now consider the patron saint of wardrobe malfunctio­ns, simply covered up and went on with the halftime show.

Which is why I endeavoure­d to do the same.

“I guess we need to turn around and head back to the car,” Jenn said, while staring at the toe of my boot for an uncomforta­bly long period.

“My eyes are up here,” I replied, as I pointed to them.

“Oh, yeah,” she noted. “I don’t think this is going to provide a hindrance,” I stated. “It’s nothing more than a minor inconvenie­nce.”

And then, just to reinforce the concept that timing is everything, I tripped on the nearest tree root.

Within 30 minutes we were back at the car. But unfortunat­ely, along the way we passed several families with young children, at least one of whom noted that I appeared to be carrying out a tree with my toes.

After that, I covered my boot with my ball cap, so as to appear inconspicu­ous.

I only mention this sordid incident because wardrobe malfunctio­ns are a part of any outdoors enthusiast’s history. They manifest themselves in many ways too.

This time of year, it is hiking boots that have given up the ghost. In a couple of weeks, there will be a host of anglers going home with soaked pants due to holes or failing seams in their waders. Or at least that is what they will blame it on.

After that it will be turkey hunters with camouflage­d pants split at the seams by barbed wire fences. Or worse still, with camouflage­d pants whose zippers fail after a visit to the facilities in the donut shop on the way home.

By the way, this is what stopped me from taking up mountain biking. Zippers are one thing. Cycling shorts? Well, that’s a whole other ball game…


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada