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Travels With An Airhead

Summer

— by Notch Miyake

I know it's summer because we can now see young women's navels and the navel rings they sometimes have attached to them. The navel rings look like they are very uncomfortable, and are often unnecessary since a sufficient expanse of bare midriff can draw enough attention by itself. I wonder what some of these women are thinking? I know standards are changing, but it seems to me that someone with a six-pack that looks more like a case of 20-ounce bottles might not want to be so, um, obvious. And then decorate it with a navel ring? Help!

There was a time, long ago, when women wore corsets and girdles, which reduced the size of the midriff. I always doubted the effectiveness of such devices on the principle that the body is much like a balloon: Squeeze it in one place and it pops out in another. Granted, a little off the waist to get a little in the tits makes sense. But most women wore bras back then, defeating this minor effect. I used this reasoning often while trying to convince my dates to take all that useless stuff off.

I guess it's the pressure of fashion. I welcomed the arrival of the mini-skirt in the 1970's. But I still remember my misgivings when I saw the occasional set of turnip-legs. So as things change, they stay the same. But is a case of 20-ouncers worse than a pair of turnips? Is Iraq worse than Vietnam?

I have been a supporter of minimalist fashion since puberty. I cheered for the bikini, short-shorts and the mini-skirt long before bare midriffs came along. I have long been an advocate of public nudity. What the hell, it's a free country, even though George might disapprove. I always shout along with everyone else at rallies; "Show me your tits!"

But recent statistics indicating that well over half the population is overweight has caused me to reconsider my position. The pollsters used to ask people what they weighed, but discovered that most lied. Including, I suspect, many of the 20-ouncers. So they went around with a scale and actually weighed people, resulting in a dramatically higher overweight percentage. If they waited till summer, they could have just looked around.

Now, in a free country, you can't tell over half the people they can't have bare midriffs or navel rings or full nudity. If they were a minority, you might get away with it for a little while, like from the Reconstruction to Brown vs. Bd. of Ed. But sooner or later, the Supreme Court is going to shut things down and we are going to have to look at the rest of 20-ouncer. Maybe that's why George disapproves.

But to get back to why I am relying on naval sightings to determine the season. Global warming and DDT has raised hell with the classic indicator, the red-breasted robin. And we are stuck on the coast of Maine babysitting a cat that has caused me to have a severe allergic reaction. It is cold and damp. Has anybody out there seen George? I really have to talk with George.

— Copyright © 2004 by Notch Miyake.

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