Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Chequered, mate

It was when I was in Scotland that I first noticed the chequered shirt. I think it was Jim Jeffries wearing one on his poster that started me off, but once I started noticing them I saw them everywhere, like conspiracy theories. For some reason I couldn't get my head around it - what were people trying to say about themselves when they put on a chequered shirt? I even took to drunkenly asking people in late night boozers: "what do you think your chequered shirt represents?" Mostly they didn't know. It's just a chequered shirt, after all. You don't think too much about it. In fact the chequered shirt is like anti-clothing. It's clothing that says: I'm not thinking about my clothing. It's the everyman's shirt. The lumberjack, the plumber, the delivery driver. It's the equivalent of being called John. It's the clothing choice for the I'm a completely normal, tax-paying, non-boat rocking type. It's zebra stripes for humans, allowing them to blend in with their environment. It's the "mate" of tailoring, the satorial equivalent of Fosters. It's Borehamwood with buttons. The chequered shirt has false consciousness embroidered into its fabric. The chequered shirt spends its weekends watching Sky Sports. The chequered shirt is Adrian Chiles. Any day now the union flag will be redesigned with a red, white and blue cheque and we'll salute it singing the theme tune to Top Gear. Any day now.

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