Abercrombie & Fitch, and Abs

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News item: Abercrombie & Fitch has offered to pay Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino of the “Jersey Shore” reality show to not wear its merchandise. Sorrentino is said to be highly insulted by the offer from the racy teen retailer.

I have never watched “Jersey Shore” on MTV. From what I have read, that is a wise decision for anyone hoping to not destroy any more brain cells than necessary. At my age, I figure I don’t have a lot of margin for error. Speaking of age, I have resigned myself to accepting the senior discount at movie theatres, though I’m drawing the line at joining AARP or getting the early-bird special at Luby’s. As of a few days ago, I am now closer to 60 than 50, though I have no plans to rush it.

Anyway, apparently Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is fond of showing off his stomach muscles, which from the photo I saw in the Wall Street Journal are tight enough to bounce a nickel off. I believe the term is “six-pack abs.” Like most American men, though I am nowhere near obese, the only time “six pack” is said in direct association with my abs is when I bring home some brewskis from the grocery store. The work required to have abs like Mr. “The Situation” is far more than I’m willing to undertake. Even if I did, I am too modest to walk around in public with my shirt pulled up. For that, my unadoring public is grateful, I’m sure.

Apparently, A&F feels that Mr. “The Situation” is not a great role model for its brand. It issued a statement saying, “We understand that the show is for entertainment purposes, but believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans,” the statement read. In the interest of research I read a synopsis of Season 4, Episode 3 in an online post from the WSJ.

I quote: “Brittany comes out of Mike’s room and wants to know what’s keeping him. So this leaves Snooki to panic to JWOWW about Jionni breaking up with her. JWOWW counsels Snooki, saying she won’t lose Jionni over this whole Mike thing. Snooki seems genuinely upset. So is Mike just claiming they got together because he got burned? Or did Snooki give in? We’ll never know!”

Hoo boy. Thank the Lord for C-Span.

My only encounter with A&F came last year, when our daughter attended a Justin Bieber concert in Houston, accompanied by my Beautiful Mystery Companion while I watched a football game in the hotel room 20 stories above. The next day we went to the Galleria. They wandered off while I sat on a bench and read a book, there being pretty much nothing in the Galleria that I’m interested in spending too much money to purchase. (Actually, my wife feels the same way. We were indulging the new teen for her birthday.)

I looked up from the book and saw this impossibly sculpted young man, maybe 18, shirtless and talking to some teen girls outside a mall store. “That boy needs to put his shirt on,” I thought and went back to reading. Later I noticed yet another shirtless male. This one might have owned an eight-pack of rippled muscles. His stomach looked like a series of West Texas mesas turned on its side.

The womenfolk returned to the bench. “Did you see those boys just walking around without shirts?” I asked. “What’s up with that?” They, of course, rolled their eyes and explained the boys were male models for A&F, one of its edgy marketing devices. “They just pay those kids to stand around without shirts and look good?” I asked incredulously.

“Yes, and they sure look good!” both replied. I was rather shocked.

I don’t know how much A&F is offering to “The Situation” to not wear its line of clothes. This is likely just another edgy marketing ploy, since A&F carries a shirt called “The Fitchuation,” and another that just says, “GTL.” That stands for gym, tan and laundry, which apparently take up a lot of the “Jersey Shore” cast’s time.

Regardless, here’s my offer. I’m willing to not wear A&F’s line of clothing for, let’s say, $9. That’s enough to buy me a six pack of a decent micro-brewed beer, including sales tax. Further, I promise to never go shirtless in the mall. That alone ought to be worth the money

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