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Number 2


Observation 5.5
February 7, 2005
One of the greater Grieb "legendary stories" involves clothes styles 
and, more importantly, the brand names of clothes that Inga, my mother, 
has purchased for her family over the years.  Even though I haven't  
lived with my parents for quite a while now, a recent and timely 
"incident" reinforced the fact that it wouldn't matter how far I moved away from 
home, I could rest assured that Inga would still be hard at work 
scouring the globe for excellent deals on brand-named clothes that I have 
never heard of.
This recent occurrence happened just a few weeks ago - right before the 
big storm that dumped about a foot of snow on the Philadelphia area - 
of course there are probably some pundits out there that think this may 
have been a sign, but let's ignore them and move on. I received a phone 
call from the said purchaser who informed me that she had found a 
fantastic deal on a pair of corduroys and purchased them for me.  She also 
notified me that she had to hem four inches off of these pants so that 
they would fit my "stocky" body. I must've been away from home for too 
long, because I was actually excited by the prospect of getting a new 
pair of pants, even though my mother was the one who made the final 
purchase. Plus, these cords would be good to wear when shoveling the large 
amount of snow that we were bracing for.  
The night before the snow-storm, Inga dropped off the pants, and other 
odds and ends (she knows her son loves chocolate chip cookies, and she 
continues to provide them to him, as evidenced by the expanding 
waistline of said son).  I found the bag attached to the front door, even 
though my mother has keys to the house.  I took the bag in, found the 
pants, and inspected them more closely.  The cords looked pretty good - a 
dark blue color - my favorite.  As I glanced at the tag, expecting to see 
"Levis," or "Lee," or "Gap," I was more than surprised to see a brand 
name that I wasn't familiar with.  I rubbed my eyes to make sure that I 
wasn't seeing things, and sure enough, I wasn't.  The name of the 
company that produced these cords was called, get ready for this, "Big 
Yank."  Wow, how couldn't I wear a pair of "Big Yanks" in front of my 
friends?  I certainly wouldn't be the butt of any jokes for years and years 
to come, would I? Of course, I decided to wear them the very next day 
while shoveling snow, and then when Sue, Lisa, and I scurried to a few of 
the local bars that had remained open during the snow storm.  I guess I 
shouldn't have been surprised that these pants were not the least bit 
comfortable - in fact, Sue said that the pants made me look like Mick 
Jagger - I'm not sure if that is a compliment or not.
But, as many of you know, Inga has bought some "interesting" clothes 
for me in the past.  It probably goes back to the lederhosen that she 
made me wear when I was 3-years old.  Quite coincidentally, wearing these 
lederhosen was one of my very first memories, and it wasn't because 
these lederhosen were cool - it was because they chafed me more than a 
pair of sand-paper pants would have. There is a great picture out there 
somewhere that my parents took of me in those lederhosen.  You can 
actually see the pain in my face in this picture, as I am trying to grab a 
fist-full of leather out of my ass.
In the past, my mom has bought me sneakers from far away lands - I 
mean, I think they were from far away lands, because the style was hideous, 
and the names on these sneakers were unimaginable.  They made those 
Traxx sneakers  with the Velcro ties sold at K-Mart look like Air Jordans.  
One pair was called "Copa 83," and the sneakers were red.  I wore these 
when I fished because I was planning on falling in the water.  As it 
turned out, one day at Crum Creek, I walked into the creek and the 
sneakers sunk in the mud. Another pair of sneakers that she bought, from God 
knows where, was a pair of brown, that's right, brown sneakers called 
"Nado Super Primo."  These were a pair of high-tops from Italy.  My mom 
was especially surprised and excited about this purchase, because the 
aforementioned sneakers only set her back 4 dollars.  I wasn't exactly 
sure what situation would require me to wear these sneakers, as the 
circus had already left town.
Some of the brand-named clothes that she purchased would've been 
down-right comical, had Inga not mandated that I wear these to school - 
obviously this was before high school!  One such pair of jeans was made by a 
company called "Smacks."  Now, a girl could probably get away with 
wearing jeans by this company, but a 6th grade boy, such as me, was lucky 
not to get shoved in a locker after wearing these beauties. I don't 
exactly remember the logo from this company, but I think it may have 
included lips.  Lets just say the girls weren't knocking the door down at 509 
Harrison Avenue to get to know me.  My mom also bought a pair of 
hideous brown pants for me, made by a company known as "Uncle Charlie's." I 
think she actually bought me two pairs of pants by this company - no 
doubt that she probably sniffed out a two-for-one sale at the local 
There are probably many other brands that I have forgotten, and 
most-assuredly for good reason.  But, hey, they provided a good story, didn't 

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