Zack:The instruction manual for opening a bottle of wine used to be really thick. "No, clockwise honey, like in the diagram."

Dr. Thorpe:This guy's pants have more flare than the coast guard sees in a decade. Maybe when he drinks wine his calves double in thickness, like when Popeye eats spinach. If he didn't have massive flares he'd bust through them like the Hulk.

Zack:Their house needs more wood paneling. I think I even see a framed picture behind that guy that has wood paneling in it. That's commitment to a single motif.

Dr. Thorpe:That's why he's having trouble with the bottle. These folks are powerless to deal with anything non-wood. "How do we open this wine? Honey, get the hatchet."

Zack:"God damn it! I told you we should have bought that robot!"

Dr. Thorpe:Look, he's got a few other bottles of wine back there for practice. They're going to nail down this wine thing, and they're gonna do it today.

Zack:"Why couldn't we have just bought the damn robot! It came with three different cassettes for various styles of corks."

Dr. Thorpe:Is that woman's leg resting on something, or is this photo snapped mid-prance?

Zack:She was doing a parade step around the kitchen with the Connoisseur's Guide to Wine Opening.

Dr. Thorpe:Jesus, this just makes you wonder if people's eyes worked differently back then. Professional photographers could look at this scene of plaid and paisley and wall-to-wall wood and think "magnifique!"

Zack:This is why Gumby was so fucked up. This world of wood paneling, bizarre poses, and hour-long wine openings is the same world that Art Cloaky lived in.

Dr. Thorpe:Those pants are just utter nonsense. They're as hi-rise as a skyscraper. If he was wearing a tie it would have to be like six inches long. Plus, a built-in plaid belt buckle. This isn't fashion, this is mad science.

Zack:Or some sort of fever dream. The surreal can really be found in details as well. Like if you look closely their sink is actually emerging from an oven.

Dr. Thorpe:Yeah, it's like they've put an entire kitchen into a little wooden corner. Are they on a houseboat?

Zack:More like a madhouse boat. *rimshot*

Dr. Thorpe:Oh, you! You know, it's consumption like this that means your kids are never going to see a tree.

Zack:Back then people ate paper and burned fresh cut wood for the sheer pleasure. They would dig huge pits in the earth and then just fill it with sawdust for no particular reason.

Dr. Thorpe:They used 40% more petroleum just to make enough polyester for their pants to rise up those extra eight inches above the waist.

Zack:If that guy ran a marathon in those pants he'd have blood spots seeping through his belt.

Dr. Thorpe:Yeah, but only from all his goddamn corkscrew accidents. Or from accidentally getting kicked in the gut by his mincing wife.

Zack:She is definitely mincing.

Dr. Thorpe:This scene is utterly fraught with peril. Somebody could fall down on the crease in his pant leg and get chopped in two.

Zack:These people really make me feel a little guilty about hating hippies. If this was the alternative maybe hippies were the good guys.

Dr. Thorpe:That's a disturbingly good point. I'd always considered hippies my racial foe.

Zack:I know, but we weren't alive at that time so hippies always existed in a vacuum where they could be judged on their own. What if, horror of horrors, there were far worse alternatives?

Dr. Thorpe:If this is what they mean by "squares," then you can tie me and dye me, my friend.

Zack:Imagine these people marching for some cause. "HEY HEY, HO HO, CORKED WINE HAS GOTTA GO!" and "WHAT DO WE WANT? TWIST TOPS! WHEN DO WE WANT THEM? BEFORE THE GUESTS ARRIVE!" While hippies were smoking pot these two were sprawled out on a wood panel table with 15 broken wine bottles around them toking on a teak 2x4.

Dr. Thorpe:Then they'd get up, totally stoned on the fumes of greasy burning orange wood stain, hop in their cars, and motor around striking poses for the less fortunate.

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About This Column

Fashion SWAT... the fashion industry is obsessed with impracticality. We know that what designers create was never meant to be worn by the grimy masses, but that doesn't somehow diminish how ridiculous many of these costumes are. Make no mistake, they are costumes, and like a Halloween prize pageant we will turn our discerning gaze on the grievous fashion misfires of Paris, Milan, and New York. We're not pulling any punches, and we're definitely not interested in making any friends. We're Joan Rivers without Melissa Rivers to temper our screeching. We're the Fashion Police in jack boots. We are Fashion SWAT.

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