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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Has it Come to This?

Father Anonymous first saw the LL Bean catalogue many, many moons ago.  In those days, it featured black-and-white photographs of grizzled old guys wearing waders.  Most of the stuff was made in Maine, and prices included shipping.

Needless to say, it is a very different thing today:  the models are young and good-looking, the pictures are Photoshopped to perfection, and items with names like "Katahdin Iron Works Pants" are made in an Asian sweatshop.

Okay.  The world has changed.  Fewer Americans hunt, for example -- a problem when your signature product is the Maine Hunting Shoe.  So we at the Egg recognize that the good people at Bean's have had to make some changes, as they sell to an ever-more-suburban crowd.  But still, can it be this bad? 

The LL Bean Men's Clothing catalogue came in the mail this morning.  As a little bonus, the editors have included, on sidebars, some useful tips for guys who may not be as outdoorsy as they would like to be.  Want to tie a trucker's hitch?  Instructions on page 13. Predict the weather, based on clouds and dew?   page 39.  Stay alert on a long drive, presumably to your hunting camp?  29 (but you could probably already knew about this "coffee" stuff).  Skip a stone in the water?  58.

Yes, people, you read that correctly.  Instructions for how to skip a stone.

Somewhere in heaven, those grizzled old guys are sitting around a pot-bellied stove and laughing at all of us.

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