Every week, our Boulevardier, Marq Frerichs, considers matters related to men’s style. This week: Live from the Ex!
So here it is: Your get-out-of-jail style card. With this, you have the unquestionable right not to care about what you wear, do, or eat. This is not a “dressing down” card, nor is it a “slumming it” pass—it’s a go-to-your-closet-close-your-eyes-yank-out-whatevs-your-hand-touches-and-put-it-on kinda thing. Everything I’ve mentioned, prodded, cajoled, hinted-at in this column: FORGET ABOUT IT. “Let’s Go To The Ex, oh, baby!”
It’s been awhile since I’ve experienced the pleasure of the Canadian National Exhibition. In fact, I hardly recognized it. I did, however, recognize the distinct look of its patrons. Lots of sugar-glazed eyes; the giddy, slightly seasick gait. The Greeks had a name for over-indulgence and he manifests himself here. Sugar, sunshine, adrenaline-pumping rides, gambling and lots of scantily clad youths.
You’ll see him strutting through the midway from a mile away.
Head held high, his crush attached at his hip, her eyes drunk on his manliness. Slung over his shoulder, his prize: a giant Smurf. He rose to the challenge, gambled, took odds against the gods. That 15 minutes, an eternity, at Skeeball and he defeated—no, vanquished—the web-weaving Fates. He is our new Hercules, with the Nemean lion.
Did I mention scantily clad youths? I didn’t see the orgazimatron ride, but it’s there. Round that corner, right by the smoke and mirrors.
So what to wear? This is killing me. Wear the ass-back baseball cap; wear the oversized jeans with the tongues of your sneaks over the cuffs (white only). Wear those plaid cargo shorts from American Eagle; wear a hoodie with them. Wear black-on-black “I’m really a biker” denim, and a leather vest paired with wrap-around shades. Yup, wear black—it hides the smears of deep fried butter with a side of corn dog. Or, wear white and create a map of your adventures from the stains. Better yet, have your picture taken and have it made into a T-shirt.
Gods and temptations aside, our Ex is a great leveller. And the level is the kids. Take your kids, your little bro or sis—hell, borrow someone’s if you have to. Picture it: A beaming, ear-to-ear grinning child tugging on you arm. There’s no hierarchy here—everyone is from the ‘burbs for a day.