June 28, 2006
I Knows About Chinos and
opportunity looms this week as fashion retailer J. Crew goes to the
market with its Initial Public Offering. And my decision to invest or
not invest may hinge on the distinction between a long E and a long I.
tell Mrs. Krause. “J. Crew is doing an IPO. Do you ever go to J. Crew?”
she says. But all women go to all these places. One is just like
another. So I keep reading from the Associated Press story.
“In May,” I
read, “J.Crew also announced it was developing a new chain of casual
women's clothing stores called Madewell, which will focus on key fashion
basics like chinos.”
Mrs. Krause doubles over laughing. Then she falls off the couch. Then
she looks up at me and points, and laughs some more.
Rhymes with Rhinos?”
what the story says. Chinos! Ch-Eye-Nose!”
out her Coke.
say, “what are they?”
pants,” she explains.
of pants? What’s different about them? What makes them Ch-EYE-NOSE?”
I still don’t know what makes them that, as opposed to any other kind of
pants. Are they short? Long? Striped? Do they have three legs?
this,” Mrs. Krause explains. “If you see them, and you know that they’re
chinos, you’re fashionable. If you don’t know that they’re chinos,
you’re not fashionable.”
I furrow my
no idea what makes them chinos, do you?”
her head. She sure doesn’t.
So we put
“chinos” into a Yahoo! Image search, and up comes a picture of some
chinos. So these are chinos. Brown pants. A zipper. A button. Belt
loops. Conventional pockets, plus painter-type pockets about halfway
down the leg on either side.
painter-pant pockets,” I say. “Maybe that’s what makes them chinos.”
painter pants,” she said.
So I look
at chinos, which I still think should be pronounced
chinos-rhymes-with-rhinos, and I see pants. And because of this, I am
not fashionable. Because if I were, I would look at these pants
and say, “Oh! Look! Chinos!” And I wouldn’t pronounce it like rhinos.
But this would be if I were fashionable, and if ifs and buts were candy
and nuts, we’d all have a lucrative IPO for Christmas.
this means I should get a piece of the IPO action. After all, J. Crew is
clearly selling stuff to those people who are far more fashionable than
I am. And that’s a lot of people. That’s pretty much everybody. The
More-Fashionable-Than-D.F.-Krause market may be the most lucrative
market on the face of the earth.
But if the
ability to recognize chinos were that intuitive to the fashionable, you
would think they would know how to pronounce the word. At the risk of
offending Sino-Americans (rhymes with rhino-Americans), I know how to
pronounce words that I see.
You look at
pants and see chinos. I think of rhinos. I think I’ll buy Treasury
© 2006 North Star
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