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Three Wise Guys: Neighbor Etiquette, Short Shorts for Men, Changing Team Colors

By Joe Heim, Justin Rude and Dan Zak
Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dear Wise Guys:

Friends of ours participate in an annual pig roast. The event is quite large and involves roasting a pig on a spit for almost 24 hours. Tradition dictates that the pig's severed head be proudly (and prominently) displayed on a spear in the host's front yard.

It is our friends' turn to host the roast. Here is the dilemma: Their next-door neighbors are vegetarian and own a beloved pet pig. Our friends are worried that the pig head will offend them. How can our friends best break the news to their neighbors?

Not displaying the pig head is not a viable option. If others at the roast get an inkling that the pig head is of issue, they will surely (in their impishly inebriated state) make an even bigger issue of it.

Trying Not to Be Boarish in Virginia

Joe: What about disguising the pig head as Marie Antoinette and telling your neighbors you're having an early Bastille Day party? The rest of the guests will simply think it's some sort of Miss Piggy joke, and no one will be the wiser. It's a win-win . . . except for the pig.

Justin: Between the rigorous demands of tradition and the assured antics of drunken guests, it seems that compromise and consideration are going right out the window. If these are hard realities, then your friends must come to terms with the fact that they are choosing to be fun friends at the expense of being considerate neighbors. It's best that they inform the neighbors of the tradition early and in person. They also should understand that the best they can hope for is to be appreciated for the warning. (Offended sensibilities won't be assuaged by sweet talk.)

Of course, the really offensive thing is that your tradition keeps some truly choice bites (like the ears and cheeks) well away from your hungry guests. Moving the head back to the serving table would be a winning solution for everyone.

Dear Wise Guys:

My question is about where to buy shorts for men. And by "shorts" I mean SHORTS. They need to expose about half the thigh. Walk into any men's apparel store and all you see are garments reaching the knees or below. As if the summers aren't getting warmer every year. What's the matter with fashion designers? Haven't they heard about global warming?

In search of shorts, I've even tried kids' departments, hoping to find a pair for larger kids that will fit my waist size, but even those are waaay too long.

GK

Joe: Yeah, and while we're at it, let's bring back mullets, mock turtlenecks, Sansabelt pants and satin dress shirts. Along with these other style disasters, shorter shorts make the wearer look ridiculous and make the rest of us uncomfortable. Unless you're a tennis player (or European), your campaign to reintroduce them is inexcusable. Oh, and stay out of the kids' departments.

Justin: Actually, Joe, it's a law of men's fashion that short shorts are considered fashionable only if you are rocking a killer 'stache.

Joe: That explains the magical appeal of Officer Dangle from "Reno 911!"

Dan: Jim Dangle once tried to pick me up on the street in Georgetown. His thighs are sensational.

Joe: You can watch a video of Dan with the lieutenant here.

Dear Wise Guys:

Why don't NFL teams keep their team colors for life? I didn't like it when my Buffalo Bills changed from bright blue to dark blue. They suddenly looked like the Patriots (in terms of uniform, if not play). I've noticed lots of other teams changing their colors as well. What about tradition or even branding? Why change a color that people associate with your team?

Christine

Dan: The current uniform for the (our) Buffalo Bills is unfortunate, but at least it's not as bad as the Buffalo Sabres' uniform, which is an atrocity. (What is that logo supposed to be? A lunging hamster?)

Teams change their uniform colors and designs to sell jerseys. If there's a new look, you'll have new sales as people refashion their fandom. At least the Bills stayed in the same color palette (from royal blue to navy), instead of veering wildly like the Sabres, whose logos have gone from the iconic blue-and-gold swords to the ugly red-and-black buffalo head and back to blue and gold and the aforementioned lunging hamster. Now I'm in a foul mood.

Joe: Speaking of foul, the green hats the Nats wore last week were particularly ugly. I know they were for a worthwhile environmental cause, but I'd rather have global warming than see those caps again.

Still, at least they weren't wearing shorts.

Have a question only the Three Wise Guys can answer? Send it to wiseguys@washpost.com and await their words of wise-dom.

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