Goodbye, seersucker suit. Goodbye! Goodbye! Parting is such sweet sorrow.
You have served me well these past three months, but our time together is coming to an end. For every season, turn, turn, turn. And the season of seersucker is just about over.
Oh sure, I could wear you today. I could even wear you Monday. But if I were to put you on after that, I would risk the wrath of the fashion gods. To wear you after Labor Day -- or before Memorial Day -- well, it's just not done.
Of course, it hasn't always been easy wearing you, even here in Washington, a certified seersucker city.
"How's it going, Colonel Sanders?"
"Where's your mint julep?"
"Hey kid, get me an ice cream cone!"
These are just a few of the "humorous" comments we've had to endure together. But it's been worth it. Do you actually make me feel cooler? Is there something about your distinctive, puckered surface that allows heat to radiate outward? Or does it just seem cooler whenever I put you on?
It's something for me to contemplate next May. Now, though, it's time to zip you into your suit bag, put my Panama hat into its box and slide the shoe trees into my two-tone wingtips.
It's time for autumn.
A few weeks ago, I gave voice to a plea from a few readers: What is to be done with old trophies, which seem to pile up around the house? Our society has become so congratulatory that any kid with a pulse can be assured of having a mantel-full of trophies by the time he or she is 16.
Several readers said they'd had luck donating them to the Special Olympics, which gave them to young competitors. But none of the local Special Olympics offices we called wanted old trophies.
There were some creative suggestions. Rockville's Sue Pierce described the antics of her Uncle Bud.
"In his later years, he took an old trophy and attached it to the hood of his car," Sue said. "It made an excellent and very distinctive hood ornament. I believe that he had chosen a figure of a diving woman, which was most appropriate. Although I have never seen another one used this way, I was told that this was not an uncommon practice in some circles of retirees in Florida about 20 years ago. As an artist, I appreciate the panache of individuality, and heck, it sure would make your car easy to identify in the parking lot!"
Maura Comer of Lansdowne said that she and her siblings accumulated all sorts of sports and academic trophies when they were kids.
"My dad saved all of those awards for years in his basement until he had grandchildren," she wrote. "My parents had a pool and would give a medal or trophy to each grandchild who would swim his or her first lap on his own. I seem to remember him giving a medal to one of my boys for doing a good deed at their house. Those trophies and medals meant the world to my kids at the time. . . . If you can stand to keep them around in storage, those old trophies could make a difference to a child in your life."
So that's another idea: Foist them onto your parents.
And what if even they don't want them? Here's what Erin Devine, a professional organizer from Arlington, suggested:
1. Arrange all the trophies in a nice display, with perhaps the appropriate balls or sporting equipment as props.
2. Take a few photos.
3. Use a screwdriver to pry off the brass plates with the player's name or team name.
4. Keep the brass plates in a box as mementos, along with the photos.
5. Donate the now-anonymous trophies to a thrift store.
Said Erin: "I have found enthusiastic recipients at two charity thrift stores in my area. Single trophies are ideal for 'most improved,' 'coach's award,' etc., and new, personalized brass plates are easy and inexpensive to add."
Erin also had her own plea: that parents use whatever influence they have to stop what she called "the meaningless proliferation of trophies." Her ideas for alternatives to commemorate the season include an inexpensively framed team photo, a medal, a typed-up tribute to each player on the team, a team donation to a less-well-off team for uniforms and equipment or a used uniform or equipment drive to donate.
It's something to ponder, though Junior may not be quite so understanding. He wants an iPod.
(And while we're on the subject of recyclables, many readers pointed out that residents in the District may now recycle paperback books, despite what I wrote in my column.)
You Can Bank on It
The other day, Mark Sublette of Falls Church was on the phone with his bank. The employee on the other end signed off with her standard line: "Thank you for choosing Bank of America."
Mark said he was pretty sure he didn't choose Bank of America. He seems to remember being a Sovran customer at one time. But Sovran was bought by NationsBank. And NationsBank was bought by Bank of America.
"My druthers had nothing to do with it," Mark said.
Perhaps the customer-service script should be amended: "Thank you for being so lazy that you couldn't be bothered to switch during our endless succession of mergers."
Please choose to join your fellow readers for my weekly online chat, today at 1 p.m. Go to www.washingtonpost.com/liveonline.