‘Camouflage for kitties. Er, cities.’
“I’d pass the stuffing, but I can’t see you,” I wise-cracked to a Young Relation at the Thanksgiving table this year.
He was wearing a teeshirt in a camouflage pattern, you see. (Or don’t see; hahaha.)
I get my sense of humor — and of the absurd — from my mother, who once famously remarked that she would have bought that set of camo sheets on sale at Target but she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to find her bed.
But back to the Relation in the camo shirt. His was the pattern that one wears while hunting. You know what that looks like; it’s that woodland/jungle pattern that’s not only on teeshirts, but on cargo shorts and leggings, raincoats and totes. Pretty much everything has been “camo’d,” including those sheets on sale at Target. In fact, I’m sticking my neck out and saying that camo print is the young version of animal print. Instead of leopard or zebra, the under-MediCare Fashionista slink around sporting U.S. Woodland or Desert. (See my “At Least it’s not a Dead-Squirrel Stole” for a riff on the Elegantly Mature and their penchant for animal prints.)
Incidentally, I asked the Relation — who in fact uses his camo for actual camouflage while deer hunting — about the inherent conflict in wearing camouflage clothing with a fluorescent vest, as hunters do. Wasn’t it counterproductive to work at blending in with the camo, then add that touch of blazing orange? Turns out that deer can’t see orange, he said. How do you know, I couldn’t help but wonder.
The other thing I wonder is why they haven’t come up with better camo for cities. See, the Ken & Barbie House is right across the street from the 69th Regiment Armory, and I often see National Guardsmen (and women) striding to and fro wearing camo. Which means they stick out like a sore thumb. If we were attacked, the Enemy would have absolutely no trouble spotting them. So, what is the point of the camo? Why not just dress them in, say, khaki? Or black jeans. Put the New York National Guard in black jeans — or black anything — and, boy would they ever blend in.
But if camo is really important — and I guess it is, since they have patterns for troops that replicate desert and snow as well as jungle and forest — then they should come up with a pattern that blends in with their urban environment — a bricks-and-mortar print, say. Maybe with a grafitti motif.
I’ll end with an explanation of the adorable photo at the top of this post. I had been calling and calling for Wombat so I could stick her in the dreaded cat carrier for the ride back to the City when I finally realized that she was right there — hiding in plain sight. Clever kitty. And those weren’t even “camo sheets.”
Amagansett, New York. January 2023