Thursday, April 28, 2011

Don't Tag Me Bro!

The other day I was trying to pay attention to an old episode of House but my enjoyment was impeded by a disturbance around my second vertebrae. It was like a scratchy, sweeping whispery fickle tickle that came and went with every breath. I thought, What the hell? How can one square inch of what? nylon satin, or cotton satin or maybe even hemp in some cases or stiff paper nylon or whatever devilish material they find for these tiny tortures cause so much annoyance?
I wrung off the sweater and tried to rip out the tag. It didn’t budge. The tag was constructed like the tape with threads running through it that delivery companies put on their packages to withstand the vicissitudes of travel.
Socks don’t have labels. They have stamped or embroidered logos to tell us who made them and then to use our ankles to advertise.
A couple of years ago Hanes stared advertising the fact that they were now stamping their logo on their underwear so we wouldn’t have to be irritated by the tag. Their commercial showed people jumping for joy because – hey! no annoying tags. For some reason the manufacturer was playful with the graphics and stamped their name at an angle in red. That lopsided presentation made the formerly reliable Hanes product look worrisome as if rebellious third world workers had decided to stick it to the man. I personally hate the Fruit of the Loom tags. They pucker in the wash and quadruple their edges and then proceed to torture you in a way that would appall the international human rights organization.
Banana Republic’s tags are made of heavy satin and stitched on both ends
Tags that are sewn at the top and them left to dangle will turn into soft erratic missiles at first washing. The ones that are sewn at each side are okay until one side unravels. Not only does the tag dangle lopsidedly but it MOLESTS an unreachable part of your back that you can’t quite reach.
I once had a sweater I loved but the tag was a rebel and always popped out of the neck. People, strangers, were constantly folding it in. I am short so everyone could see the tag and felt it was all right to reach into my warm lower neck and tuck back the errant tag that, of course, popped right out again with the first walk across the room.
I could have sewn the tag down if I had found that particular color thread that was the precise shade of Martha Stewart’s sage green paint but was never made as thread.
My favorite cardigan is made by American Knitwear and the tag is satin, sewn horizontally and potentially innocuous were it not that they added washing instructions on a nearby clumsily attached tag that says: machine wash, warm separately, gentle cycle, do not use bleach. If I’m wearing a crew neck tee (with it’s own tag) underneath the cardigan and I know I’m going to be dealing with three, possibly four tag problems all day, I just take a tranquilizer in the morning.
Some tags attach on the side seam at about the height of your hips. You don’t find these tags until you ruin the item in the washing machine and then discover the tag that says, hand wash in cool water.
I bought a pack of eighteen washcloths that they sell at Wal-Mart for 3.99. You wouldn’t think washcloths needed washing instructions. Their function is to be wet. My Wal Mart washcloths have a tag that reads like a small novel. It states the fabric in both English and Pakistani. AlGodon must mean “all cotton” in Pakistani. Then it says Ve el reverse para el cuidado. That sounds like Spanish. On the reverse side is War and Peace. It goes like this: Machine wash warm. Tumble dry medium. Do not bleach. Wash dark colors separately.
Lavar en col
Secar en secador
Col baio extendido
No usar Cloro
Lavar los colores oscurios por separados
It sounds like some lazy translator decided he would sound linguistic if he just left the last letter off everything.
That’s the kind of “cover all bases” instructions that I used to give to the babysitter when I was going out for ten minutes. . i.e. If by chance they swallow and entire bottle of vitamins, here’s the number for Poison Control and if they fall off the Jump-A-Leen or put the drapes on fire or climb into the dryer……..
I wish I could talk like that tag.
I wis I cou tal lik tha. Don tag me bro. Than yo.


  1. Your title sent me scurrying to this blog in a panic, ready to shout "No! Don't do it to yourself." Tag only exists for me now in the context of tagging Amazon books, so I wandered over ready to convince you that, no, you want to be tagged! Really have to re-train my brain to be less writer-centric.

  2. Thanks, Lisa. Yeah, I see what you mean. You can tag me any time.

  3. I thought the same as Lisa!

    Funny how language is evolving. Nouns becoming verbs every day.

    And I do HATE tags.

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    on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself?
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