The stunningly bad grey fleece loon pullover was a great thrift store find but when we returned from our Iron Range shopping expedition I realized I made a horrible decision.
I’ve become very good at finding bad shirts. My closet is full of ugly sweaters, tacky t-shirts and ill-fitting Orlon. The collection could support a museum exhibit to lost fashion.
So when the loon shirt popped out of the Goodwill clothing rack in downtown Hibbing I knew I needed to make a purchase. It was really bad. The shirt boasted a red collar, cuffs and waistband. It had side pockets. A buttoned v-neck and both a front and back nature scene featuring the Minnesota state bird. It looked like something former governor Arne Carlson would spill coffee on while reading Time magazine in his den.
Except this loon shirt was clean.
Soon after falling in love with the fleece loon shirt I made another find: A teal-colored bowling shirt with the name “Bob” embroidered above the chest pocket. The back showed a logo for a business that operated bucket cranes. It was called Reachall. I tried the shirt on. It was a little tight. The retro label put it somewhere in the 70s. Here was another shirt I needed to own.
But then I came to my senses.
I’m already out shirt storage options. Buying two shirts was over doing it. I needed to make a decision: The loon shirt or the bowling shirt.
Both shirts were equally bad. Neither fit well and price was not a factor. The loon shirt was $8. The bowling shirt $5. I needed to find another reason to make the cut. I haven’t been bowling in years while I sit around and drink coffee on Saturdays quite often. The loon shirt would look great up at the cabin while I have no immediate plans visit Skyline Lanes. I decided to go with the loons.
After the two-hour drive back to Duluth, I was suddenly beset by “non-buyer’s remorse.” Something that often happens after a failure to purchase a shopping discovery.
Why the non-buyers remorse?
Because the shirt I left behind in Hibbing was BOB DYLAN’S bowling shirt.
Surely Bob likes to bowl. And when he bowls he prefers to bowl competitively, with friends and at his hometown bowling ally. No doubt, Bob bowled for the Reachall team sometime back in the 1970s, maybe before he recorded one of his most forgettable albums “Saved.” The album cover even features a hand in a bowler’s grip.
But like the fool that I am, I picked the loons over Bob Dylan.
Good thing it was only a shirt. I wouldn’t want to choose between their singing.