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A break from the real world

So it has come to this: There will be no more Big & Tall shopping.

In a move announced last week, the Casual Male catalog recently dropped its "Big & Tall" designation for an "XL" section. "XL" is, apparently, more pleasing to the ear. It doesn't come with the "Big & Tall" stigma.

I freely admit it: I'm fluffy. Big boned. Festively plump. A chunk off the old block.

But strip all the euphemisms away, and I am completely comfortable with this fact: I'm fat. I qualify for the big part, but am a few inches short on the tall section.

One consultant called it like this: Larger men don't mind being called "big" or "tall," but big and tall" is just took much.


It's not like the stores are called "Huge & Fat." Or "Oh my God, look at that!" Or "Tents for Tubbies."

I've got a friend who is 6-foot-4, 300-or-so pounds - depending on if there was a McDonalds between his job and his home. He's big. He's tall. He's big and tall, by God. XL doesn't come close. XXL may or may not get the job done.

Which may lead to a marketing suggestion of my own.

Not Big & Tall. Not XL.

Let's call it Triple-X.

Most guys would line up for the name alone.

I THOROUGHLY ENJOYED spending a few days last week with my toes in the sand at Tybee Island. I took a little time to fish, tour Fort Pulaski, read a few books and eat plenty of good food.

What I didn't do was crack open my laptop more than once. (I did run down to the Tybee library Friday morning to check my e-mail, but that was it.)

At the same time, I made an important decision about my future: the bulk of my future beach trips will be to Jekyll Island. Tybee has it's high points - including the Sundae Cafe, with its wonderful pistachio tuna and stuffed shrimp, but there are just too many people in too little space.

But I worry about the future of Jekyll, the little state-owned island that has always been the preferred vacation spot of my family. State officials are eyeing the 5,700 acres as an untapped resource. They've developed a local redevelopment plan, have big dreams of more condos and guest rooms and have already announced plans to rebuild a couple of the hotels.

(OK, so total demolition would improve several of the hotels there, but that's beside the point.)

So far, those pushing the changes say they'll maintain the mandated 65-35 split on the island: 65 percent of the island must be maintained as undeveloped property. Right now, only 30 percent is developed.

That leaves 5 percent for new future development, and limitless possibilities for re-development. Still, anytime there's a bureaucrat - or a board of bureaucrats - in charge of development dollars, I get concerned.

Maybe someone should keep an eye on things, just in case.

Sounds like a job for Mirror Man. But it'll have to wait until his next vacation.

Web posted on Thursday, June 29, 2006

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