Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Man Rules For Wearing Pink

I needed to buy some new casual shirts but I was perplexed to learn that all of the fashionable ones were called “polo” shirts.  I wasn’t planning to play any polo, why did I need a polo shirt?

Polo has to be one of the lamest sports of all time.  The horse does all the grunt work. All the player does is swing a mallet violently at a small ball.  It is dangerous too. You can fall off the horse at a high rate of speed, get whacked by a mallet or get hit by the ball.

So why was polo a popular activity?  Because it was so exclusionary.  For example:

“May I play in the polo match today sir?

“While sure you can young peasant.  Just go get your horse.”

“Why I don’t have a horse, sir.”

“Well, I guess you won’t be playing then.  But I have a splendid idea about how you can participate.  Here’s a shiny shovel.  When we stop to partake of refreshments, you may go clean the field for us.”

But polo did give us the polo shirt.

One day Reginald arrived for the match wearing a peculiar garment.

“Reginald what is that shirt you are wearing?”

“I did not want to get my fine linen shirt soiled during the match so I had my seamstress make me this shirt to wear while playing polo.  I have no idea what I will call it.”

So the “polo” shirt was born.  It was much later that commoners like me could have the thrill of wearing an actual polo shirt without having enough coin to actually play polo.

Therefore it was determined polo shirts are what I wanted and I started to search the sales flyers for possible purchases.  I was surprised to see a pink polo shirt advertised for men.  I have worn pink dress shirts for a long time. Some co-workers have questioned this choice and because of this I have developed a rule about men wearing pink: “Men can wear pink clothing above the belt.”  Pink dress shirts and ties, yes.  Pink belts, pants, socks and shoes, no. 

Of course this leads to the question: “What about pink underwear?”  Obviously this is never permissible, even if your girlfriend wants you to.  But this part of the rule is still in effect even if a pair of your whities gets misplaced in the laundry and comes out pick.  The contaminated shorts need to be discarded immediately.  You should not wear them ever again, your “boys” deserve better than that.

So I have lived by this rule for a long time, but now I was confronted for the first time by a pink polo.  The problem is that a dress shirt is inherently male clothing, but a polo is not.  It goes in the category of “ambidextrous” clothing that is bi-genderous.    

After careful consideration, I concluded that my rule was still in effect.  As a man, I could wear that polo nor make fun of guys who did. However, I decided I would not buy that particular shirt due to “fashion” factors.

Everything was fine until the next Sunday when I perused the sales flyers after a big meatloaf dinner.  There was another pink polo advertised, but this one had white horizontal stripes.

And it was probably the meatloaf talking, but as I stared at the flyer I thought:

And I would wear any polo shirt
I’d run right into Kohl’s and back
I would wear any polo shirt
I wouldn’t flinch and that’s a fact

But I’ll never accept how those stripes look right now, oh no, no way.
And I would wear any polo shirt
Oh I would wear any polo shirt
I would wear any polo shirt
But I won’t wear that
No I won’t wear that.

Therefore, I have amended my rule that pink shirts are still permitted provided they don’t have white stripes.  Guys should also be careful of wearing pastel polos that have white stripes. 

Some Closing Thoughts on Polo

Incredibly the game of polo is still being played today and it is still exclusionary.  There are not polo teams or polo leagues, but polo clubs.  Don’t have enough money to join the club?  No polo for you, peasant boy.  But I think that anyone still playing polo today is a bigger loser than Chris Bosh! (Hey I can't dis that other Miami Heat player because he was born in Akron as I was, so that makes him my geographical homie).

I would make serious improvements in the game of polo.  First, I would get rid of the horses.  Have the players run around the field to make it safer and improve the cardio workout.  Then you should get rid of the mallets since players would get hurt if they whacked on the ankles or other sensitive parts.  Maybe the players could just kick the ball.  But the ball is too small and hard to be kicked around.  So I will make the ball much larger and softer (inflatable perhaps).  Hey, I think I’m on to something.  I’m going to write some more rules and I’ll let you when I finish.  In the meantime, any suggestions for a name of this new sport would be greatly appreciated.


  1. Don, I have to say you're absolutely correct about the below the belt rule. Especially the underwear.

  2. Absolutely agree Andrew and Don. In New England, most guys have at least one pink dress shirt and a few pinkish ties (to go with blue shirts) if they wear business clothes. People on the left coast sometimes make snide comments, but then most of them haven't worn a tie since high school graduation or the last funeral they attended.