Off Kilter - the strange fashion revival of the AmeriKilt

Mike Farragher

I always turn up my nose at the made-in-China plastic green nonsense that they peddle at an Irish festival in favor rewarding unique Irish craftsmanship with my hard-earned cash. Last weekend was no exception. I was at the Dublin Irish festival and amazed by the number of punk rockers wearing the AmeriKilt.

As the name implies, this Pennsylvania company has modernized the traditional Scottish garment. Gone are the tartan patterns that broaden the size of your ass to the naked eye. In this model; the kilts come in colors you’d find at The Gap and they have a number of pockets to accommodate your gadgetry. Ingenious! The owner couldn’t have been nicer as I shook his hand and arrived at a price.

I ditched my board shorts on the spot and began my strut across the fairgrounds. I had heard that wearing a kilt gave new appreciation to the term “stiff breeze,” but wind was in short supply on this midsummer night. The thick, soupy Ohio air made everything hang a bit lower under the kilt--I mean, as low as an Irishman can go and you don’t have to remind me that this is not very low by some standards.

I made the mistake of drinking beer by the barrel and before long, I found myself at the trough in this wheeled bathroom trailer. I dropped my boxer briefs at the knees, lifted my new kilt, and began to relieve myself when a Scotsman wearing a tartan model came up beside me.

He wasn’t so much of a man as he was a grill of an eighteen wheeler with a watermelon for a head impaled on the hood ornament. His face was tomato red and his shirt was wet against his back after a round of Highland games. He towered over me and looked down as I balanced myself.

“That’s not underwear under that kilt, is it?” he snorted.

“Yeah, it’s my first time wearing one of these things.”

“That’s a nice vagina, luv. I can see it from here,” came the reply.

After a shiver and a shake, he finished up before I did and slapped me on the back as he left the trailer. With that, I made the decision to go commando if I was going to do this at all. I dropped my underwear on the floor and kicked it into a garbage can.

Within minutes, my thighs began to burn as they rubbed against one another (as well as other things not suitable to mention in a family paper). I was in such agony that when I spotted a white bottle of baby powder next to a woman changing her toddler’s diaper on the lawn, I thought I was seeing a mirage!

I crouched, straightened my back, and rocked back and forth with each step I took in a feeble attempt to separate my thighs. It was no use. It felt like I was peeling a layer of skin with each step. I quickly waddled over to her like a emperor penguin and asked---no, scratch that--I pleaded-- for a few handfuls of that powder. I cupped two mounds in my hand and wobbled over to the bathroom and let’s just say the cloud of white smoke you saw coming out of the port-a-john did not indicate the election of a new pope!

This provided huge relief and I regained both my composure and strut once more. Alas, the night became more humid and before long, the baby powder became a thick white paste and it was no match for the relentless friction. By the time I reached the car, the heat underneath had cooked so much of the cornstarched batter lining my legs that I was dropping funnel cake flakes out from under the kilt with each step.

I know the Scots get their knickers in a twist when you refer to a kilt as a skirt, but let’s be real. When you pull into a CVS wearing one and you are standing in the checkout line with a tube of Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder-Gel at 2AM, you can’t help but thinking that this is the most emasculating moment of your life.

I tore open the package with my teeth and lay on the hotel bed and applied the cream under the kilt. By now, my lower half is an angry red hue with more bumps than a page of braille.

I was feeling a bit better after applying the Monistat on the second day. Walking was not as painful and the breeze delivered on the kilt’s promise of more chills and thrills, so to speak. I had regained my mojo!

Fortified by this new confidence, I took the risky step of leaving the comfort of the festival grounds, where everyone was wearing a kilt, and running through airport security, where no one else was wearing one.

I was thinking of a quote I recently read from Glenn O’Brien’s brilliant new book, How to Be a Man: a Guide To Style and Behavior for The Modern Gentleman.

“Who looks stupid? The wallflower who just sits there, afraid of action, or the guy who’s good to go, even if sometimes half-cocked? The man of action might make a mistake, but sometimes it’s better to do it wrong than do nothing at all. Even if a man of action screws up, it’s harder to notice because his velocity makes him a little blurry.”

I found that when I was self-conscious about walking around in a kilt, trying to be as blurry as possible while the heat of mocking eyes staring at me proved too much to bear.

In times like this, you have to ask yourself: What would GaGa do? I found that when I stared down a guy with a look on my face that said, “where’s your sense of style, b*tch?” the kilt made sense. It taught me that whatever you wear, confidence is the best accessory! A flirty young cashier who whistled, winked and said, “nice legs, bro..rock that kilt!” didn’t hurt, either! Lady GaGa on her new album sings, “I’m on the right, track baby, I was born this way!” Indeed.

It’s the last gasp of summer and time is running out for you to make a statement. Let more insecure men have their board shorts, which cover everything above the knee. Scoff at the Eurotrash freaks that parade around in their Speedo banana hammocks. If a bully kicks sand in your face, you can moon him right back without having to drop your drawers! Lift up the kilt and tell hem where he and anyone else who thinks you think funny in a kilt can kiss!

If you want to be an Irish man of style, the kilt is the only way to go on the beach!! What they say is true: it takes a tough man to wear a kilt. If you think you have what it takes, log onto AmeriKilt.com.

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