Mottos, Slogans, and Pants
Some time back, I bought a pair of corduroy pants. I’ve always kind of enjoyed the feel and look of corduroys. One of the most “famous” pictures of me in my now long photographic history, is one of me as a pre-schooler in corduroys with suspenders.
If I remember right (I often give a memory disclaimer now), I had just been to the doctor for shots. My mom rewarded me for being a “good boy” by taking me to the photographer. What a reward, huh? What ever happened to ice cream? (I actually think I got that too.)
I once had a pair of corduroys which were a stove pipe leg style with alternating black and white, wide, stripey wales. That was when I was in a rock’n’roll band called “The Coachmen” during my high school days.
Along with the corduroys, we wore ruffled shirts, black vests and Beatle boots. Paul Revere and The Raiders were popular at that time of the ’60’s and we were kind of imitating that look as many bands did back then.
Because of that, it was extra fun for me to see the tribute, “descendant” band “Paul Revere’s Raiders” at the Scandanavian Festival in Ephraim on Memorial Day weekend. One of my original “Coachmen” band buddies and his entourage made the trip from Salt Lake for the event.
And yes, it was me, who dragged my wife up front. We were the first ones up when the band invited people to dance and played “Little Latin Lupe Lu.” Doing that dancing may be a contributor as to why I’m limping these days and had my knee e-rayed last week. (results still pending)
But all of this, while semi-interesting, to the most bored readers, is beside my point for this piece. Sorry, you know me; I get easily distracted.
So, meanwhile, back at the pants. As I was pulling on my most recently purchased corduroys, I noticed a label of a type that I don’t remember seeing before. (This is just what you want to hear about, right? — me putting on my pants?)
Anyway, there was a label on the inside of the pants which read: “Savane: Because It’s Your Time.” It was the brand name with a motto or slogan inside the pants.
So I thought to myself, “Umm — yeah, It is my time…to wear pants. What a strange motto in a strange place.” (Does this mean that when I’m not wearing pants, that it isn’t “my time?” I beg to differ.)
I’m not aware of too many pants makers who put mottos inside their pants. I do know that on the inner fly of some Lucky brand jeans it used to say, “Lucky You.” I’ll let you think about that one on your own time.
Of course, mottos and slogans have their place in our world. Some make good sense. It’s usually the old-fashioned ones that fall into this category.
One of the most recognized mottos in America is that of the Boy Scouts. “Be Prepared.” That sounds good and it fits for the organization. But perhaps, “Because It’s Your Time” or “Lucky You” would work as well for the scouts.
Traditional mottos and slogans seem to have longevity. Those of us who are a little older all remember “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand” (for M & Ms) and “Good to the Last Drop” (for Maxwell House coffee). New fangled mottos don’t seem to have the same pizzazz and seem to be more about the selfish desires of the customer rather than promotion of the product.
I know of a company with a presence in Sanpete County which had for a time the motto, “The Customer is our Destiny.” That’s quite a lofty concept and should make a customer feel like deity. Under this hypothesis, the sole purpose of life for this company is to placate, accommodate and otherwise satisfy the customer.
An annoying slogan (to me) that is playing a lot on TV right now is one for Smith’s Markets. They’re using cartoon’ish characters prancing around the store checking the food. The slogan is that their food is “Fresher than Fresh.” (They also say that their “deals are lower than low.”)
What does that mean – fresher than fresh? To me food is fresh or it’s not fresh. There’s no such thing as fresher than fresh.
Literally, I would think, fresher than fresh, would have to mean green bananas, instead of yellow ones. It would mean that you’re drinking warm milk just squeezed from a Holstein cow. It could mean Hostess Twinkies two months old or less (which I love). I think you get my point.
Some people adopt personal mottos for their lives. Lester Holt says “Please take care of yourself… and each other” at the end of each NBC Nightly News broadcast. Dan Rather used to have the single word “courage” as a motto of sorts. At the end of each newscast he’d simply say, “Courage.”
I’m working on a personal motto. I’ll let you know when I have it finalized. A one word possibility is: “Survive.” I’ve sometimes used, “Fake it, ’til you make it” as a motto. A friend had the motto: “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” That would be a fitting motto for my life as well.
You might want to formulate a motto or slogan for your life. A personal motto may be helpful and motivating. If you need some ideas, just pay attention when you put on your pants in the morning. —Merrill