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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 15, Issue 3 (June 1, 1940)

Slip-ons and Pull-overs

Slip-ons and Pull-overs.

But why does man continue to submit to the blight of the button? Isn't life sufficiently complex without beginning the day with a practice as arduous and exhausting as pushing pickled onions through a keyhole? It is all so unnecessarily heroic; and all he gets out of it is a reputation for amiability that would cause a hyena to blush and take up folk-dancing. Man submits to it because he lacks the courage to cut himself adrift from buttons. He fears that such an action might result in a come-down. But this is not necessarily so. We have a solution which is not a dissolution. We will probably have the button-makers, the liver pill merchants, the divorce lawyers and the psychoanalysts, who all batten on buttons, after us; but we're all for buttonless boys, elastic-sided lads, bonny breakfasts and clothes that cling. We know that there are many who will reply: “What was good enough to hold up dad's pants is good enough for mine.” Our answer is merely: “How pants the hart!” And, after all, the hart could have saved his pants without actually depanting if he could have had the advantage of our advice. We say that you can't slip up if you slip on; or, to be more explicit (for, after all, we are not actually advertising our idea) we advocate a combination of kilt and sailor suit. How easy to fling on a kilt and slip on a blue-jacket blouse. We submit that this would definitely take the “but” out of buttons, close the breakfast breach, cause little children to disbelieve the legend of the Hooded Horror, and practically solve the riddle of the universe. You might say that a man garbaged in such a manner wouldn't know whether he represented “Scots wa hae” or “Nelson's drum.” But what would it matter if he looked a bit ambiguous and amphibious? There are men walking about who probably look much better but feel much worse.

We are warned that to achieve full freedom we must burst our bonds. We go further and submit that to gain the full fruits of freedom we must “bust our buttons.”

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