DIANE MAKAR MURPHY A &amp; amp;F doesn't need my help in losing its shirt
I own Abercrombie & amp; Fitch stock. (You know Abercrombie & amp; Fitch. It's that store in the mall adorned with posters of fabulous looking, fit, young people with blazingly white teeth, tastefully posed half-nude on yachts and beaches. Yeah, that's the one.)
I tell you this because the fact I own stock in A & amp;F should have been a good predictor of recent events.
You see, I am the Typhoid Mary of the stock market. I bought Microsoft minutes before it was accused of being a monopoly. I bought stock in WIC, a do-it-yourself company you've never heard of, because it went bankrupt.
In fact, any stock or mutual fund that I buy is certain to plummet. It is less likely for me to pick a winner than for Louis Rukeyser to get a tan. But, anyway, back to A & amp;F.
The company hasn't been doing too well as it is, but now, with a run-in with some Asian Americans, A & amp;F is about to take the Murphy plummet.
The truth is, some shortsighted civil rights advocates (ooooh, yuck) failed to appreciate A & amp;F's new "bigot" line of clothing.
In case you missed the news item, these critics forced A & amp;F to yank from their racks the gem of the genre -- T-shirts with slant-eyed Asian caricatures in pointy hats holding a sign that read, "Wong Brothers Laundry -- Two Wongs Make It White."
Now, really. Who would that offend? Ask any neo-Nazi -- THAT'S CUTE!!
Before the melee, A & amp;F had planned to put the shirts next to their new "Yes, massah" underwear and the upcoming "How many ________s does it take to change a light bulb" swim trunks. (I put in a blank because the board of directors is still trying to decide between "Poles" or "Hungarians." One vice president is holding out for mocking the mentally disabled, so a real battle seems to be brewing.)
More surefire insults
Also in the works is a new A & amp;F "blaspheme" line featuring cartoons of Buddha in pleated shorts, with six-pack abs, surrounded by four beautiful young women. The logo reads, "If only Confucius knew what he was missing -- Abercrombie & amp; Fitch."
In the same series, the prophet Mohammed is portrayed meditating while evil American youth smile, laugh and look fit around him. No one is quite sure WHO that is meant to offend, but Mohammed does look rather unhappy.
Then, of course, A & amp;F has hopes of riling followers of the Judeo-Christian tradition so no one feels left out. Cargo pants with the initials WWJB (what would Jesus buy) embroidered along the front pocket are hoped to solicit the reply -- Abercrombie & amp; Fitch for $80.
They're already floating a video in stores in select markets with the actor Ted Neely as Jesus skiing with a Judas look-alike and one with Moses parting the waters on the Outer Banks.
Par for the course
Hey, if anybody can pull this off, A & amp;F can. My son has been buying jeans that look like they were towed behind a pickup truck for a couple of years now.
His last purchase (most of which he pays for himself) caused him this dilemma: Select the worn-out jeans WITH or WITHOUT the hole. The ones with the hole cost $65, so he opted for the plain worn-out jeans at just $50.
So, I'm thinking, why not sell bigoted clothing to our youth along with overpriced, filthy-looking clothing? Whatever sells, right? The bigot thing is pretty much in line with their image as it is. That is, of course, if you think of "the beautiful people" as an elitist group.
Anyway, if you don't feel too good about what A & amp;F is doing, don't worry too much about it. I haven't sold my stock in them yet. That being the case, their future isn't very rosy anyway.
So solly, A & amp;F. Maybe you've finally done something more offensive than make our kids crassly commercial.