Tuesday, February 22, 2011



On September 6th, 1972, my brother, the venerable and oft-referenced Angwart Schmidt Borlovsky, successfully broke free of the treacherous reign of his mother's womb. By an amazing coincidence, exactly 38 years later he, his family, and scores of unseen but undoubtedly present and famished mountain lions assembled themselves at a mountaintop villa to commemorate this most sacred of occasions.

That villa, of course, was the McHanslaw family cabin.

And those mountain lions, of course, are the ones that will eventually eat all of us, including but not limited to former journeyman NFL quarterback Steve DeBerg. We will all be sorely missed.


In my culture, the 38th birthday for a man is perhaps the most important of them all, as it signals the death of the final few shreds of a man's youthful dreams and ambitions, and the birth of a new era of reluctant yet all-encompassing acceptance of his current circumstances. Naturally, I would not allow this rite of passage to go by without bestowing a grand gift upon one of my dearest familial cohorts.

I found this Star Wars cooking apron online several months before his birthday, and ordered it almost immediately. After all, what better gift could a person give to a person who regularly grills and serves hamburgers to people at his house whilst all of them partake in a spirited game of some kind of wizard/dwarf-based fantasy garbage?

There is no answer to that question.

Unfortunately, I failed to recognize that this was a new product being offered by the official Star Wars shop, and as such would by default fall under the heading of "things George Lucas has created after 1983," and as such would also fall under the heading of "being a massive, steaming pile of poo that isn't worth any of your money, even if the theater comps you a free popcorn and sensual Swedish massage, and you happen to be in a wealthy neighborhood at the time so you could reasonably expect that the massage would actually be really nice and not just disturbing." Obviously, the warning signs were there. I should have known better.


This is the absurd quasi-garment that showed up at my house some 3 weeks later (great shipping speed, Mr. Lucas!). Note the overwhelming lack of attention to detail. Marvel at the totally unadjustable neckline, and woefully inadequate tying cords around the waistline - hardly big enough to house an average Deep Space Nine aficionado, let alone your standard hardcore Star Wars fanboy. And finally, allow your mind to imagine the saccharine sweetness of running your fingers across the fully-synthetic "fabric" (see: "recycled garbage bags") they chose to make this thing out of. Because hey, nothing says good 'ol American barbecuing like an apron that melts to fit the grillmaster's skin!

My initial impulse was to return the product, but Lucas' return policy would have been laughable if it weren't so infuriating. It's been a while so I don't remember all the details, but I do recall that I was responsible for paying return shipping on the product, and that it was going to take somewhere around a month and a half for me to actually get my money back. There may have been talk of a paper check being involved as well - as in, they weren't going to just transfer the money back onto the card I used to pay for it, but rather issue me a check for the cost of the product, minus the overpriced shipping charge they'd gouged me with when I initially bought this thing, and then physically mail that check to me, presumably utilizing a man on a horse for transit - but once again, my memory's a bit fuzzy on all this.

George Lucas clearly works for the Empire nowadays, that's all I'm getting at here.

Anyway, considering that my refund after required expenditures would have been about 84 American cents, I decided to just keep the thing (after swearing off ever buying anything from the Star Wars Shop ever again... boy, that sure was painful!) and modify it into something that was at least somewhat useful, so I headed down to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and picked up this legitimate, 100% cotton, devastatingly useful apron for about half the price of the piece of garbage Dr. Jar Jar Binks had slung at me:


Please take note of the adjustable neckline, and waist cords designed to wrap around a person who weighs more than 140lbs. Such a marvel of fabric engineering I'd never before seen!

I used some fabric glue and Mother McHanslaw's trusty sewing machine (my own machine had yet to manifest itself at this time) and affixed the crummy Lucas creation to the well-designed but unspectacular BB&B apron, and came out with this as my end product:


Improvement? Absolutely. Perfect? Far from it. In fact, this was one of my first sewing projects, so it is the very definition of "good from far, far from good" (uneven glue application, obtuse stitch lines galore, etc) but I busted my butt on making it (the useful apron required a few alterations to fit the size of the Star Wars one), so I had no reservations about giving it to him on that day.

The very next day, he turned 38 years and 1 day old. I gave him nothing.

Now, let us bear in mind that this project was finished a full 5 months ago, and I'm just getting around to writing about it now. Considering this fact, might it be reasonable to assume that I've finished several other projects over this time, but have just been too lazy to blather on about them for about 12 paragraphs more than is necessary? Why yes, yes it would be reasonable to assume that.

And hopefully my friends, I will soon get to the weighty job of tying a bow around all of these old projects by submitting them to the world of Rubbish, but I make no guarantees on that front. I've just been accepted to some sort of learning-school for humans, and I'm feverishly working towards a goal that seemed totally untouchable a mere 3 months ago (more on that later), so Rubbish time might further dwindle.

Only Time will tell. She's a filthy gossip.


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