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Friday, July 14, 2006

Smokey Briggs

Sage Views

By Smokey Briggs

The sex appeal
of my kilt

My lovely wife Laura, AKA She-who-must-be-obeyed, is not easy to embarrass. I point to nearly 15 years of marriage to me as proof.

As a matter of fact, it is one of the traits that so enamored me of her that I proposed marriage.

“Our song” is actually linked to this trait.

Our song, is AC/DC’s “All Night Long.” Now, neither one of us are big-time rock fans.

But, one night at a dance hall, early in our dating career, the band took a break and “All Night Long” was the first song in the piped-in music set.

“You want to dance?” I asked.

“What do you want to do?”

“Three step,” I answered without hesitation.

“Okay,” she said, and we were off.

Now, Tom T. Hall sung, “I Can’t Dance” for guys like me. Somehow, music and my body just do not go together. I dance like a bear wrestles - lots of energy, but rarely do I manage the same move twice.

A three-step was the only dance I knew how to do, other than a polka, and my musically challenged ear did not hear “1,2,3,1,2,3” in AC/DC’s beat.

Anyway, I figured any gal willing to three-step to “All Night Long” in public, with me, might be one to ride the river with.

So, her reaction the other day surprised me.

A few weeks back it arrived.

It, is my new kilt. No ordinary kilt is this. This one is patterned on the ancient kilts that wrapped about and then over the shoulder.

For hundreds or maybe thousands of years many of my forefathers lived their lives and fought their battles dressed in just such a garment.

Mine is an earthy plaid, and quite striking if I say so myself.

Why did I purchase such a garment?

Well, it started several years back. For the past four years the Rifle Club has sponsored, and I have competed in, the Run ’n Gun ’n the Sun. The Run is a six-mile course with four shooting ranges along the way. You run, shoot, run, shoot, until finished.

It is a lot of fun in a masochistic kind of way. We hold the event on Labor Day weekend.

In the first set of instructions I typed for it, I said something about gear being unlimited -“a loincloth and flip-flops were okay,” I think I said.

Then my idiot little brother came along and started running it. Anybody that knows Brendan knows that he thinks flip-flops are actually worthwhile shoes.

Last year he decided he would run this year’s Run in flip-flops. I said if he did I would run in a kilt to celebrate our heritage.

So, now I have a kilt.

When it arrived, I could not wait to get home, so I retreated to my office and donned my new garment.

My co-workers were noticeably impressed - almost completely silent. I think they were just overwhelmed by the sight.

I wore it home. SWMBO’s reaction was less quiet. I cannot quote what she said. The nicest thing she said was that it looked like I stole an afghan and was dumb enough to think it was a pair of pants. Her reaction puzzled me. She seemed truly mortified.

Now, I’m aging, and so I train for the Run ’n Gun. Training runs this time of year consist of six miles with a 30lb pack.

Not wanting any nasty surprises on game day, I donned my kilt for my most recent training run. A wardrobe malfunction in a kilt might be embarrassing, or even painful.

It was mid-afternoon, because if you are going to compete in the heat, you need to train in it.

Mom was putting the baby down for her nap and knew I was heading out, so I just whispered “Good Bye” from behind her recliner and tip-toed out of the house.

It was a good run. The wool kilt proved to be very breathable. As a matter of fact, it has it all over running shorts. When you get really hot, you can just hike your kilt up and the cooling effect is fantastic.

Might be rough on the spectators though. Luckily for the population, I run in the boonies so nobody felt the need to claw their own eyes out.

On my return, SWMBO was cooking. I staggered into the kitchen, and SWMBO looked up. Again, her reaction was different than I expected.

I’ve looked in the mirror. I know what a dashing figure I cut in a kilt, and by this point I was bare-chested and sweat was pouring off me, as heat stroke was not far step away. I was the picture of manly exertion.

“You did not go outside in public wearing THAT!” she asked/demanded. She looked a little pale too.

I just smiled and winked and stumbled toward the water faucet.

For the rest of the evening she seemed “standoffish” as I went about the evening in my kilt.

Her attitude was really beginning to worry me. Like I said, SWMBO rarely cares what the rest of the world thinks. This was odd.

Had I misjudged the character of my spouse? I was troubled.

Then I figured it out.

Like I said, I am quite the dashing Scotsman dressed in my kilt.

And it dawned on me - that was the problem. The sight of me in my kilt was obviously causing an animal-like reaction that she could barely control, and she was having to concentrate to control herself. She was concentrating so hard, she just was not her usual self. Later that night she confirmed my suspicion.

“I think you should only wear that thing after dark,” she said quietly from her recliner.

“I know what you’re getting at darling,” I said, and winked at her.

I cannot repeat what she said then. She must have been concentrating on self-control extra hard.

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