November 24th, 2010

Smoking Jackets

CloutierTimemachineCaricature1981-500Wide.png

Apropos of nothing in particular (other than that it came to hand unexpectedly a few weeks ago) I present a caricature of me by Chris Cloutier, a very talented artist/cartoonist who was a friend of mine in the 80s, during the peak of my involvement with the SF fan organization General Technics. The cartoon did me a service, because I thought I grew that slightly ridiculous foliage in 1983, but from the date it looks like I already had it in 1981.

I have never entirely understood smoking jackets, which are fragile, thin, very expensive silk robes used to keep your tobacco ashes from damaging or soiling whatever you had on underneath. As a lifetime nonsmoker I've never had that problem, admitting that I have burned holes in my polyester shirts by dropping molten solder gobs or occasionally red-hot lathe chips on them. I therefore wear a sort of retro-techie smoking jacket downstairs in my shop: It's a dark gray plaid mackinaw, and its job is to keep my other clothes from smoking. Works good, too.