Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fur Is Not Your Friend . . . Or Maybe It Is

The fur is flying in Washington, D.C. this week, my friends. Hard to believe, especially since we've had lovely weather for the past few days. I met my friend PR Pete for lunch today, and as we were sitting in Farragut Square Park eating our lunches, a variety of fashion-challenged individuals walked by. I could spend hours -- days in fact -- talking about the sights we saw, but I'd like to focus specifically on our fine fur-covered friends who were prancing around the park today.

I know that you're hoping that my friend Fur Coat Lady put in an appearance, but FCL was nowhere in sight today. But don't worry . . . there were other optical treats that I hope to adequately describe for you here. One lady walked by, bundled up as if it was December, in an all off-white ensemble, capped off by a pair of fuzzy white Ugg-like boots with pom-pom's dangling off strings around the top. They were stunning. And silly.

But Fuzzy Boots Lady was nothing compared to another gentleman who was loose in the square. He was wearing what was quite obviously a ladies' coat. It was burgundy wool, slightly below the knee, and fitted through the waist. It had a large hood, trimmed in matching burgundy fur. I can't tell you just how fetching it was. But the best part of Burgundy Lady-Coat Man's ensemble was his attitude. He strutted around the square as if he owned it (heck, maybe he does) not the slightest bit self-conscious. His swagger was similar to that of J.J. Evans, and I half expected him to exclaim, "Dy-no-MITE!" as he marched around the park. But he didn't.

PRP and I had a good laugh over our lunchtime entertainment, but little did I know what I would learn later in the day. A news alert arrived in my inbox that rivaled a Saturday Night Live sketch. Apparently, a man in Front Royal, Va., is facing animal cruelty charges for . . . wait for it . . . killing, skinning, and wearing a guinea pig as a hat. His defense? He was well within the "hunter's code" because he killed it "humanely." Last I heard, you didn't have to actually hunt guinea pigs . . . unless by hunt, you mean go to PetSmart and buy one.

Mr. Woodson (that's his name), likened his guinea pig headgear to that of Davy Crockett.


Woodson says the hat was inspired by his admiration of Davy Crockett and that he bought the guinea pig specifically to make the headgear.

“Davy Crockett made a raccoon hat, and that was very popular and delightful and part of his American legend,” he said.

Mr. Woodson, unfortunately, is not a beloved American legend -- yet. His actions, of course, outraged the local guinea pig rescue organization (what, besides Mr. Woodson, do the guinea pigs need rescuing from, I'd like to know?), who disagreed with the hunter's "code" Woodson invoked.

"What this man did was not hunting,” she said. “We don't want people to think that it's OK to go to a pet store, buy a guinea pig, decapitate it, skin it and wear it on your head.”

So let that be a lesson to anyone out there looking for affordable, do-it-yourself fur hats, lay off the guinea pigs. And in case FCL is looking for a lighter, springtime wardrobe, would someone please give her a heads up about the hunter's code.

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