Sunday, June 9, 2013



One of the many pleasures of being an author is that I don’t have to wear a tie—subject to the rarest of occasions.

In truth, I loathe ties, and associate them with some form of oppression—where one is forced to wear the things for no better reason than to force you to conform. Also, particularly because I have a short neck, I find them exceedingly uncomfortable. Most men do—and you’ll notice that one of the first things that men do is to loosen or remove their ties,

In my younger years, I got into quite a number of fights and early on I learned—the hard way-- that to fight while wearing a tie merely invited your opponent to strangle you with it. And, let me tell you from first hand experience, it is no fun being strangled.

I am glad to say that Richard Branson agrees with me in the matter of ties. Let me quote him:

While out walking in London recently, I passed a group of uniformed schoolchildren moving in an orderly, single-file line, with teachers in front and rear.

Nothing unusual, except for one thing that made me laugh out loud: their identical school ties. Or more accurately, what was left of them. More than half the kids had cut their ties so that only three or four inches remained below the knot.

Intrigued, I asked the teacher who was bringing up the rear, “So what happened to the ties?”

He chuckled and said, “Well, the kids hate wearing them, but school rules say they have to. What the rules fail to specify, however, is how long they have to be -- so, snip-snip!”

Why didn’t I come up with such a naughtily
innovative solution when I went to school?

I have always hated ties, maybe because I’ve never seen the point. They are uncomfortable and serve no useful purpose. I am lucky to have always worked for myself, and therefore have never been a victim of corporate dress codes. For years, a sweater and corduroy trousers were my standard business attire. Someone once joked, “The day Richard shows up at the bank wearing a suit and tie, you’ll know that we are in serious trouble.”

Sir Richard Branson is a thoroughly likeable man, who not only speaks a great deal of sense, but has managed to make himself over $4 billion. My only connection with him is that a rather beautiful woman, that I was once very fond of, became one of the first air hostesses for Virgin Airlines.

No comments:

Post a Comment