Putting on airs

Colin and I noticed something funny the other day. Constructions, which is—geez—a constant nuisance no matter where you live, is going on along the path we take to school. It’s also going on outside our apartment, and the jackhammers start at 7 a.m., but that’s not part of this story; it’s just obnoxious.

The guys sweeping the asphalt around were dressed as you would expect road workers to dress: boots, dirty jeans, sweaty T-shirts under bright orange safety vests, and hard hats. The guy driving the steamroller, however, had on khakis, a polo, and loafers like I bought Dad for Christmas several years back. It looked as though the construction team had plucked this guy off the street like a lucky winner and given him a hard hat and the keys.

After a hardy chuckle about it, Colin guessed it might have to do with the notion of displaying wealth or status. In our steamroller driver’s case, it would have to do with making sure everyone knew he was not a regular construction worker; he was qualified to drive the machinery. He was a step above and would wear clothing ill-suited for the job to show it.

It might also explain the middle-aged runners we see in the park inexplicably wearing slacks and polos. It’s as if they’re saying, “I’m running around this park because I’m told it’s good for me. My regular interests are not nearly so common as running.”

“I could drive around this park if I wanted,” I joked.

“I’m actually running to my car right now. It’s a Porsche—or didn’t you see my hat?” Colin continued.

Again, these were the musings of a couple of outsiders, and we clearly haven’t actually asked any of these runners why they opted to leave the track suit at home. I don’t know that anyone who reads this could weigh in on the matter, but it certainly would help clear up this rather baffling observation.


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