On the Assfulness of Chaps | Buzz Blog

On the Assfulness of Chaps

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I've been a fan of Cockeyed.com (not a porn site) for years. Rob Cockerham's empirical experiments are occasionally useful and always entertaining. ---(For instance: Ever wonder about the keg-to-guest ratio at a beer party? Or how legit those cash-for-gold commercials are?)

Somewhere along the line, Cockerham also began documenting a series of pranks, mainly involving the placement of unauthorized signage in public and/or commercial spaces. Cockerham and his cohorts are not terrorists; the pranks are more daring than dangerous. He doesn't seem to have any particular axe to grind. To me, the pranks seem designed to harmlessly deflate the pomposity of corporate culture -- or maybe just to amuse random people.

His latest -- "The Costco Prank" -- involved the placement of ersatz shelf-tags at discount warehouse stores throughout the U.S. Tags included "VINYL DUNGEON RESTRAINT SYSTEM - $164.99" and "CANINE/FELINE PACEMAKER KIT - $319.99." That sort of thing.

The one that caught my attention, though, was this: "POLO CHAPS ASSLESS - $119.99." Not that I'm particularly into Polo gear, it's just that it brings up one of my pet peeves: Namely, all chaps are assless.

I understand that the term "assless chaps" is humorous and evocative, and it conjures up images of gay men in harnesses and boots with their buttcheeks hanging out. And that's fine with me -- all in good fun.

The only problem I have with the term is that it's fucking redundant. There are no such things as leather chaps that cover your ass. If they did so, they'd be known as "pants."

Typically, biker chaps are worn over Levis, whereas cowboy chaps are worn over Wranglers. The only time they're worn sans trou is at private sex parties, or maybe at those leather bars in cities that are so big you can wear whatever you want without fear of getting ticketed.

Saying "assless chaps" is like saying "sleeveless tanktop" or "brainless teabagger." Chaps are de facto assless; to use the qualifier is to reveal oneself as clueless with regard to queer leather culture.

And, well, maybe that's the point. After all, there are many reasons a straight person might wish to feign utter unfamiliarity with queer leather culture.

But that doesn't mean I have to like it.

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