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My outlet Dress Barn moo-moo

As I drove back to Duke after Thanksgiving on I-95, passing by the lush, bountiful and exciting scenery that constitutes the southeastern seaboard, I came to several glaring conclusions, pieced together partially from a sea of billboards—one being that I can’t really give a convincing lie when I attempt to describe a cesspool. And that the marketing director for the “Repent for the End of Times is Here,” “Thank the Lord for Jeb and George Bush” and the “Stay at Plantation Inn” with a Confederate flag flying overhead billboards must be commended with a tall latte and okra.

But my revelation came when an enormous specimen of a bovine woman and her Tar Heel son almost ran us off the road in her “God Bless the USA” and “Go Carolina” SUV. For lack of a better name for it, we will call her Peggy Ann Sue. Shaken but unscathed, I asked myself since when did Peggy Ann Sue need that SUV that engulfs three whole lanes, consumes as much petrol as a developing nation in the span of a mile and has its own zip code, one that is probably shared with her ass?

I mean, I know the poor thing needed a place to put her NASCAR and W ’04 sticker. I just always figured she couldn’t fit them onto her parachute of a “moo-moo” that she wears everyday when she treks between her revival tent meetings and the Dress Barn Outlet. Thankfully, however, she did somehow find a perfect sanctuary for her excessive gaudy gas-station-esque American flag trinkets that adorned the inside of her tank. Doesn’t using the flag in such excess, in all the ways the flag’s been contorted and mass-produced, have the same effect as foreign protestors on television burning it and thus negating your “God Bless the USA” pin sticker?

Excess, much like the Dress Barn for Ms. Bovine, has become our new idol. Maybe not the greatest epiphany ever stumbled upon in recent years, but is this excess necessarily a bad thing? Most of us wouldn’t be here at Duke if it weren’t the result of some degree of excess. Yet, excess now manifests itself in more subtle, discrete forms, such as the previous example. So much so, that we for the most part don’t even notice it. And all the methods we have used to target and place self-imposed limits on this excess are not able to find it.

Miss Bovine Sue is just an example of a growing number of more visible victims. I don’t believe that people yield to this excess as a means to reach happiness and a flourishing life. This excess is similar to all those times you just ate a bag of chips just for the sake of doing a mind-less action. That’s all I did for 15 hours of driving. As I inhaled the very last carb-free Doritos chips, I looked at my reflection in the rear of the Bovine’s SUV. I was no more the monster than she was.

I suppose we all have a tiny Bovine-Outlet-Dress-Barn-Moo-Moo in all of us. We just need to remember to put her brakes on every so often. As she sped off, I noticed one last thing: her Carolina A&F boy-toy had not one, not two, but three pastel popped-collared shirts on. Don’t you think one popped-collared shirt was enough to get the point across? Put on another and another and another and yet another and don’t stop until his 15 layered popped collared shirt impresses the fine “Best-in-the-World Carolina Girls,” the only ones that can give any southern gentleman the vapors.

Scream all you can, Carolina sorority row, but the sheer pressure of such a gross concentration of prep and subtle A&F homoeroticism are too much for the laws of physics to handle. He collapses into a black hole of sheer prep, pulling in, like a massive vacuum, any decent morsel of Carolina girl. As their Southpoint French-manicured hands hold on for dear life, a howling chorus of “Best in the Worlddddddd……!” echoes across sorority row, as they are tossed about, flung through the air and sucked into their doom. What might lie at the other end of this cosmic void? Can’t really say for sure, but my guess is probably two words: Dress Barn . . . Or moo-moos, either one really.

Charles Gomez is a Pratt senior.

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