Cargo Shorts

Durning the summer I wear shorts.  When it’s 105 degrees outside, you wear shorts and you turn your A/C setting up to bankruptcy.  Last month we had 10 consecutive days over 100 Fahrenheit. For those of you living in metric measuring countries that 37.7 degrees celsius.

For the literary minded, Fahrenheit 451, is the dystopian novel written by Ray Bradbury in 1953.  A little known fact is that 451 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which paper spontaneously bursts in to flame – hence the title of the book where fireman go around burning books.  Which, of course, has nothing to do with this post. It just something I think of when it gets hot.

Here in the desert, lots of people wear shorts in the summer.  In fact there are people here who wear shorts all year round – even when it’s below freezing (32 degrees for you Americans and 0 for most of the rest of the planet).  Personal I think this is because some people here are crazy.

I just want to say that I’m not crazy – although I’ve not had that confirmed by a medical professional – and I wear long pants in the winter, because it’s cold and I don’t like the cold nearly as much as I dislike the heat.  If it were my decision, the world wide weather control system would set the whole planet to nice 72 degrees with a gentle breeze in the afternoons.

Since there is no world wide weather control system, I restore to wear shorts in the summer.  No there was a time when I didn’t wear shorts because I didn’t want people to see my lily white hairy legs and because I was afraid of not buying the fashion correct shorts.  I’ve been able to adjust and adapt as I age and now don’t care what you think of me or what I wear.

Which brings me back to my shorts.  I like to wear cargo shorts.  You know the ones with lots of pockets.  When I work in my shop I like to carry my tools, screws, nails, bits of sand paper and the occasional water bottle in the many pockets of my pants.  It’s not convenient as most of the time I can’t remember where I’ve put what, but it’s an old habit that I’ve not broken.

Until velcro. Why, please tell me why, did the designers of cargo shorts decide to use velcro as a closure on the pocket flaps. 

Have you ever tried to put a screwdriver in your back pocket?  In a pair of jeans this is easy, but with a pocket flap closed with velcro, this is nearly impossible.  Seriously, try it.  Pick up a screwdriver, reach around to your back pocket and it is closed with the iron fist of velcro.  When you do manage to loosen your grip on the screwdriver enough to pry open the flap, it will promptly close when you shift your fingers to slide the tool in the pocket.  Velcro has this magical property where any two pieces of velcro within 2 inches (50.8 mm) of each other will fly together and stick with the power of industrial magnets. 

The only real way to get anything into a velcro enclose pocket is to use three hands.  Kind of inconvenient, awkward and possibly embarrassing if done in public.

Clearly, clothes designers don’t actually wear clothes.  If just one cargo short designer tried to put a screw driver in their back pockets, there would be a massive redesign and pocket flaps with velcro would be a thing of the past.

My wife has managed to find a brand of shorts that uses buttons instead of velcro.  A pair just arrived yesterday.

I’ll keep you updated on the screwdriver in the pocket testing.

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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35 Responses to Cargo Shorts

  1. Dave says:

    Cargo shorts sound like a nice compromise between tool belt (professionals) and one-tool-at-a-time (me). Would save several trips back/forth to the garage. As for Bradbury, I read he wrote Fahrenheit 451 in a single sitting, which is remarkable in itself. Never thought to wonder why he chose that title, so thanks for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cargo shorts are nice, but even with careful planning I always forget one or two tools. The pro’s almost always have everything in their bags. Bradbury was a talented writer.


  2. I have enough trouble finding my back pocket with the screwdriver in the first place. (Can’t find my… pocket… with both hands…?) My work jeans all have pockets in slightly different configurations: higher, lower, wider, narrower; so I usually perform a geeky ‘1 – 2 – 3 tries’ before successfully shoving anything into a back pocket. Velcro would just add insult to injury.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Debra says:

    You’ve brought some clothing complexities to the forefront that I have previously never once considered! Keep us posted on your progress. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Baydreamer says:

    I’m glad your wife found a new brand and 72 degrees sounds good to me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cargo shorts are my hubby’s preferred too – same reason and he hates the velcro also. My sister and brother-in-law in Arizona have been sweltering along with you – temps up to 123. Whew, WAY too hot for me. Back here in the balmy Northeast, it’s actually been a nice summer with low humidity (unusual) and mild temps, even chilly at night in the upper 50’s! Go figure. But I’ll take the kind of summer we’re having now all the time, thank you very much. You can keep your heat out there. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good point about the velcro. I hadn’t considered that but then, I don’t wear cargo shorts. At least, not anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yep. That is why I headed north for my latter years. From Chicago to Nova Scotia, Canada. Many of my Chicago friends’ reaction was sheer horror. “WHY????”, they would implore. “WHY would you do that to yourself?!?” My answer: “Because I hate humidity and heat and sweating more than cold. You can always ‘add layers’. Once you are down to the skin, your screwed.”

    I don’t know. There is something about being able to work at my desk without my forearms sticking to the top of it that holds charm for me. Or being able to sleep at night without the artificial “whirrrrr” of the a/c and dreaming of the electric meter spinning out of control like a propellor on an airplane.

    Yet – in BC this year, they hit 47.9 degrees for a while. (That’s 118,22 for those of you south of the border!) Here in Nova Scotia, I am almost embarrassed to say it has been pretty cool and pleasant. We are experiencing one of the coolest summers since I came here 16 years ago. (I’ll take it.)

    Shorts? You bet your bootie you need to wear them. Perhaps cut out the velcro and replace it with buttons yourself, if needed. (Do we ever ‘really’ need to button our shorts other than when we are doing cartwheels or riding amusement park rides with tools in the pockets?) Just a thought. . .

    Stay cool and keep that a/c humming . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s amazing how hot it got up north. I never would have expected that. I might just make a few modifications on my older shorts, but for many they’re worn out and need replacing anyway.


  8. jfwknifton says:

    The film of “Fahrenheit 451” is quite good.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That was so funny and thought provoking. Yet in contrast, it made me think of the desert people in Arabia and Africa who wear what is called “The thobe and the abaya”. Those are very comfortable to wear in extreme heat.
    They are often made of very lightweight material and are loosely fitted, which shields the body from the direct rays of the sun and allows for airflow.
    The head covering for men serves the same purpose, helping to keep men cool and protecting their head and neck from sunburn. I think exposing the skin to direct sun does not nessiraly protect you nor it shield you from the heat. Jeans are made from heavy material;therefore it is understandable that people in the West try to switch them with shorts. But the poor skin is left to defend for itself against the blazing rays of the sun.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. slpsharon says:

    How’d we get hotter? We hit 111°, Here’s hoping that heat bubble does not come back, though it might. We are now in the 80s. The Pacific Northwest has broken all records for both heat and drought for all recorded history.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pied Type says:

    I didn’t know that about 451 degrees. Thx for that interesting tidbit.
    At my age and weight, I don’t even own a pair of shorts. But I have resorted to rolling pants up to just below the knee. And complaining a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. We await your feedback with baited breath…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. davidprosser says:

    I bought some cargo shorts recently to cope with our 26C heatwave but found I needed arm extensions to reach the lower pockets. Can you get them from the third hand store?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. You made me laugh. Just wondering where you keep your third hand.
    Thanks for the smile.

    Liked by 1 person

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