I bought a braided bracelet for myself. Made of nautical cord. Navy and white. My wife’s favorite colors. Has a dangling brass anchor. Proudly proclaims “Made in the USA.” My father used to tell me that “USA” was a town in Japan. Said the town was named “USA” just to fool us into thinking the item was American- made. Not sure where Dad got that story because Breitbart and Fox News didn’t exist at the time. According to the outfit that sells the bracelets — Kiel James Patrick — the bracelets are handcrafted in Providence, R.I. Maybe even by Kiel himself.
As you probably surmised, the bracelets are nautical in theme. So nautical, you can smell the salt and feel the breeze whipping through your hair while standing on your yacht. I don’t own a yacht. I did once stand on the deck of a yacht, but I don’t think that counts. As I mentioned in a previous column (you do read all of them, don’t you?), I’m an old salt whose swimming pool activities revolve around three feet of water. If Kiel James Patrick knew about it, he would likely disqualify me from wearing his bracelet.
Kiel really pushes his nautical theme. The bracelets come with various nautical knots. My bracelet is advertised as having a “yacht knot.” Based on my limited experience with yachts, you’re probably wondering why I selected this particular brace- let. I’m not really sure. I guess I could’ve gone with the “Cape Knot Hitch” or “The Nantucket Lifeguard” (would that send the wrong message?) or even the one intriguingly called “Kennedy Compound” (might get me invited to one of their parties).
None of the bracelets bear the Trump name. Surprised me. The way the White House is tied up in knots, you’d think Kiel James Patrick could have come up with a doozy of a rope bracelet with an especially heavy brass anchor. Sticking with the nautical theme, some might say that President Trump is more albatross than anchor. This is the first White House that needs a compass to figure out the direction of their foreign policy. If President Trump were wearing one of these nautical bracelets, it would be called “The NATO Knot.” Without the K. The way the Trump Administration is sinking, they ought to be handing out life vests to his appointees. I understand that when you jump in the water wearing a Trump life vest, you automatically float toward Russia.
I shouldn’t make fun of my rope bracelet because it has become my big fashion statement. I was very impressed when I opened the box and found the packing slip had been personally signed with a greeting by one of Kiel James Patrick’s employees. I must admit I was personally tied in knots trying to figure out how to wear the brace- let. The rope bracelet does not come with a clasp.There’s just a small brass anchor on a braided rope with a small knot (the yacht knot?). I tried to put the bracelet on best I could. I knotted the bracelet around my wrist the best I could without any training as a Boy Scout. The result is a clump of rope around my wrist with a small dangling brass anchor. It tends to get caught in anything I’m handling. I get the feeling that Kiel Patrick James would be horrified.
The bracelet does have one big advantage — it’s a conversation piece. People ask me what it represents (besides my curious taste for knots and small brass anchors). I tell them it’s an award I received when I was 7 years old for saving a dolphin from getting caught in a fisherman’s net and be- ing served as the main entrée that night at a local seafood restaurant. The fact that my story doesn’t have an ounce of truth in it doesn’t bother me because, as a small-time member of the media, I’m depicted as not having scruples. If I’m going to be blamed for reporting “fake news,” then I may as well be the beneficiary. I realize I have no more right to wear a nautical bracelet than Jared Kushner does brokering a Middle East peace settlement. At least my credentials are stamped by Kiel James Patrick and not my father-in-law.
Figure it this way. I know folks who have never been near a boat who wear boat shoes. I don’t hear anyone complaining about those fakers. And let me tell you, I don’t care what anyone says, wearing boat shoes without socks might look cool, but you wind up with blisters on your feet every time. I’ll tell you a secret, I wear Peds footies with boat shoes and sneakers to avoid blisters. It’s not exactly cheating. It may be not exactly masculine, either. Wearing Peds footies is like Donald Trump claiming he has tapes of his conversation with James Comey. Peds footies can’t be seen, but they exist. Trump’s tapes can’t be heard because they don’t exist.
Here I am with boat shoes on my feet and a brass anchor hanging from my wrist. Maybe I should get a jaunty captain’s cap to complete my nautical ensemble. With a little practice, maybe I can compete in the America’s Cup race. With no practice at all, in the White House, I can try to steer the Ship of State.