My wife and I had our respective oats unsolicitedly served to us for a round of forcible feeling recently when we innocently stepped into Ralph Lauren's newly opened emporium, Rugby just down the road from us. Not to be confused with oily Mr.Lifshitz's other brands like Polo and the utterly ridiculous RRL (preppie ranchwear), Rugby seems to strive for some elusive middle ground between Abercrombie & Fitch and the implausbily cooler Fred Perry, albeit iced with an inexplicable jolly pirate patina. Curious, we entered the shop to find out more. With almost every garment on display emblazoned with a jaunty skull & crossbones, Rugby's merchandise immediately appealed to me (my fomer brother-in-law once described my wardrobe as an ill-considered marriage of Brooks Brothers and CBGB). While I'd sooner wear a Klansman's robes than willingly sport a textile branded with that shitty Polo jockey, I found the Rugby duds to be pretty damn snazzy.
The stuff was almost appealing enough for me to forgive the Lauren stigma and the ludicrous price tags. Or at least it was until my wife spoke to one of the sales representatives. Pushing our daughter's stroller through the cramped aisles, Peggy engaged a blindingly blonde girl all decked out in in Rugby's collegiate/pirate finery. "Well," sighed the sales-girl somewhat blithely, "Ralph Lauren Rugby is basically designed for a younger clientelle."
It was suddenly clear that we weren't exactly the target demographic. Zeppelin-sized hint taken, we somewhat incredulously made for the door, but not before I stopped to check out their "music bar". Front and center as you walk in, Rugby strives to appear youthful by hipping potential customers to fresh new music via a counter lined with headphones and compact discs. A nice theory, I suppose, but while we were exiting, I couldn't help noticing that alongside yawnsome indie-rock detritus like the Walkmen and the Shins sat albums by the Ramones, Blondie and even Electric by the Cult (and if anybody cares, my rapturous praise for this silly record is well in evidence here).. I wanted to turn around and confiscate the disc. If Rugby wants to appeal to acne-speckled NYU whistleheads and not bother with we square oldsters, THEN STOP PIMPING OUR GENERATION'S MUSIC!
Argh! Where my Geritol? You damn kids! Get off my lawn!