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Kathy's Korner Stories

The return of 'The Rhinos!'

Lurking in the deep, dark depths of our closet, a familiar article of clothing recently re-appeared after a long sabbatical. (But not long enough for me!)
I, for one, was less than thrilled when, on a recent day, what to my wondering eyes appeared? Mr. Outdoors wearing his beloved “rhino pants!”
At this moment, I can picture your knotted eyebrows and a look of confusion sweeping across your face. WHAT are rhino pants,” say you!”
Let me take you on a memory-lane stroll to 40+ years ago!
It was a cold winter’s night back in the 70’s when The Outdoors Guy first donned his possibly trend-setting version of what we call lounge pants. Loungers today are sleek and body-hugging, nothing like Bob’s rhinos!! These antiquated beauties are an ugly gray. They are puffy, quilted and look like…well…a rhinoceros!!
The first time I laid eyes on them I asked him why he wanted to wear something that made him look 30 pounds heavier than what he was. He gave me the old standard answer, “Because they’re comfortable!”
“They’re the ugliest things I’ve ever seen,” I squealed,”and I’m going to call them “rhino pants!’”
Those crazy pants have hung out in our closets and haunted my dreams in every home we’ve lived in. They’ re like a bad penny that keeps turning up!
When our oldest, Jon, was about three years old, Mr. Outdoors was giving him a bath while wearing his “rhinos.” I peeked in to check on the guys just in time to witness Bob sliding from the side of the tub into it with a splashdown equivalent to rides at a water park!! There was more water surrounding the tub than in it! Seeing the look on his and Jon’s faces? PRICELESS!! I was laughing so hard I nearly fell in with them! The rhinos should have come with a warning label, “Slippery when wet!”
As the years passed, Jon no longer remembered the actual splashdown, but he heard the story often enough that he was more than willing to get in on the big tease, too. Whenever Bob donned those pants, Jon warned me, “Mom, Dad’s got his rhinos on again!” Let the teasing begin!
Even after Evan was born (when Jon was 16), the rhinos continued to show up sporadically, although they were not allowed when it was Evan’s bath time!! Ev loved hearing “The Splashdown” story almost as much as we enjoyed telling it!
Wouldn’t you think the rhinos would have eventually worn out? Nope! They’re like rhinoceros skin…impervious to the elements! Even washing them is like trying to dunk an inner tube!
For a number of years I didn’t see those ugly pants. Out of sight, out of mind. Bob was apparently doing a good job hiding them among all of his camo!
Sooo, the other day he said, “Scooter, look at this!”
I turned to see him modeling his beloved rhinos.
“Oh, nooo! Where did you resurrect the crazy rhinos from?”
“I’ve had them, but they were too small. Since I’ve lost so much weight, I can wear them again,” he said as he proudly turned around to model them for me.
“Those things are older than the hills,” I complained.
“Secretly, you love ‘em,” he shot back at me with a devilish grin.
The rhinos I LOATHE! But, I have to admit, because of the teasing, they are one of those things I absolutely love to hate!!!

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