Today, with relish, I sported shorts for the first time since November. I still smell kind of funny, and the relish left some unsightly stains. Tomorrow, I'll probably don a less sticky condiment.

Wearing shorts is like freeing your calves from the prison of jeans and khakis and, worse, suit pants. Coupling your shorts with Birkenstocks is to let your feet breathe after a long winter of suffocation by nasty Sears and JC Penny's socks that leave black residue between your toes and ugly, moist sock-patterns up and down the arch of your foot.

My favorite shorts are the kind they sell at American Eagle. I've been too old to shop at American Eagle for the past 10 years, but I go anyway. Like women, good shorts are hard to find, and when you find a good one you've got to hold on with both hands and both feet, as if you were a monkey. This tactic repelled some girls from me during my college years ("It's not me, it's you," they'd say. "It really makes me uncomfortable when you hold on to me with your hands and your feet while we're out with friends"), but Shannon likes that I have certain chimpanzee-like qualities. "I always wanted my own primate," she often coos.

So, back to American Eagle. They've got great shorts, but they also sell a lot of stuff I'm not that interested in. Like shirts that say really weird things on them, like "Biff's Hot Dog Stand: Established in 1986. I like dogs." And I guess 15 year-olds laugh at that. Actually, it is pretty funny. Come to think of it, I like American Eagle's shirts too.

But they have other stuff I'm not interested in, like employees with headsets. When I see an employee with a headset, it makes me think they don't really know anything. It's as if the manager knows this chick is incompetent, so he gives her a headset so she can ask questions without having to find her way around the store in search of someone smart. Because maybe if she has to go looking for someone smart, she'll get lost in all the clothesracks, like a little blonde mouse in a maze, nervously nibbling on the wall. So they give her a headset to avoid that awkward scenario, and save on the sheetrock siding.

I really like shorts.