You may have read that Roots Canada is using Wellington County, Ontario, locations as the backdrop for its Christmas season catalogue and that a visit to the County will be the grand prize in the company’s international scratch and win contest. Mayor Robert Quaiff used mostly superlatives, when he announced the relationship. “The ability to reach over one million people with a chance to visit Prince Edward County has a huge potential,” he states in a press release.
The County economic development people are enthusiastic, as well. They figure the Roots exposure will attract young adults, aged 18-to-35, with money to spend, either as visitors or as potential residents, although some of them might be slightly disappointed to find that our economic development tentacles don’t extend to preventing potential public school closures. If you’ve seen some hipster-clad fashion models posing around County landmarks recently, there is a logical explanation for it.
What hasn’t become public until now is that the County has also just landed another equally big marketing deal. I’ll give you a clue. The headquarters of the new partner is in Truro, Nova Scotia. All right and here’s a second clue. The company has a reputation for its combinations.
Now, I suspect that anyone over 60 years-of-age has figured the answer out already. That’s correct; the company is Stanfield’s. The company says of itself, “Stanfield’s takes pride in all its products and will always stand by our basic policy of ‘the best product at reasonable prices.’ Fashion forward and technologically advanced; Stanfield’s is a specialist in underwear products and has rightfully earned its reputation as ‘the Underwear Company’.” No wonder County officials are over the moon with excitement.
We showed a draft press release in which the mayor is reputed to say: “This additional partnership is an incredible opportunity for the County. It moves our dream, of repaving County Road 49, one-step closer to reality. It will bring all kinds of wonderful people to live in and visit the County. Someone has to keep the weekly bingo games and church suppers going.”
The project will be a real plus for Stanfield’s. “Right now, our website just features models shot from the neck down, wearing our combinations against a plain grey or white background. Just imagine how much more we could sell if we could show happy people frolicking on Wellington Beach in our long underwear,” said a spokesperson. Stanfield’s will also be doing its bit to promote the County: its newspaper advertisements will contain the mailing address of all the bus tour operators offering travel to the County. One lucky shopper will received a complementary Stanfield’s T-shirt.
The idea of featuring underwear models in County settings is not a new one. In the winter of 2014 and 2015, an attempt to photograph Victoria’s Secret models at Sandbanks Park, but abandoned. Apparently, some hard feelings emerged when the models discovered Outlet Beach was nowhere near an indoor shopping mall. The last of the frostbite lawsuits settled about six months ago, without any admission of liability on the part of the County, according to our sources. “We’re not worried about the exposure,” said one County official. “There’s a reason people wear combinations, and what better way to demonstrate that than having them shot outdoors in the County in November.”
It’s going to be opportunity time for County entrepreneurs as new visitors pour into town. Last week’s “Wellington Times” contained an advertisement from an about-to-be-opened laundromat. The owners obviously anticipate heightened demand for laundry shrinkage services to keep up with fashion trends among 18-to-35 year olds. Who knows what else might happen. Will a retail outlet specializing in digestive health products and targeting the 60-plus customer open up? Will Stanfield’s and Roots open pop up tables at the Wellington Farmers’ Market next year?
Admittedly, there will be some minor inconveniences with which to contend. For the first two weeks of November, during the Stanfield’s photography sessions, the Loyalist Parkway will be restricted to westbound traffic only, between Consecon and Bloomfield; as well, the Wellington Beach area closed to dogs. Pedestrians can use the beach, but should not to make eye contact with the long underwear models; they are here to do their job and get out with their dignity intact. There is also a rumour, unconfirmed at press time, that the audition for roles as subjects of the shoot is open to local residents. After all, who better to brave the winter cold than people who live here?
What a winning combination: Roots and Stanfield’s!
Some readers seem intent on nullifying the authority of David Simmonds. The critics are so intense; Simmonds is cast as more scoundrel than scamp. He is, in fact, a Canadian writer of much wit and wisdom. Simmonds writes strong prose, not infrequently laced with savage humour. He dissects, in a cheeky way, what some think sacrosanct. His wit refuses to allow the absurdities of life to move along, nicely, without comment. What Simmonds writes frightens some readers. He doesn't court the ineffectual. Those he scares off are the same ones that will not understand his writing. Satire is not for sissies. The wit of David Simmonds skewers societal vanities, the self-important and their follies as well as the madness of tyrants. He never targets the outcasts or the marginalised; when he goes for a jugular, its blood is blue. David Simmonds, by nurture, is a lawyer. By nature, he is a perceptive writer, with a gimlet eye, a superb folk singer, lyricist and composer. He believes quirkiness is universal; this is his focus and the base of his creativity. "If my humour hurts," says Simmonds,"it's after the stiletto comes out." He's an urban satirist on par with Mike Barnacle, the late Jimmy Breslin and Mike Rokyo and, increasingly, Dorothy Parker. He writes from and often about the village of Wellington, Ontario. Simmonds also writes for the Wellington "Times," in Wellington, Ontario.
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