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Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024
The Observer

The cargo shorts problem

I’ve thought about writing this letter for a long time. I waited, hoping that fashions would change and such a letter would be unnecessary — but that doesn’t seem to be happening. I’m not trying to insult anyone or infringe upon anyone’s rights. I’m just a Notre Dame student with a problem that only my classmates can solve: cargo shorts.Every year — though I long for the end of the cold, South Bend winter — I dread the arrival of spring on campus, not because of the regular thunderstorms and unpredictable weather, but because it signals the return of cargo shorts to our community. Everywhere I go, I am faced with young men wearing cargo shorts; I cannot escape them on the quads, in the dining halls or even in the sanctity of my own dorm. I dare not walk through Fitzpatrick Hall, for I know there the onslaught will be worst.Cargo shorts are undoubtedly a sign of the moral decay of modern society. No garment should contain that many pockets; I think back to the sage advice of my elders, who cautioned me, “Nothing good happens after five pockets.” Now, as I see these garments with seven, eight or even nine pockets, I can only wonder when society forgot this lesson.Some may argue that cargo shorts should be worn because of the utility of these extra pockets; I refuse to accept this argument. For every pocket on a pair of cargo shorts that can be used for good, there is also one that can be used for evil. Sure, these shorts allow for extra space to carry items like wallets, extra writing utensils and even snacks. However, they can just as easily be filled with nefarious items like vials of alcohol or even those newfangled electronic cigarettes.Applied physics should not even allow cargo shorts to exist. The human waist is simply not meant to hold up the amount of weight that can be carried in such a deceptively small amount of fabric. Oftentimes, when worn without a belt or other form of support, cargo shorts can be found sagging below the waist upon which they are intended to rest. Even when cargo shorts remain in their proper location due to some miracle of modern engineering, I cannot help but see them as a reminder of the hubris and folly of man. Cargo shorts serve as a distraction to the entire campus community. Students in a lecture hall cannot remain focused on the wise words of our professors when the hall is filled with the sound of a pocketful of change jingling somewhere in the room. I cannot even begin to count the number of times I have been talking to a friend of mine and our conversation has been broken up by a passerby ruining my day by walking by in such an offensive garment.I have tried to encourage my friends to give up their nasty addictions to cargo shorts. While many have realized the errors of their ways and no longer wear them, I cannot help but fear they still slip them on when I am not around. One student cannot be expected to tackle this problem all on his own; this is why I ask of you — no, I beg of you — to help me in my quest to make our campus a safe, cargo-short-free space. Think of your peers the next time you head to your local mall and see a fresh pair of tantalizing cargo shorts. Let us be the first to expunge these monstrosities from our wardrobes. You have every right to fill up extra pockets with random objects. But you also have every right not to. Thanks for reading my manifesto. Say no to cargo shorts.

Joe Orecchio


March 25

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.