Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Columns

March 5, 2013

John Cannon: 5,000 watches for the price of one: 03/06/13

ASHLAND — Among a number of costly things former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. admitted to purchasing with the approximately $750,000 in campaign contributions he confessed to misusing was a $43,000 gold-plated Rolex watch.

Well, I have news for the disgraced former representative: Based on what I paid for the watch I am wearing, I could purchase more than 5,000 watches for less than what he paid for his one Rolex. And I am willing to wager the watch in which he paid just slightly less to buy than what I paid to purchase my current residence in 1979 does not tell time any more accurately than my $8 watch.

And if I question the accuracy of the time on my watch, I can simply dig the cellphone out of my pocket and get the time there. Since that time comes from cyberspace, it is never wrong. In fact, I have several male friends and co-workers who no longer wear watches. They simply look at their cellphones when they want to know the time.

I could do that, too. However, I am an old guy who has spent more than 60 years looking at my left wrist when I needed to know the time. Unless I can figure out a way to attach my cellphone to my wrist, I will continue to wear a watch. I just won’t pay more than 10 bucks for one.

Jesse Jackson Jr. also should know how much safer it is to wear a watch like I have than it is to wear a Rolex. If you are wearing a $43,000 watch, you are telling the world that you are loaded. Chances are the man wearing a Rolex also is wearing a silk shirt that would make Jay Gatsby envious, a suit costing several thousand dollars and shoes I would have to take out a home equity loan to purchase.

When you go out dressed like that, you are just asking to be mugged by some desperate thug looking for some quick cash for his next fix. You are making yourself the envy of poor slobs who bought their outfits at the Salvation Army. Envy breeds contempt and contempt breeds hatred.

On the other hand, if you are wearing an $8 watch, no self-respecting mugger is going to bother you. After all, the chances are the only thing you have in your pocket is few dollars and keys to a station wagon with infant car seat in the back seat. You can’t pick up chicks driving a car like that. Why risk a prison sentence mugging someone who probably does not have any more money on him than you do?

Many years ago, I read a story about a prostitution ring known as the Rolex Girls. They were so known because they only targeted men who were wearing Rolex watches, and when they got them behind closed doors, the Rolex Girls drugged their “johns” and stole their watches and other expensive jewelry, not to mention cash and credit cards.

If there was ever a similar group known as the Goodwill Girls who only targeted men wearing second-hand clothes, I have not heard of it. And why would there be? There’s no money in stealing from the poor.

I understand Jesse Jackson Jr. did not pay $43,000 for a Rolex because he needed to know the time. He did it to impress people.

Personally, I have never been impressed by people who try so hard to impress people. But of course, I choose the clothes I wear because they fit, not because they are the latest style. In fact, I confess I don’t even known what the latest style is. The last time I glanced at an issue of GQ I was bored stiff while sitting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office and Ronald Reagan was president.

I drive the car I drive because it gets great gas mileage and gets me from Point A to Point B. I don’t drive cars to impress others. In fact, I drove a car for more than four years in which the passenger’s side front door was smashed in and inoperable. But it got great gas mileage. I would probably still be driving that car if another vehicle had not hit it with such a force none of the four doors worked.

I’m like a lot of people in that I have one of those bodies that the less people notice it, the better off we all are. Therefore, I don’t wear clothes that look so great or so shabby they call attention to themselves. In a world of bright colors, stripes and silk shirts, I want to be the guy dressed in the plain brown wrapper. If anyone asks what John Cannon wore yesterday, I want people to say, “I have no earthly idea” or “Who cares!”

So you will never catch me wearing a Rolex, but if you need to know the time, I can give it to you. After all, the time is all I want from my watch.

JOHN CANNON can be reached at (606) 326-2649.

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