As my Twitter friends already know, I met someone very special last night: My Slanket. I wasn’t expecting to fall for him. But his soft polyester microfibers and surprising warmth won me over. It’s like he anticipates my every need: a pouch for my feet (I’ve got hardwood floors and the ability to lose every pair of thick socks I purchase after wearing them once) and a pocket for my hands (a place to put them while experiencing writer’s block). At first, the happiness I felt made me sad — like the time I realized I was doing a shoulder-dance to Fleetwood Mac on my iPod on public transportation (the “Oh Iiiii” bump-bump in “Everywhere”). But after an hour, l loved him so much that I decided he needs a name. Note: There’s only one other inanimate object in my apartment that has a name — my DVR/life partner, Peter — so this relationship got very serious, very quickly. A few of the names I considered:
• “Fred Willard”: Like the Slanket, he makes me giddy just by looking at him. And once, Willard told me the following: “I’ve found over the years that for some reason people either are big fans and have to use me, or they don’t quite understand what I’m doing.” THAT IS THE SLANKET! Unfortunately, my friend Eva named a pair of boots “Fred” and “Willard” years ago, and she still has them. (I actually Facebook’d and texted her to check.)
• “Stephen”: One of my fantasies is to spend a chilly weekend holed up watching a Golden Girls marathon with Stephen Colbert. If I named my Slanket “Stephen,” this could actually happen. Also, the formal “Stephen” would compliment “Peter” nicely.
• “Harris K. Telemacher”: Because my Slanket is gray (excuse me, Castlerock), it made me think of Steve Martin. When I think of Steve Martin, I think of my favorite movie, LA Story, and the scene where his character writes “Bored Beyond Belief” on his window. This is something I could see myself doing while wearing my Slanket. Also, it would be good to have a full name with a middle initial to yell out when his long sleeves cause me to knock over a drink.
• “Otis”: Otis Redding’s “Glory of Love” came on my iPod this morning, and I thought, This would be the song playing in the opening montage of a romantic comedy in which I’m wearing a Slanket. In fact, Otis Redding could be the entire soundtrack: See me listening to “Pain in My Heart” while drinking alone, dancing to “Love Man” when I’m officially wasted, getting weepy to “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” as I debate whether or not I can keep wearing Otis with red wine stains, and, finally, just giving up on a social life and deciding to spend my life with him as “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” fades out.
• “The Italian Stallion”: Partly because I’m obsessed with Rocky trivia and know that the over-sized Italian Stallion robe was an accident (they didn’t have the time or budget to fix it, so they wrote it into the script — of course Rocky wouldn’t have a robe that fit him); partly because it’d sound dirty to say “I’m putting on the Italian Stallion.”
• “Mr. Furley”: As you can tell by the photo, this is the one I’m going with. The reasons are many: (1) I love Three’s Company, and when I talk about the end of the episode in which Janet quits the flower shop to become a dancer, I still tear up. As previously established, laughter through tears is the emotion I first associated with my Slanket. (2) There was that episode when Jack and Mr. Furley got trapped in the meat locker and almost froze to death. Together, they survived. (3) When I’m looking for Mr. Furley in my apartment, I can shout “Furley!” like Jack did (and by that, I mean like Corey Haim did impersonating John Ritter in Corey Haim: Me, Myself, and I. At 1:55 in this clip). (4) Furley thought the girls were living with a gay man; I sometimes wonder about Peter… (5) Don Knotts happily played the ridiculously dressed, delusional fool. And so shall I.
So, now that I’ve confessed, it’s your turn. Have you named your Slanket, or your inferior Snuggie? (According to Annie’s recent PopWatch poll, 28 percent of you already own one, while 40 percent of you secretly want one. If you’re still not sure of the difference between the Slanket and the Snuggie, allow me to point you here and here.)
P.S. Annie did not get a Slanket for Christmas, but wanting one of us to be like her idol, Liz Lemon, suggested I name mine Fartfiller.
Photo credit: Knotts: Everett Collection