Thursday, April 05, 2007

Prune Belly Syndrome

Prune Belly Syndrome is a real medical condition as classified in the International Classicfication of Diseases, 9th Edition, Code Manual (ICD-9-CM for those in the medical coding trade). Whalehead King was reminded of this twice today.

The first time was while perusing the ICD-9-CM. The second time was while walking down Eugene O'Neill Avenue. America's only Noble Prize-winning playwright didn't have a prune belly, but many of the people who stroll the street named after him do. Always alert to details, Mr. King noticed a person, who should be old enough to know better, wearing a short shirt over low-cut pants. We will not go into details here, but some fashions are not meant for everyone. Midriff exposure is one of them. Hopefully, this fad will pass soon.

Of course, it is the New London way to make choices and damn the consequences. It is the New London way not to care what other people think about what they see. It is the New London way to show off one's best and worst attributes at the same time. In a New London state of mind, everything is fine.

It takes real courage to wear whatever you feel like wearing. It takes a New London kind of courage. In a city, you are given a chance to invent and re-invent yourself. Sometimes you make a mistake, but there are so many opportunities, you can redeem yourself tomorrow. If one day you are a mess, the next you can be a dandy. If one night you are a stumblebum, the next you can be the toast of the town. You needn't be ashamed of your prune belly, you just have to know how to use it to your advantage.

Remember to visit the Whalehead Library by clicking on the title of this essay to learn more about New London's brand of courage.

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