Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  Doesn’t matter.

All that matters is the fact that Charles Darwin has proven his theory of evolution with the Natural Selection of Mark Skids as the coolest dude of every generation.

You see, when little Marky Skids, aka, The Mustache Man, was just 12 years old (that’s right, his middle school nickname was a prophetic look into his glorious mustachioed future), he had an epiphany.  In his pants. (Please don’t be gross, we are talking about fashion and history here, nothing else. Get your mind right.)

Let’s start at the beginning. You see, Mark dreamed of winning over Kristy Gorgeousgams – the hottest girl in 7th grade. To be clear, that was just what he called her.  Obviously. We just kept the pseudonym to protect her identity.

So, Mark would stare longingly at her from the parking lot, whilst seated on his noble steel steed, wearing full-length denim pants, otherwise known as “jeans.”  Of course, he was supposed to be in Basic Biology class with Kristy just two rows away, but all Mark did was ride his precious two-wheeler. Even then, he couldn’t be constrained to a “chair.”  Unfortunately, He had been banned from riding it inside the school after nearly crashing into Principal Van Hess one day in the cafeteria. The skid marks he created are still there to this day! Little bit of Mark Skids skid mark lore for ya.


While he sat and yearned for Kristy, Mark devised a plan to win her over.  He would compete in The Middle School Grand Prix. It was only a ten-mile ride but it covered all the hottest streets North East Circleton (an unincorporated suburb outside of Pittsburgh) had to offer.  Little Marky trained and trained. He rode his bike until the cows came home. (What does that even mean?) Then, the cows went back to grazing, and then came back home AGAIN, and Mark — he was STILL RIDING.  He trained until the Crystal Pepsi (remember that?) perspired from his sweat glands and his armpits smelled of sweet cola. With God and the Marlboro man as his witnesses, Mark Skids would not be stopped. That is, until late one night when his pant leg got stuck in his chain, under the Glenwood B&O Railroad Bridge.  

This is where our story takes a turn and history is made.  On that fateful night, Mark Skids crashed into Mr. Charles Kane, the florist, who was on his way back to work after a failed delivery of three dozen long stem roses. (Little known fact, florists often get turned away, roses in-hand, when a rose-apology isn’t accepted.)  Coincidentally, this florist always kept his sharpest scissors on his person, so that his kids wouldn’t use them to cut construction paper for their stupid art projects.

Okay, the crash. This crash was a magnificent sight. As Mark saw the roses coming toward him, he thought he was just in another one of his American Beauty style daydreams about Kristy. But in fact, it was Mr. Kane walking towards him. As they collided, roses flew into the air every which way.

While rising from the red petals of a horrible crash, Mark thought he was bleeding out. Holding back tears — because if the Marlboro Man had taught him anything, it was that boys don’t cry — pant leg still stuck in his bike, Mark’s survival instinct kicked in.  He turned his head and saw a pair of scissors clutched in Kane’s hands. Little did they know, they would both change the fashion industry for eternity.

After a single tear managed to eek out (comprised mostly of High Fructose Corn Syrup and Sodium Benzoate from the Crystal Pepsi, so he still brags that he has never actually cried…), Mark made haste and questioned what Gil was holding in his hands.  

“Hey dude, I’m bleeding here, I need to get out!” Mark shrieked in his adolescent yet somehow “suave” voice. At least in his memory of the event.

“What?” replied Gil.

“I’m dying. Are those are scissors you got there?”


“Oh.” Mark was defeated. Until he realized, what else is shaped like two knives mating? Mark, like you, had his mind in the gutter most of the time. He inquired, “But sir, they must be. What else is shaped like two knives mating?”

“You’re right kid. You’re smart. But sorry, you can’t use these. I don’t even let my own kids use these.”

Then, as Kane died naturally of old age, he gasped for his last words, ”Also: ROSEBUD.”

Mark tried to remember what movie had ended that way and couldn’t, he was very lightheaded due to all the blood he thought he had lost. Desperate to survive, he took the scissors and started cutting.  He sliced and diced like no man or woman had ever seen. He started by freeing himself from the chains of his bike, and then went on, in true maverick fashion, to continue cutting until his slightly roughed-up kneecap was exposed to the world, freeing himself from the constraints of societal norms forever. In a fit of inspiration and passion, he then began to cut into the other leg.  His mind was still but his hands were working the magic of an alchemist and true virtuoso of cutlery.

Masterpiece was finally complete, Mark stood up. Rising from the ashes like the proverbial phoenix. Except he was still a pre-teen, not a bird, and these ashes were scraps of denim and rose petals.

An aura of blue denim glowed about him and, the copious amounts of bleeding had miraculously stopped (mind you, he never was bleeding, but in his head, he thought he had been). He looked down at his perfectly frayed cut-off jeans, allowing his calves to breathe.  

Touching his hand to his heart, he felt where his ringer tee had been was now a denim jacket.

“Is this a dream?” Mark whispered to himself.  

It was no dream, it was as real as the awkward silences of teenage conversations.  

Mark then reached up to his face to remove his coke-bottle glasses that the other kids relentlessly bullied him for.  Except, what he felt there now was different. With one graceful swipe, Mark Skids slid the blue frames off his face. With astonishment in his eyes, he uttered four simple words:


Epilogue: Mark Skids went on to win that silly little 10-mile bike race. And, he would go on to win many other races. Or if he didn’t win, he sure acted like a winner at a bunch of races. Single speed races, case races, shopping cart races, cigarette smoking races.* But, sadly, he never won Kristy.  Her parents wouldn’t let her hang out with a “bad boy.” Ironic, huh?

He still keeps her middle school photo in his denim wallet as inspiration to always be striving for something in life. Because, even if you don’t get it, you can still change the world. He created Jorts and the accompanying eyewear “Jorts For Your Face”, which changed the landscape of fashion forever.  Mark’s contribution to society will never be forgotten – thanks a mil, broski.

*WARNING: The Surgeon General, Mark’s mom, and goodr do not recommend smoking