I was looking at a coat the other day, it was in a sale and a real bargain. I liked the colour. I liked the shape. I could do with another coat that’s not as formal as the one I have already so wouldn’t be a waste of money. I liked pretty well everything about it …. except ….. it had a fur collar. Not real fur, you understand, that wasn’t the issue. I can’t do any kind of fur collar. The reason for this is due to a terrible trauma that happened to me as a child. The trauma involved being made to wear an Afghan coat. I was eight years old. Worse than that, the whole family had them, all different colours. I’m not making this up. Sometimes we were made to wear them all together on family outings. It was the 70’s but there’s still no excuse for that kind of cruelty. There’s a picture of us all somewhere, all stood in a row in the front garden, maw, paw and 3 kids all wearing these things. Can you imagine the utter humiliation?
Afghan coats aren’t even practical. They stink to high heaven and if they get rained on, it exacerbates the smell to such an extent, you feel like you’re dragging a dead carcass around with you. If it rains a lot, the coat gets water-logged, so it feels like you’re dragging a heavy dead carcass around with you. Over time, the fur becomes matted and revolting to touch. I don’t know what the Afghanis were thinking of when they dreamt up such a thing; maybe the whole dead carcass vibe works in their climate; or maybe some other nation dreamt it up and realised that it was a terrible idea so named them Afghan coats as a cunning ploy to deflect attention from themselves so they didn’t have to take responsiblity for foisting this disgusting idea for a garment upon us.
Whatever the reason, all these years later, I stood in a department store and one look at that perfectly nice coat with its unfortunate fur trim had me focussing on controlling my gag reflex until I legged it out of there.