Okay, I've been wearing kilts for 10 days now, excluding a couple of ambulance shifts, and I think I've got the hang of it. In truth, I kinda like going kilted. They're cool and comfortable, and I can see myself wearing them fairly frequently in the future. It's Louisiana, after all; we can wear shorts all but about 3 months of the year.
Still, the past ten days have not been without embarrassing moments. A few observations:
- The reactions you get from adolescent girls range from blushes and furtive stares to blatant pointing and giggling. The looks you get from their mothers, however, are decidedly more… appreciative.
- Women are more likely to ask about the kilt than men. Since we're doing this to raise awareness for male-specific cancers, that seems at first to be counterproductive, but I don't see it that way. Guys, who is the most likely to browbeat you into going to the doctor when you're sick? Your wife/mother/girlfriend, that's who. And several of the women I've talked to have vowed to pressure their husbands into getting checked.
- Many people will stare, expecially if they think you don't notice, but relatively few will actually approach you to ask why you're kilted. So if you're gonna raise awareness, you gotta be proactive. When you catch them staring, strike up a conversation. It's a lot easier when there are several of you. One guy in a kilt is just some fellow with a quirky fashion sense. Three of you make people wonder what's up.
- TSA drones, when faced with a man in a kilt, will avoid at all costs doing an enhanced pat-down if said kilted man looks really eager to get groped. At McCarran, the shortest line happened to have a conventional metal detector and one without the Porn O' Scan, so I chose that one. After three trips through the metal detector, my buckles on the kilt setting it off every time, they finally just wanded my hips where the kilt buckles lay, and waved me through. That doesn't do much to make me feel safer.
- When you're teaching an EMT refresher class and you have a student lying supine on the ground acting as a patient assessment "victim," don't stand over him and critique the actions of the other students in the scenario. Just be the stand-back, big-picture, non-interventional EMT instructor, with emphasis on the "stand back" part.
- Likewise, don't put your foot up on a chair in front of the class to point out the appropriate landmarks for intraosseous needle insertion.
- When you forget either of the last two pointers, the male firefighters will recoil in abject horror, but the female firefighters will merely shrug as if to say, "Meh, it's a penis. Seen 'em before." Proof positive that your typical female firefighter is usually more hardcore than her male colleagues, I suppose.
- When you get pulled over by a police officer for speeding (he let me go, thankfully), and you hand them your driver's license and your concealed handgun permit, you can almost hear their internal monologue as they decide whether or not to ask where you conceal your weapon. The officer that pulled me over blinked a couple of times, looked me up and down, pondered a moment, and then almost visibly decided that he just didn't want to know.
And guys, get yourselves checked!