Monday, November 08, 2004

Barn Jacket Manufacturers Sue Kerry 

Plummeting Sales Spark Lawsuit

FREEPORT, MAINE (Ant Farmer's Almanac Newswire) Several manufacturers of barn jackets like the one John Kerry wore during his 2004 presidential bid have brought a class-action lawsuit against the former candidate.

In the wake of Kerry's defeat, traditional rivals LL Bean, Land's End and Carhart have joined forces to seek $48 million in compensation for the projected loss in sales of the distinctive outerwear, known as either a "barn jacket" or "field coat" that, until now, has been a perennial favorite, with its 100% cotton canvas shell, corduroy or soft leather collar, button-out liner, flap pocket, adjustable cuffs and roomy bi-swing back. Available in six designer colors.

"We had huge hopes for this jacket based on the exit polls," said one company's marketing rep, "We saw it as the next big presidential tie-in, like Reagan's jellybeans, Billy Beer or Kennedy's womanizing; now it's about as appealing as Nixon's five o'clock shadow."

Each company had ramped up production of its jacket in misguided anticipation of a Kerry win and are now stuck with warehouse-fulls of unwanted inventory. "This item is now associated with a loser and nobody wants it," said Carhart's marketing chief. LL Bean is believed to be test-marketing their surplus as the "Blue State Special".

Cabela's, another maker of rugged outdoor gear (but not involved with the lawsuit), has gone into round-the-clock production of a civilian version of the flight suit George W. Bush wore during his "Mission Accomplished" aircraft carrier landing, prompted by a Robert Novak column reporting that W will wear the flight suit again at his second inauguration.

In a related story, a group calling itself "Boardsailors for Truth" claim John Kerry never went sailboarding and that footage of him doing so was digitally altered, "That stuff's so easy to do," said a group spokesman, "Just like with that picture we faked of him with Jane Fonda. . . I mean, uh, surf's up. I gotta go, um, dude!"

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