By definition, legends are often fantastical in nature.
This one is no exception.
It began before the time of Jeff, or Brad, or Susan, or Michelle (the Peacock siblings). In fact, legend has it that it began in the olden days, those days when kids walked two miles in the snow to school, uphill both ways. Stories are always better when they begin in the olden days.
Our tale begins in the dental school at the University of Southern California. In those days, students were required to wear formal attire not altogether different from, say, that of modern day Mormon missionaries. Dress shirts, dark slacks, neckties and white dental smocks were the order of the day. Uncle Steve complied with the rules and regulations...so far as they were specifically dictated. Apparently, the regulatory apparatus at USC neglected to invoke any restrictions on the type, color, size or shape of said required neckware. You could wear any kind of tie you liked, so long as it formed a knot on your Adam's apple, you were deemed compliant.
In order to demonstrate their rebellious streak underlying their technical conformity, those Trojan tooth technicians added a bit of flair to their daily wardrobe boredom. Ties so hideous that a new tradition was born. These students went to great lengths and expense to outdo each other in finding new and outrageously repugnant neck ties. And these cravats spawned new terminology: the HAIR TIE, definition-- ties so visually, texturally, or otherwise disgusting they make your hair stand on end.
The first official passing of the HAIR TIE occurred in 1981. Jeff Peacock had received his mission call to serve in the Zurich Switzerland mission, and began the missionary clothing ritual. Dark suits, conservative shoes, white shirts. It was then that Uncle Steve presented him with his very first HAIR TIE . Actually, three HAIR TIES were passed that day; which Brad, Grandpa Charlie and Jeff are modeling below.
It's not easy being a style maven. (See Charlie recovering).
In 2010, the tradition of the HAIR TIE was reborn with the next Peacock generation.
The morning of Justin Peacock's entry into the MTC, he found a HAIR TIE on the porch graciously left by Uncle Steve (who is always SO pleased to be of service).
Here is Justin modeling this HAIR TIE while in the MTC.
While in the MTC, Justin traded ties regularly, trying to get an even BETTER (i.e., worse) HAIR TIE . Sometimes his efforts were a bit wacky, but he was always a trendsetter.
In April, he finally found IT.
Here is what he said about it:
“Lastly, the legend of the UGLY tie lives on. Elder Diaz had a tie from Peru that is without a doubt the ugliest, grossest, most horrfic, scariest looking tie I have ever seen. It makes you think...Who designed this? and when and where would anybody ever wear it. I successfully traded for it...and am now in possession of the ugliest tie in the world. So don’t worry Uncle Steve...the ugly tie tradition has been carried on. And Jordan Peacock....good luck trying to find an uglier tie than the one you´re gonna receive. I´m gonna figure out how I can send it home...so Jordan, you should get it before you leave.”
We had the privilege of attending Jordan Peacock’s farewell yesterday. He enters the MTC on 9/7/11 bound for Puerto Rico. He will be an amazing missionary.
Of course, we had our own mission to complete and we successfully transferred said tie.
Official HAIR TIE Rules
Sorry ladies, this one is just for the boys!!
1. Each outgoing Peacock, Madsen or McGill missionary will receive a HAIR TIE from the missionary just prior.
2. He is to choose that HAIR TIE OR acquire a BETTER one (and by "better", of course, we mean even more dreadful) through trade, purchase, or otherwise.
3. He must take a picture wearing the HAIR TIE while in the field.
4. Picture and HAIR TIE is to be passed on to the next departing missionary. Stories of how any new HAIR TIES are acquired are always welcome.
5. Pictures and any stories will be maintained in this book for posterity, guffaws, and general merriment. The book will be passed on mother to mother for safekeeping