Sorry, didn’t hear you over the flaps of my flannel hunting cap. I know you’re mistaking me for a lumberjack in this Home Depot and want tips on log splitting. But, since it’s fall, I’m on a flannel-finding mission. The only thing I can show you is that no one goes balls to the wall for flannel like I do.

On the last night of summer, a vision appeared, narrated by an L.L. Bean catalog with the voice of Sam Elliott. It prophesied flannel jackets on sale for $59.99 with the purchase of a matching fleece. The catalog then declared: “Roy, I urge you to go absolutely balls to the wall with flannel.” And so I did.

The ER doctor at San Diego General Hospital claimed my vision was a fever dream induced by sleeping in a flannel thermal jacket. But how can I trust medical expertise from someone wearing a flimsy nylon-polyester blend?

I decided to follow the catalog’s advice and replaced all items in my closet with flannel alternatives. In doing so, I set forth on my journey to ball to the wall.

I continued my quest by adding another flannel layer to my outfit each day. Eat my woolen dungarees, Brawny mascot. Compared to me in my dozen plaid layers, you’re a disgrace to masculinity and absorbency. I’m balling way closer to the wall than you.

From the top of my head to the bottom of my plaid steel-toed boots, I reek of sexy flannelly goodness. Each morning, I rub my entire body with a Bath & Body Works flannel-scented candle. I have zero chill about my favorite fall outfit. In fact, it is impossible to feel any chill within these toasty layers I’m wearing.

Sure, I get second-degree rugburns from my flannel underwear every time I sit down or bend over. That’s the price I pay to achieve the impossible: covering every inch of my skin with flannel so the Home Depot employees start asking me where to find the indoor pest control section. You can find that on aisle #55 and you can find me balling even closer to the wall.

One month into fall, I had another vision. This time, Kurt Cobain ripped the flannel shirt off his back and handed it to me. He sang, “Load up on flannels, ball to the wall. It’s fun to ball harder with flan-nel.” With that sage advice, I geared up to ball harder for flannel than any man has ever flannel-balled before.

That night, I gathered my non-flannel clothing, using it as kindling to make a sacrificial offering. Pitching my summer Birkenstocks into the fire, I asked the Gods of Autumn to postpone winter. The Gods of Autumn were fickle; they rejected my offering and burned off my facial hair. After collecting loose flannel threads, I duct-taped them around my chin to makeshift the greatest beard known to mankind.

The Gods of Autumn, pleased by my beard, informed me I was balling only a stone’s throw away from the wall. I was so close to the wall, I could sense it in my balls.

So, I drove to every Carhartt within a 400-mile radius and purchased the entire flannel inventory at each store. And now, I intend to buy every item from this Home Depot that contains even a mere suggestion of plaid.

I won’t stop until I have collected every last shred of flannel in the country. I will pursue this mission until I’m lying in a flannel-covered casket.

When that day comes, I imagine my Tractor Supply Co. custom headstone will read: “Here lies Roy. He balled for flannel so much, he went over the wall, and that’s what killed him.”


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