The trick to a mean bow tie!

2014-07-10 09.41.04

Welcome back, my friends, to my humble blog.  Today I’ll tell you the trick to tying a mean bow tie.

First step … tie a bow tie.  Wait a minute, you ask, isn’t that what this blog is for?  No.  That’s the trick … I’m not going to teach you how to actually tie one.  I have neither the time nor the inclination, and Bill Nye’s Youtube video is far better produced than anything I could muster.

I am here to teach you the TRICK to tying a bow tie.

So, if you’re anything like me, you’ve watched Bill’s video forty-five times.  And you still can’t figure it out.  That’s why I’m here to help.

First, is the over-under bit.  That’s easy, right?  It seems just a little naughty (or notty) and leaves you with a fun cravat.  Next, you basically create the bow. and drape the top length down.


Oh.  Look at that.  It’s a graphic to help.  Does it?  <shrug>  It’s like every other stinking one out there.  It helpfully omits the “trick” as well, as if some pompous goof out there is laughing.  You see, if it’s easy to tie a bow tie, he CAN laugh.  He can feel superior.  I mean … can’t you learn from a simple graphic?  Can’t you learn from Bill Nye?

No, you can’t.  Not if you’re an idiot like me.

Look at the graphic, at the pretty illustrations.  Stay with me now, I can feel you wavering.  You have a sandwich waiting, or your kids are trapped in a burning car.  I’m about there, just hold up.  Now — look between fig 5 and fig 6.  It says “push the resulting loop”.

<this is the part where Oscar curses, screams, and shakes his arms above his head.  Maybe he breaks something or knocks the contents off your desk with a sneer…. I’ll give you a minute to picture this>

At this point, you have a bow in one hand and a long bit dangling down, limp, like a noodle.  The thing you need to find is the little cervix-y bit.  You can use your hands, just reach behind the bow, touch around with your fingers, and you’ll feel a hole.  It’s a bit like checking a woman’s dialation … yes … that’s what I mean.  It’s a hole.  Resting just behind the bow you created in fig 4.

So, you’ve found the hole?  If you haven’t, remake the tie.  You’ve screwed up, and there’s no hope for you until you do the job right.  Idiot.  Even I got that bit on the first try.

So, you’re going to try to keep the hole as intact as possible.  Don’t stretch it out, it always causes unnecessary screaming, just feed the long bit through it.

Next comes the other confusing bit.  You’re going to end up with two pieces of fabric when you’re done.  You’ll have a flat piece, with the end of the bowtie, and you’ll have a ribbon piece that folds in on itself.  On one side, the flat bit will be in front.  On the other side, it’ll be the loopy bit.

So guess what!  You already have a loopy bit in your hand.  So when you feed the limp thing through the hole, your new ribbon goes IN THE DIRECTION of the flat piece.  You can’t have two ribbons on the same side — it’ll just be silly.

Once you’ve fed it through, you’ll have an ugly-bum bow tie.  Just keep pulling and tugging at each side until it looks nice.  This bit takes a lot of practice.  If the bow doesn’t look right, you need to readjust the length of the tie before you put it on.  If you have a big moose-neck like me, you’ll have to undo it almost all the way.  They didn’t have moose-necks back in the 1800s, I guess.

So why couldn’t this be easier, you ask?  Even my explanation, as masterful as it is, can be confusing as crap.  Unless you already know how to tie a bow tie.  Because language isn’t easy.  Graphics aren’t easy.  You can’t just write about the limp noodle and the cervix and have it simple, on a little sheet that could fit into a fortune cookie.  And Mr. Nye is far too illustrious to explain these dirty concepts to you.  And if he could, or if I could for that matter, we would be making so dang much money we wouldn’t even care.

But now you know.  You, like me and Mr. Nye, are among the elite few.  Practice a little, and you’ll be looking down your nose at all those chumps in the pre-tied bow ties in no time.  Don’t they look silly. Tsk tsk tsk.

And if you meet me on the street, shake my hand and know — my bow tie will still look better than yours.

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