How to Fix a Broken Zipper

What should you do if you are at a formal event and realize the zipper on your pants is broken? Broken is too light a word – let’s say it has exploded leaving its jagged edges flayed open as a new source of entertainment for the party-goers.

Should you:

A) Act natural – This probably happened to James Bond at some point (the Sean Connery James Bond, none of the imitations). James Bond would hold his martini, look suave, and say something pithy about horse prices. No one would notice.

B) Create a Catch Me If You Can-like diversion. “It’s all about the pinstripes, Frankie.” – I’m not talking about hurting anyone or defacing property. I am thinking more along the lines of spilling red punch all over your shoulder. That way, people say, “Ah, look at Jim. That guys is always making a mess,” instead of, “Is Jim wearing tidy whities? What is he, 8 years old?”

C) Go MacGyver – Borrow a paper clip, lighter, hairspray, and a stick of gum from people around you and create a subminiature welding machine that rigs your zipper so tight you aren’t sure if you’ll ever be able to remove your pants.

D) If you wore underwear, be glad and go with it. If not, run away.

E) Tinker with it in your seat as “discretely” as possible. Zip…unzip. Zip…unzip. Don’t obsess over it. Look up intermittently and pay a modicum of attention to the guest speaker. Zip..unzip. Keep messing with it while those around you give you disgusted looks and shift uncomfortably in their seats. Zip..unzip. Zip…unzip. Why would the disapproval of others stop you?  Zip…unzip. Maybe this time it will close right. Zip…unzip repeat. Dogonit! Never mind that your monkey hands and sausage fingers are useless for anything besides clapping. Zip…unzip.  Oh, and your mid-forties eyes can’t come close to focusing on something outside of five feet away, leaving the zipper’s intended path a fuzzy mystery. But this is a great plan. Zip…unzip. Why are so many people still staring?


I should have started this post by saying I had a formal occasion at the kids’ school where I had a slight wardrobe malfunction. I prefer not to discuss it. I’m no celebrity, so there certainly isn’t enough interest for it to make the news (my lifetime goal). But if it had been a zipper issue, which of the above-mentioned solutions do you think I arrived at?


I refuse to answer.


However, If you don’t mind, say a prayer for me Thursday at 10:30 when I have a meeting with the headmaster, three church elders, and a psychologist to answer some complaints about my behavior. Think they’ll mind if I wear sweatpants?



photo credit: Rabenstteiner

16 thoughts on “How to Fix a Broken Zipper

      1. F) Shirt out and pulled down till it hurts your shoulders. Pants pulled up until they hurt the nether regions. Adjust constantly whilst remaining relaxed and without a sweating brow – not!! (not that I have experience of such traumas) 🙂

  1. Before the age of semi-reliable zippers, every man had a solution to this most vexing of problems. They wore hats. When a man’s zipper broke, he simply removed his hat and modestly held it in his lap, or while walking, held it hovering at waist level.

    My dad always wore a fedora when he was young. When he abandoned the practice, my grandfather asked, “but what if your zipper breaks?”

    No one understood the question at the time. 🙂

    1. I might add that yes, many men wear baseball caps these days but if a man were to rest it on his lap or hover it at waist level, people would ask, “What’s going on here? Are you just a dork or did your zipper break?”

  2. This is hilarious and had me grinning from ear to ear. So…you arrived, quite painfully, at option E? I’m kind-of self-deprecating, so I would’ve probably pointed it out and said something like, “Sheesh. Last time I buy pants from Old Navy.” Or, “Is it me or is it drafty in here? Oh wait…it’s my pants!” Or “The zipper has been broken since I got here. I just wanted to test your observation skills. And guess what? You all failed.” Or I would have run away screaming about killer bees.
    So see? You handled yourself quite judiciously considering. 🙂

    1. I love the creativity. Those are some keen ideas. I don’t think that quickly. I typically go with stubborn tenacity – round peg/square hole over and over again.

  3. C—the MacGyver option, because if you remember MacGyver you’re too old to pull off the James Bond cool and too arthritic to manage the dexterity required by E.

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