I Broke My Pants

We’ve all heard the expression, truth is better than fiction. When you blog, the two are often woven together with neither being the predominant thread. I’ve been known to stretch the blanket from time to time to suit comedic purpose. Sometimes what could have happened is funnier than what actually happened; so we just go with that.

I was going to forgo posting this week. When you’re seeking high art like I am, you can’t force it. That would be like a five-year-old going to the bathroom just before a trip. “I didn’t have to go then!”

Nothing felt right so I didn’t write… and then life happened.

My pants broke.

In and of itself, this isn’t very funny. But the comedy of life is all about timing. Of course one’s pants do not break while one is at home or when one is in the car a few miles away. No, cosmic forces conspire against zippers to break at the least opportune time and in front of the most people.

I happened to be at work last night preparing for an important board meeting. Being a coffee drinker over fifty years old, I thought it prudent to seek porcelain relief before the meeting to avoid interruption. It was there that I discovered why a zipper is called a fly in common vernacular because the minute I touched mine it flew into a million pieces. Yes, my pants exploded twenty-five minutes before a meeting of the board of directors.

I surveyed my options:

  1. Safety pins. These proved ineffective in patching the devastation and impossible to fasten without help. It did not feel appropriate to seek help with my zipper.
  2. Skip the meeting. Bad option.
  3. Go FIFO – first in, first out. No one sees the gaping hole in my crotch.
  4. Hold my pants closed like a batter between pitches. Seemed too edgy.
  5. Replace the pants and arrive late but fashionable.

After sharing the dilemma with two very empathetic coworkers, I left them in puddles of laughter as I scootched out the door holding tightly the remnants of my pants.

CURSE YOU, Atlanta traffic!

Two miles to Steinmart during rush hour. After ten minutes, I scootched into the store. Of course it was crowded. Of course they all pointed and laughed as I arrived. I quickly found a pair my size and for the first time in my life didn’t even check the price. Of course I interrupted an employee meeting outside the dressing room.

As I explained my dilemma to the cashier, the young man made a valiant attempt to stifle his laughter as I pulled the tags off my butt for him to scan. I have to give him credit. He tried. I didn’t bother with the receipt and I dropped the tattered threads I had worn to work that morning in the trash.

I’m sure the eruption of laughter inside the store was equal to or greater than the sound of my pants exploding in the bathroom just twenty minutes prior. I don’t care… I was headed back to the meeting without a giant hole in my trousers.

CURSE YOU, Atlanta traffic!

I walked back in at 6:29! I made it. I saw the sardonic grins of people as they checked out my new pants. The word had obviously spread. But I don’t mind.

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6:29 and I’m back!

I declare victory over the Universe’s perverse sense of humor… this time. But I’m sure it will strike again. Maybe I should keep a spare pair of pants in my office.

Why is the Government in my Shower?

I told my daughter to wash the dogs and she lifted a headphone long enough to say it was too cold. This is one of a litany of ridiculous excuses, but I let her get away with it until the dogs smelled so bad I could pinpoint their location when I pulled into the driveway. At that point, something had to give. “This is Georgia”, I ranted. “It’s a mild fall! They have fur to keep them warm!”

Unconvinced, my animal rights advocate negotiated the use of my shower for the canines. They got washed and I got a nice slugtrail of dog water from the bathroom to the porch. Great.

After she emerged, she had the audacity to question the water pressure in my shower. I told her it was weak because that’s where the government lives. Her eyes grew wide for just a second while she considered the implications. But as with most things I tell her, she quickly sized it up to poppycock and trudged off to interact with actual intelligence of the electronic variety. She didn’t believe the old man, but it is true.

Like mold growing over cheese in the back corner of the fridge, the government is no longer content with mattress legislation and has steadily crept into our collective bathroom. I’ve already had a fight with them over the anti-scald valve – a fight I am proud to say I won. A snip here and a tug there and I bypassed their foolish legislation so that my wife can enjoy a steamy winter shower to her heart’s content. For at least that day, I was her knight in dripping armor. But now they have forced shower head manufacturers to reduce the flow of water in my shower to a measly 2.5 gallon per minute trickle! Is nothing sacred? I’m past fifty now, I know all about reduced flow but there are some things that can be helped.

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This is the same government that finally heeded the request of veterans to issue ID cards. Yes, rather than carry your DD-214 in your wallet (which bears your social security number), congress forced the VA to create a better identification system in 2015. That was two years ago. The government has all of my information and issues ID’s for everything, but it took over two years for them to create the framework. I want my discount at Denny’s without opening myself up to identity theft!

The mandated deadline for creating the process was November 2017. On the last day of the month, the system opened… and promptly crashed. It is dead as a doornail. I assume it will take another two years to fix it. After all, they are too busy tinkering with my shower.

This discontented and unidentified veteran has a wrench. I took the nozzle off and found it clogged with calcium deposits. A quick internet search led me to a baking soda/vinegar concoction that didn’t work. A second search told me about water pressure restrictors. I don’t like restrictions! Why is the government obsessed with my shower?

All it took was needle-nose plyers to remove the governmental interference and the first test blew out enough calcium to meet the National Institute of Health’s yearly requirement for a lactating woman. It’s like standing under a pressure-washer. This morning I lost three freckles and part of a tattoo, but it was totally worth the price to live free from government tyranny.

If I could only get 25% off a Grand Slam breakfast, I would be swimming in liberty.