So many things half-thought-out

So many things to think about, and so little time to gather my thoughts. What first? Abortions in South Dakota? The mess with our nation’s ports? The fact that they may have found a cure for diabetes and that our president, G. Walker Bush may make the cure illegal?

No. That can all wait. There are more important things on my mind today.

My Trousers

I had to wear fancy pants today. Fancy pants and black socks, with uncomfortable shoes. I even wore a shirt with buttons and a collar. (It tucked into my pants. Fancy.) Normally this doesn’t bother me one whit. I’m naturally a T-shirt kinda guy, but I really don’t mind playing dress-up once in a while, especially when getting a free lunch out of the deal. The problem is that it’s been a while since I’ve had to play dress-up.

“Honey, what’s wrong?” asked my beloved Viennese bride, the concern apparent in her delicately accented voice. “Did you step on a mousetrap or something? Vhat’s mit de jumping around like that?”

“I can’t get my pants on,” I wailed. “They must have shrunk in the wash!” I continued the struggle, valiantly huffing and wheezing and hopping about until I got the errant britches up around my bulging midsection. My wife watched with what I can only call amusement. “Ha!” I said. “The hard part’s over. Now I just gotta button ’em up…” At that point I realized that button and hole were a good four inches apart, if not more. I couldn’t tell for sure, as I couldn’t see what I was doing due to the overhanging flab that had appeared overnight. I started pulling. My Austrian snowflake gave up stifling and engaged in an old-fashioned bout of chortling, complete with guffaws and finger-pointing.

“OH MEIN GOTT!” she cried. “That’s funny!” She collapsed back onto the bed, wheezing. “Your belly – it jiggles. That’s funny! I mean, that’s not funny… Quit trying to button up your pants, you’re going to hurt yourself…” I ignored her, sucked it up, and gave my britches a valiant pull. Success! The pants were buttoned!

“HAAA HAA HAAA!” howled my wife, holding her sides. “Your tummy – it’s poking out over the top… You look like you’ve been stuffed!” Off she went into another paroxysm of glee. I looked down and gave myself a critical assessment. My feet didn’t look fat. Neither did my legs. My waist looked a perfect 32 inches, just like in college. It’s just that right above the waistband of the britches hung a 36 inch belly. It didn’t look too bad when I put a shirt on…

“Husband,” said my wife when she could catch her breath again. “Do you vant me to go buy you some new pants? You can’t be comfortable wearing those… It looks like it hurts.” I assured her that I was fine, and that all was well with me. Except for the black socks. I couldn’t find them. I knew I had them in the top drawer under the toy handcu… um, other socks. But they weren’t there. In desperation, I grabbed a new pair of winter socks.

You know, winter socks are thicker than summer socks. Not by much, but a little. Unfortunately, my shoes fit just perfectly with normal summer socks. Ah, well… With a bit of pushing I managed to get both feet covered with the proper amount of leather. Snug.

“Are you going to wear your nice coat?” asked my bride. “I’m not sure where it is… You poor man, let me buy you some new pants.”

“No, I’m already late,” I said, hobbling towards the door with my regular old coat.

Ten minutes later found me at work.

“What’s up with the pants?” asked the nice office lady. “Boy are you gonna take a load of guff today!” She was right. Everyone in the plant managed a snide remark. “Boy you sure are pretty, har har har! What, do you have to go to court or something? Har har har…” I told ’em I had a job interview. That shut ’em up.

The good part was that my buddy Drew had to wear his fancy pants, too. I took a picture of him. He’ll like that when he sees it on the ‘net. I bet his shoes fit, though. The bosses had their pretty britches on as well, but they usually do. They get to go out in public almost every day, whereas Drew and I are shackled to our computers in the dank, dark windowless dungeon from sunup to sundown. They don’t even let us have a clock. Being in the basement, out of sight of the general public, we’re safe with the good old fashioned T-shirt ‘n blue jeans look.

Finally, the bosses wandered past. “Time for lunch,” they said. “Come on.” Off we trooped, headed to the fabled “business lunch.” Drew said he’s seen one before – I thought they existed only in books. But lo and behold, within minutes we were being led to a table in one of the newer, fancier joints in town. I tried not to boggle at the finery. I’m not sure I succeeded.

I knew I was in trouble when I sat down and saw there were two forks in front of me. You don’t need a fork to eat chicken gizzards, and that’s generally the type of food I eat at restaurants. (My idea of fine food is that which I don’t have to unwrap myself. Pass the ketchup, please.) A quick glance at the menu revealed my salvation. “Ha!” I thought. “I’ll just get a clubhouse sandwich. No fork needed.” About that time the waitress-lady popped out of nowhere at my boss’ elbow. “The special of the day is teriyaki chicken pizza,” she said. I’m sure she said things after that, but I often find myself slightly dazed whenever the word “pizza” floats past my ears.

Needless to say, I ordered the teriyaki chicken pizza. Small talk ensued, both with people I knew and people I’d never met – all nice. The pizza arrived. I saw it coming from across the room. I was ready – atremble with anticipation, napkin in lap. The waitress-lady plopped it in front of me. I took one glance and stifled a forlorn wail – they put BROCCOLI on my pizza. Big, green broccoli branches. On my pizza. Geesh!

What can you do but eat it? Arrrrghhhh!

Eventually the “business lunch” came to a conclusion and they let us leave. I was so happy I took a picture of us leaving. I’m the one behind the camera. You can’t really see me.

Feeling distinctly green due to the broccoli, I was happy to stagger to the front door and stand in the refreshing Iowa gale for a few minutes. Thankfully the packing plants were all downwind.

By the time we got back to the shop, I had to pee. My feet hurt, and I had to pee. I forgot all about my woes with the britches until it was too late and I had the button popped. Great. Thankfully I had at least taken care of one immediate problem (peeing), but now I’m standing in a restroom the size of a midget’s closet (with sore feet), trying valiantly to struggle my swollen belly back into my shrunken fancy pants. It was trying to shovel six pounds of pudding into a five pound bag. Something’s gonna pop, and I was hoping it wasn’t me. But, miracle of miracles, I got my pants buttoned and was able to stagger back to the dungeon and shackle myself to the computer again.

Nothing much exciting happened after that, really. I got an e-mail. That’s about it.

I really kinda wanted to write about politics – there’s lots of stuff happening, and not much of it good, but I’m almost forty years old now and it’s after ten at night. It’s time for me to go gum my prunes and head for bed.

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