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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Is That Thirty Pounds of Crap in Your Pants… Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

I’m becoming more and more concerned about my pants.

Not every part of my pants, mind you. The knees, for example, seem to be fine. I’ve got no beef with the cuffs, and the waistline — though bigger around than I think it really has any right to be — has been relatively well-behaved of late. These parts of my pants are not the problem.

Now, I realize that doesn’t leave much for me to be concerned about, so I want you to take any inchoate and inappropriate deas that you might be percolating, and nip them in the bud right now, because:

I am not concerned about my pant-crotch, nor my pant-ass. Let’s just get that right out in the open, okay? I may be concerned — infatuated, even — with the crotches and asses of other people’s pants, but not my own. Not right now. So this is not going to be a ‘naughty bits’ entry. It’s not even going to be a ‘parts of pants covering naughty bits’ entry. So straighten up, and settle down. You and froggy wanna go a-crotchin’, you’re gonna have to do it on your own time.

(Today, at least. There’s every indication that I’ll talk about crotches in some form or another soon. Tomorrow, maybe. The weekend, at the latest. Hang in there, crotch fans. You’ll get yours.)

No, the parts of my pants that concern me are the pockets. More specifically, all the crap in the pockets. I don’t know when the hell it happened, but somewhere along the line, I became a walking fricking supply closet. I put on my jeans in the morning, and they weigh a pound or two. Ten minutes later, when I’ve shoved all my shit in ’em, they’re like a damned anchor around my middle. It’s like wearing a sandbag kilt or something.

(Except for the ‘going commando’ underneath part, of course. Do you know how fricking cold it gets in Boston? My boys down there wouldn’t last ten minutes in this weather before climbing all up in my bidness.

Seriously, if I ever stepped out of the house in November with just a layer of denim covering up the goodies, they’d shoot so far up, I’d need a damned plunger to find them again. I’m talking way up in there. My Adam’s apple would look like a sack of golf balls; that’s how far up I’m talkin’.

And I said you wouldn’t get any crotch talk today. Damn. That one’s on the house, folks.)

All right, what the hell was I talking about? Oh, my pockets. Righty-ho, then.

I remember the good old days, not so very long ago. Things were simpler then. My life wasn’t nearly so complicated, and I had plenty of room in my pants.

(Ahem. You know what I mean. No comments from the peanut gallery. Dammit.)

Anyway, I can recall when all I carried — and all I needed — was a couple of keys and my wallet. That was it. Light shit, and in only two pockets. Oh, if only I could recapture that magic; what heady, intoxicating times those were.

But now? Well, things are different now. Let’s start with the keychain. Back in the day, it was sparse — a key to my apartment, maybe one for work, and one or two for my car. That was it. No frills, no extraneous bullshit keys — just what I needed, and nothing else.

Somewhere along the line, all of that changed. My current keychain is a confusing, bloated nightmare.

(Think Tom Arnold in a Shakespeare play, or Anna Nicole Smith defending herself in court.)

There are keys I’ve never seen before on there. Some of them have labels or writing on them — cryptic nonsense like ‘A-112’ or ‘2nd fl. vault’ or ‘Alex’s BR’.

(What?! How the hell did I get these keys? Where is this ‘vault’, and what the hell’s in it? Is that ‘BathRoom’ or ‘BedRoom’? And who the hell is ‘Alex’?! Is that a guy or a girl? Is my keychain living a double life that I don’t know about? And if ‘Alex’ is a guy… do I want to know about it? What the fuck is going on here?)

But it’s not just the keys — oh, no. The keychain is apparently some sort of inanimate pack rat, because I suddenly have all sorts of baubles and doodads that aren’t keys on there. There are two — not one, but two — grocery store ‘savings cards’. Two! Folks, I’ve stepped foot in a grocery store maybe two times in the past decade. And when I do go, my only goal is to get the hell back out ASAP. Screw the coupons, to hell with ‘comparison shopping’, and fuck the savings cards. Just bag my damned Ho-Ho’s and get me the hell out of there.

(And no, ‘bag my Ho-Ho’s’ wasn’t meant as a sexual euphemism. Just in case you’re wondering. Next time I use it, it’s gonna be. But not this time. I just didn’t think of it in time.)

Anyway, the grocery store crap is just the beginning. There’s also one of those keyless remote thingies for the car, and a bottle opener (okay, so that’s mission-critical equipment; I can’t complain about that), and my Guinness Society pint-shaped pendant. I’m a troll doll and a scrunchie away from having the keychain of a fourteen-year-old freaking girl. How the hell did this happen?

If it were just the keychain, that wouldn’t be so bad. It’s just one pocket, after all. Sure, it might make me leeeean forward and to the right all the time, but I could deal with that. At least I’d always be able to see whether my shoes are tied.

But the keychain’s just the crappy tip of the shitberg. All the other pockets are stuffed to the gills, too. I walk around with a wallet (stuffed full of crap, unless by ‘crap’ you mean ‘money’), a cell phone, sunglasses, a pack of gum, loose change, a pen, a back-pocket notebook (for writing down all the funny things I think of during the day… and yes, it’s currently empty, fuck you very much), and — usually — a small wad of dollar bills.

(In case you missed it, I started collecting the bills a couple of months ago to build a TiVo fund. Well, now I have TiVo, but I’ve still got these stacks of dollar bills piling up. So I carry them around until I remember to put them on the pile at home, or add them to the stash in the car. Or until I wander accidentally into a stripper’s convention at the deli across from my office. Which, um, has never happened. But by God, when it does — I am so ready. I even crease a couple of bills down the middle, just in case. ‘Be prepared‘, that’s my motto.)

And that’s just the crap in my pants on a ‘normal’ day.

(Um, the crap in my pants pockets, that is. There’s no crap in my pants on a ‘normal‘ day, of course. My birthday, maybe. St. Patrick’s Day, sure. Oh, and Arbor Day… but that was just the once. I’ll never look at a poplar the same way again. But I digress.)

Some days, though, there’s even more stuff to jam in there — receipts, ticket stubs, restaurant silverware, small children… the list goes on and on. One day, I’m going to have a blowout — the pocket seams are going to all give at once, and all the keys and money and shit are just going to fly off of me like candy dropping from a pinata’s ass. That would suck.

So, I’m not sure quite what to do. Somehow, my life got complicated. So I need all this shit around, close at hand. But I’m also rapidly approaching the point where I can no longer carry all the crap I need. So what then? I’m not going the ‘man-purse’ route, or strapping on a ‘fanny pack’.

(Sure, you can’t tell based on this blog, but I do have one shred of dignity left. And I’m not giving it up just because I need a place for my house keys. I’ll sleep on the damned lawn before I go there.)

Maybe there’s no good solution. Maybe I’ll have to start wearing shirts with extra pockets, or those commandoesque, thirty-seven-pocketed cargo pant dealies. Keys in the hip pocket, cell phone in the ankle holster, wallet in the ass-crack compartment… yeah, I don’t know. I’m not sure it’s a good idea to have even more places in my clothes where I can forget shit, and get it ruined in the washer. (I lose more pre-creased dollar bills that way.)

I suppose I’ll just keep making do with my current system. I just hope I don’t get a little MP3 player for Christmas, or develop one of those Altoids addictions you hear about in the papers. I don’t think I’d have any place to store those things when they’re not in use. I’m at full capacity as it is. There’s no more room in the trousers-inn. My jeans are standing room only. My pants are violating the fire code.

(Okay, that last one doesn’t make a lot of sense. Still, I was taught that it’s always a good idea to get ‘my pants’ and ‘violating’ in the same sentence, if you can. Add in ‘fire’, and it’s a must. My hands are tied. I can’t buck the system, people.)

Anyway, keep an eye out for me. I’ll be the one with the bulging pants.

(Yeah, I say that to all the girls.) But my pants will be bulging — and quivering, and quite possibly throbbing — in all directions, not just in the front. So be on the lookout. And if you hear the seams start to rip, or a loud crrreeeeaaakkk, take cover. My pants are about to blow, and you don’t want to get caught in the middle of that. Just do me a favor — once the explosion is over, help me track down my essentials, okay? Just the house key and the bottle opener — I can do without the rest of it and start over. I’d really appreciate it.

And if my gratitude’s not enough, there’s a center-creased dollar bill in it for you. Just pray that you find it first, or I’ll give it to you my way. And ‘my way’ is not gonna be in your pocket. I think our pockets have been through just about enough, don’t you?

Permalink  |  1 Comment

One Response to “Is That Thirty Pounds of Crap in Your Pants… Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?”

  1. RRaccoon says:

    The link to the ‘inchoate’ definition now goes to ‘zenith’ = that’s ‘zenith’. In relation to the crotchal area of your pants, you see the dilemma.

    At the TiVo section there is a large parenthetical paragraph then ONE SENTENCE then another parenthetical paragraph. I think it’s about a 3:1 regular paragraph to parenthesis ratio around this place. Never before have a seen a more appropriately named blog!

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