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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!

Clothes Make the Monday

Today was an odd day. An awful lot of my Monday revolved, one way or another, around apparel. Gather round, and have a seat — I’ll tell you all about it. Pull up a chair. Have some nice hot tea. It’ll be fun. Really.

So, when the clock struck midnight this morning, I was — finally — unpacking the last dregs of my suitcase from the holiday break. Oh, all the important stuff was already out, washed, and long ago put away — the undies, and the tube socks, and the SpiderMan Underoos. You know, the essentials. But there were still a couple of things there — a couple of dirty T-shirts, and a sweatshirt I didn’t get a chance to wear. There may have been a rugby in there, too — hell, that’s just about all I wear; the odds are pretty damned good. And finally, at the very bottom of the suitcase, was a new navy dress shirt that I got for Christmas.

So, I dealt with all the other shit first. Tees in the laundry, sweatshirt in the drawer, rugby back in the closet. It all took maybe twelve seconds — blink, and you’d miss it.

(Okay, so that’s not quite true, I guess, unless you’re one hell of a blinker. Seriously, twelve seconds would be a pretty damned impressive blink, don’t you think? Maybe not if you’re kissing your sweetie — twelve seconds of eyes-closed goodness is nothin’ when you’re getting a little lippy love. But just sitting there, twiddling your thumbs? Twelve seconds isn’t a ‘blink’; it’s damned near a friggin’ nap.

But, wouldn’t you know it, I digress. Let’s see what’s going on back at the ranch.)

That left me with my new button-down shirt. Now, this should come as a surprise to approximately none of you, but I don’t get all ‘gussied up’ very often. I wear dress shirts for weddings, funerals, and job interviews, and vanishingly rarely in between. So it’s been a while since I’ve actually bought — or, more to the point, unwrapped — a brand new button-down.

And holy shit, folks — there is a lot to it! I honestly had no idea. It took me fifteen mintes to extricate this stupid damned shirt from all the paraphenalia that was attached to it. And when I was finally done, I had the following:

one new navy blue button-down shirt

eight stick pins (one of them slightly bloodied… yes, I’m a clumsy boob)

one clear plastic neck-liner thingy

one slightly larger cardboard neck-liner thingy

one tag that had been held on by one of those little white plastic doohickeys with the flattened ends

another tag that had been tied around one of the buttons with a piece of string

one sticky clear strip of plastic with ‘Large’ written on it over and over

one large piece of chest-shaped cardboard, pulled from within the bowels of the folded shirt

That’s one hell of a lot of ‘fixins’ for a shirt that I’m going to wear maybe twice in my life, folks. I may well have spent more time getting it unwrapped and jammed on a hanger than I’ll ever spend with it on my back. And I think I still have a pin stuck up my left nostril. All in all, I’m not sure it was worth the effort. I don’t know why I wear stupid damned shirts in the first place, anyway.

Next up today was getting bundled up for work this morning. But not quite as bundled up as the past few days. See, it’s been something like six degrees Kelvin around here for the past week. So in order to go outside, I’ve had to strap on a coat, and gloves, and a scarf, and a hat, and any other warm, fuzzy thing I can get my hands on. Earmuffs, small rodents, feral cats, Richard Simmons… it really didn’t matter. Anything that might keep me warm.

(Though I was a little annoyed by the cats licking my face all the time. And I don’t even want to tell you what Richard tried to wiggle his tongue into. That really is one disturbed, hairy little man.)

Anyway, today was different. Today, the mercury finally made its way back into the twenties — downright balmy by New England standards. So I had decisions to make this morning — wear the coat, or leave it at home? Don the hat, and look like Krusty the Clown for another day (yes, I’m in dire need of a haircut), or go without? Wrap the scarf around my neck for warmth, or the dog’s legs for entertainment? These are all important questions, of course, not to be taken lightly.

In the end, I went with the coat, but left the hat and scarf at the house. In other words, I allowed ninety percent of my heat to escape through my wild and woolly hairy head, and another five percent to leak out through my exposed neck. But at twenty degrees, even that’s not so bad. Even five percent of my usual heat is enough to keep the ol’ brain moving, and the legs churning, and the crotch fired up. Er, well, maybe not ‘fired up‘, per se, but at least… outside the body. Which is nice. I didn’t see my testicles for nearly a week during the cold snap — it was nice to know they’re still… ahem, hanging around. So to speak.

Yeah, let’s just move on before I say something like that again, all right?

So, wrapping up this apparel trifecta, I’ll admit that I realized this morning that I had a little… problem. Nothing too alarming, or deal-breaking — in other words, nothing that would force me to get back in the car and come back home to fix. Still, there were some issues down there, and they weren’t going away. That’s right, friends — today was a ‘bad pants day’.

I’m not sure exactly what the problem was. Things were okay in the… waistage area. Apparently, being sick in bed for four days cancelled out all the Christmas cookies I ate, so there hadn’t been any ‘unsightly expansion’ that I was aware of.

(Well, okay, maybe a little, when I watched an episode of Family Guy before work this morning. Damn, that Lois is quite the little number, ain’t she?

But that, um, ‘unsightly expansion’ was only temporary… and wasn’t really in the waist area, exactly. And… well, I don’t really like to talk about it. My wife gets all catty when I talk about Lois too much. Moving on.)

Anyway, something was going on with my pants today, and I never did figure out exactly what it was. But no matter what I did, I just didn’t feel comfortable in my own denim today. It pulled at the top of this leg, and then bunched at the back of that knee, and then wiggled around and yanked itself all up in my bidness. Every time I turned around — or bent over, or did any sort of ‘riverdancing’ — there was some bit of my pants giving me grief.

And it was constant, all day long. Tug this, adjust those, furtively look all around and then yank that out of my ass… I couldn’t concentrate all day, until I finally got home and could get comfortable. Then, I could finally relax, and lounge in any position I wanted. I tell you, folks — thank heaven for those SpiderMan Underoos. They saved my ass again. And this time, quite possibly literally. Ahhhhhhhh.

So, that’s it — an unusual day of clothing-related nuisances and annoyances. And tomorrow, I’ll have to go back to work and ask everyone what the hell they said to me all day today. I wasn’t really listening, what with misadjusted pants legs and denim seams halfway up my hoohah.

(If I, you know, actually have a ‘hoohah’. I really never was much good with these technical medical terms.)

Ah, well. Maybe tomorrow will be better. I’ll have no complicated shirts to unwrap, for one thing. And the temperature will be up in the twenties again, so I shouldn’t have to worry about hats and scarves and Eskimo mukluks, which is nice. And my pants… well, the pants are a real unknown, I’ve gotta admit. Maybe I’ll just wear my Underoo bottoms to work — hey, people may snicker and point (more than usual, that is), but dammit, I’ll be comfortable. And really, when you get right down to it, isn’t that what’s most important?

Um… it isn’t? What do you mean? You’re saying ‘keeping your damned job’ is ahead of ‘comfort’ on the list? I see. Well, shit. Guess I’m back to those itchy, scrunchy, wiggly bags of denim again. Can’t I ever win, just friggin’ once? Bitches!

Permalink  |  3 Comments

3 Responses to “Clothes Make the Monday”

  1. Erin says:

    Being a chix chick I kinda hate to say this, but you were a total girl today, Charles! Try wearing panty hose (Underalls instead of Underoos)to work and you’ll have walked a mile in our pumps!

    Here’s hoping you have more cooperative clothes and warmer weather soon!

  2. Jeff A says:

    I have had that problem with pants before, I believe it has something to do with anarchy. I saw on Jimmy Neutron where his pants tried to take over the world and I think my pants may have seen that episode too and gotten the idea into their head (do pants have a head?, maybe crotch would be right, nah, I’ve never had a good idea come out of my crotch) anyway it may very well be that your pants have also seen that episode and what we have is renegade pants. I will notify the Marines!

  3. shelley says:

    I would have sat through the whole post if you had offered a caffeine-free tea alternative. What is it with all you English Breakfast and Earl Grey types? Give me ginger-lemon or Raspberry Zinger any day.

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