I realize that in most civilized parts of the country, there are still a few weeks of summer vacation left. Heck, some of you lucky rascals may even get to relax until Labor Day. But here, in southern Louisiana, I’m back to teaching next week. And boy, I’m ecstatic. Can’t you tell?
In my experience, the only people who dread Back-to-School more than the students are the teachers. You parents out there, no doubt, are getting ready to pop some champagne. And I don’t blame you. But here I am, a grown man, out to do some school shopping, something I thought I was over and done with nearly 10 years ago. Teachers need everything students need — pens, paper, glue, markers — and tons of stuff kids never need — red pens, rolodexes, grading calculators, Vicodin…
But that’s not what I was shopping for today, friends. Today, I wanted pants. Just plain pants. Khakis, to be specific. When I was younger, I never wore khakis. Hated ’em. Now, they’re my primary work pant of choice, mainly because I can’t wear jeans and dark slacks are too hot in 97 degree weather. But I happened to notice this week that all of my khakis have either big holes in them or big ink stains on them. This is an occupational hazard for people like me (read: dorks).
I hate shopping for clothes. In case you guys haven’t noticed, I’m a big dude. It’s okay, I’ve made my peace with it. I really wouldn’t mind if it weren’t for the fact that shopping for pants is nigh-impossible. Shopping for shirts is relatively easy. It’s not hard to find a 3XL shirt in a mainstream department store. Unless I’m looking for a geek shirt — a superhero or movie T-shirt. Why don’t they make those in bigger sizes? You KNOW the people making these shirts have seen the Comic Shop Guy on The Simpsons. You want to break the stereotype of geeks wearing shirts three sizes too small? Make bigger shirts!
But I digress.
Pants shopping sucks for me, but not for the reason you may think. It isn’t really that big a hassle to find pants that fit around my waist. The Clothing Manufacturers of America have accepted the fact that, as a country, we just won’t put down the double cheeseburgers. “Go ahead, let ’em out again,” is the motto of the Clothing Manufacturers of America. However, when I say I’m a “big dude,” I don’t just mean horizontally. I’m also a big dude vertically. Even traveling in a straight line, there is a considerable amount of distance between my waist and my ankles. So when I find pants that fit around my waist, the pant legs wind up dangling about nine inches away from the ground, and when I find pants that are of an appropriate length, trying to put them on would pinch off my colon and result in a situation not unlike when Bugs Bunny cinches a garden hose and then hands it to Elmer Fudd. And nobody wants that. The Clothing Manufacturers of America won’t allow us to be both Big and Tall. They want us to choose one or the other!
So I went to the store and I began the hunt. I looked at all the shelves. I dug through the slacks. I bemoaned the lack of comfort-fit waistbands. And I caused considerable back damage to myself at the time. That’s another dirty trick that the retailers play on big guys — they put the biggest sizes of pants on the bottom shelves. “You want some pants in your size, fatty? Okay — but you’re gonna have to do a few toe touches to get ’em!”
But finally, against all odds, I found them. There they were. Khakis that would get around my waist and still leave only a modest sliver of socks visible. And what’s more, they were marked down to seven dollars. So I bought three pairs.
Then I went home and bemoaned the fact that I’ve reached a point in my life where such a thing can be considered exciting.
Get out the vote!
You know, friends, I don’t like to get overly political here at the ‘Realms. I hate those obnoxious celebrities who try to influence the way people vote, and I don’t want to become one of them. But the current voting cycle is too important for me to keep my mouth shut. Therefore, friends, we here at Evertime realms are officially giving our full endorsement to…
I know, it’s a bold, controversial choice, but let’s look at the facts. Iliza is WAY funnier than any of the dudes left on Last Comic Standing. She’s a cool, original, funny voice, and if she doesn’t win, it will make us here at Evertime Realms very sad.
I know I may have just alienated myself from many of my readers, but it had to be said.
By the way, folks, if you haven’t done so already, please read yesterday’s post and answer just a few questions to help me make the Realms even better. Thanks!