Friday, July 25, 2014
Rant #1,255: Wardrobe Malfunction
Yesterday, I had reason to delve back into my personal memory bank and remember something that happened to me way back when.
I can laugh at the incident all these years later, but when it happened, I was not laughing.
I think it was in third grade, in Mrs. Johnson's class, in old P.S. 30, in Rochdale Village, South Jamaica, Queens, New York.
I must have been about eight years old
She was a no-nonsense type of teacher, and her rope wasn't very long. Once she had you on that rope, one yank, and you were done.
Anyway, we were studying some poem, I don't remember which one, but it was a long poem, so each one of us was going to have to recite a portion of the poem in front of the class.
(To this day, I have no idea why teachers back then wanted their students to memorize poems, and in particular, passages of poems. I guess they thought you would understand the poem better if you memorized it, but I doubt that that ever happened.)
Anyway, I had memorized my portion of the poem, and was ready to go that day, ready to go up in front of the class and do my duty.
Going in front of the class was enough of a traumatizing thing for me, something that I really didn't like to do to begin with.
Having to recite my passage only was going to make the experience worse, but heck, if this is what Mrs. Johnson wanted, this is what Mrs. Johnson was going to get from me.
There was a girl in the class by the name of Ilene. She a thin, brown haired girl, nice looking, pleasant to speak to. I think I probably had a crush on her.
She sat a row in front of me, if I recall correctly, and I guess I was in my phase of being in between hating girls and liking them.
Anyway, about 10 minutes before I was to go up in front of the class, she very innocently dropped her pen or pencil--I forget which, probably a pencil because we were so young--on the floor.
It rolled over to me, and I bent over to pick it up and hand it to her--a pleasant circumstance, because it gave me an opportunity to talk to her, even briefly.
I bent over to get the writing instrument from a sitting position and RIIIIIIIP!--I could feel my pants just disintegrate on my body.
Not really, but I gave her the writing instrument, felt behind my but, and my fingers went up the back of my pants--they had split from roughly just below the belt buckle all the way through to just below the zipper.
What was I going to do? I couldn't tell Mrs. Johnson, out of embarrassment, that I had split my pants, because I think my fellow classmates would have had a good one with that.
I had to go up to recite my passage, in front of everyone, and they would see that years before people called this a wardrobe malfunction, well, that is what I had.
I had a jacket that I wore that was pretty long in length, so I figured that I would go ahead with everything, and do my part of the poem in front of the class, split or no split.
In the middle of someone else's passage, I got up to put on my jacket.
Mrs. Johnson stopped everything to ask me, "Larry, why are you putting on your jacket?"
I replied, "I think I am coming down with something, maybe I am getting a cold, and I am cold."
It seemed like minutes, but her reply was, "Fine, let's move on."
We moved on, and it was finally my turn to recite the passage.
I got up, with my long jacket on, and walked up to the front in such a way that nothing could be seen. It must have looked like I needed to go to the bathroom, but I wiggled my way up to the front of the class, and started to do my recitation.
And I carried it off without a hitch, did it really well, and then blew a sigh of relief that everyone probably thought was because I got through my passage pretty Spic and Span clean.
Little did they know ... .
Anyway, it was the morning, and a little while later, we were let out for lunch. In those days, you could either eat in school or go home for lunch, and as usual, I walked home, but this time, pretty much ran, as my pants were splitting even more with every stride.
I made it home, took off the split pants, put on new pants, and no one was ever the wiser for it.
I look back at that day and I really have to laugh. I pulled the whole thing off without a hitch.
Yesterday at work, for maybe the third or fourth time in my entire working life, I somehow popped a button on my pants--no, not because I am too fat, but because after going to the bathroom, I kind of did a one-handed closure of my pants, and to my chagrin, the button went flying, hitting the wall and bouncing back at me like a ping pong ball.
And like the three or four other times this has happened, I just sucked it up.
I put on my belt extra tight, made sure the button area was covered--my tie pretty much covered it, too, a good reason to wear a tie, I guess--and worked the rest of the day with unbuttoned pants.
And no one was the wiser.
I remember that the first time this happened, I was working in Manhattan for a printing company as a proofreader/go-fer (don't ask), and I actually told someone what had happened. They gave me a needle and thread and told me to sew it up. I had never done this before, was able to do it, and it lasted until I got home, where it popped again.
The other times, I never told a soul.
I am telling you this now because I will bet that all of us have had similar wardrobe malfunctions at the most inopportune times.
And we can all laugh at it, because looking back, it was actually pretty funny, although at the time, it wasn't.
Our ingenuity allowed us to get through the incident, and we moved on from it.
It's a laugh, as they say.
Speak to you again on Monday.
Posted by Larry at 1:55 AM