Learning through Laughter

Bob Owen, Humorist

I don’t get it.  Never have understood how they can wear them.  Nor why they would want to.  Maybe the attraction is in thinking your pants can fall down at any second.

What I’m talking about here are pants worn by young kids.  I’m thinking probably in high school, but I’m not a good judge any more since my new family doctor couldn’t be more than 15.  These young people I’m harping on at the moment wear shorts with the hems a half inch from the tops of their tennis shoes.  What that requires – and I’m just guessing here – is that the top of the shorts falls about six to eight inches below their waist.  Now, in my limited understanding of anatomy, that’s what the waist is for – to keep your pants up.  That and a belt.

When I was young, we had weird fads, too.  The one I remember most is “pegged” jeans.  You bought a standard pair of jeans, and asked your Mom – or a seamstress if you’d plenty of money – to narrow, or peg, them until the lower pants legs were so tight they literally hugged your calf.  You needed to be careful they weren’t so tight that you couldn’t get your foot through.  But, to me they weren’t as repulsive as the shorts “worn-so-low-that-you-virtually-don’t-have-them-on.”

Hypocritically speaking, not all youth who wear that style offend me.  Last week, I realized that, and I quickly realized why.  It would be the age-old cause of success and failure – Attitude.

Last year, there was a wonderful young man working in our Kroger store who wore his shorts low.  They weren’t so low he had to hold them up constantly.  That would have been hard to stock shelves that way.  But, he was wonderfully customer oriented and polite and smart and so many other cool things.  So his clothing apparel didn’t bother me much.

Last week, I met his “ugly stepbrothers.”  As I came out of a store carrying several packages and trying to find my car keys with my third hand, four charmers swaggered down the street taking up the entire width of the sidewalk, leaving me nothing but a brick wall or the busy street.  Every one of them was holding an iPod in one hand and the crotch of their pants with the other.  Really attractive.  As they came up to me, one of the Fashion Statements bumped into me and knocked packages out of my grasp.

Was it an accident?  You know it wasn’t.  I know it wasn’t.  He knows it wasn’t.  My grandfather might have replied “whippersnapper.”  I concocted an earthier version, but kept it mostly to myself.

At lunch that day, I shared this with a friend who owned a downtown shop; and he said those same guys do that to older pedestrians about every day.

Here is what I dreamed...

A few weeks later, I saw the young “gentlemen” monopolizing the sidewalk.  I stepped into the neighborhood Starbucks and asked for two tall cups.  “No, I don’t want coffee, and yes, I know I need to pay for the cups.”

Out I walked.  The Draggy-Pants Quartet, each with an iPod in one hand and their pants in the other, approached me and deliberately tried to force me off the sidewalk into the street.

When I was within three feet, I pretended to trip and sent the empty coffee cups flying in the air toward them.  Thinking the cups contained hot coffee, the cute little trendsetters reacted: their hands went out to catch the cups and protect themselves, iPods flew in the air, and all four pants hit the pavement around their ankles.  All in front of the people attending the Friday noon concert downtown.

I shared this dream with my wife and she I was being juvenile and silly.

And her point would be…..?

Date of Blog Story: 
October 8, 2008

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