13 July, 2007

8 Random Facts, Well, Random Facts

The random facts meme is making a second round, and I've been tagged again by KB and Weekend Fisher. That's pretty cool, and thanks! I cannot come up with 8 things about myself that are both random and interesting, though. And it's not the "random" part that's giving me fits. Yeah, I'm a big draw at parties.

I figured I'd go for one random story instead, and then go entomb myself in amber after I capture in text just how blazingly dull I really am. Maybe I'll be able to compete with billion year old mosquitoes some day.

I bought a pair of pants the other day. They were green. (See, the random part is pretty easy.) I was replacing my other pair of green pants. This was kind of a normal pair of green pants, but it deserved to be replaced. Foremost, it deserved to be replaced because I have green socks, and I would hate to throw them away just for lack of green pants. More to the point, I would be physically unable to throw them away. They're still socks, so why should I treat them as garbage?

Socks need to be thrown away only when they have holes in them. And by holes, I don't mean the little holes that show up where your big toenail meets the shoe leather and wears that little hole in the top toe of the sock. That hole gets whip-stitched and back into the washing machine the sock goes. Socks need throwing away when the hole cannot be whip-stitched like when the hole's in the bottom of the heel or up in the part of the sock you pull on. I guess they call that the top of the sock.

I remember throwing away a pair of socks once. I think it was about three years ago.

Other than that, the natural deselection process of drying the socks and one disappearing every now and again is my only natural sock disposal instinct. Whenever half of a perfectly good pair of socks (and they're all perfectly good, right) disappears, the survivor goes into the bottom drawer to await the reappearance of its partner. Right now, I have about the same number of socks in the top and bottom drawers.

4 of the socks (that would be 2 pairs of them) in the top drawer, though, are green. They have not lost their partners (so they know what to do, skip to their lou their darling) so they cannot find their way to the bottom drawer. But if they're in the top drawer, then I need a pair of pants to go with them.

The pair of pants that has gone with them for a long time is the green pair. It's made of some kind of odd plasticy knit substance. It was a scary thing for me to pull them out of the dryer the first time, because irons never mix well with odd plasticy knit clothing. I've tried it before, and the iron gets kind of black and plasticy on the bottom while the clothing becomes a little more see-through than I'm comfortable with in little triangular shaped areas with black edges.

And I had never failed to iron a piece of clothing that I wear while being paid a salary.

The green plasticy pants said they did not need to be ironed.

Somebody was obviously either stupid, ridiculously optimistic, or didn't know me. Of course the odds of the latter are about 6.6 billion to 5 or so, and since I know the 5 people who know me don't make green pants, we'll assume pants makers are part of the 6.6 billion. That assumption's much more charitable than the idiot thing anyway.

But, I was up to the task. I figured out (quite brilliantly, if I do say so myself) that if I always ironed the green pants first, I could set the iron low enough that it would not create that smell that meant a premature purchase of new green pants. Then, when it was time to iron the other pants, I could turn the iron up to its customary setting of, "Max steam/heat/cotton/toast dark," and get down to business.

That worked for a period of months or years or something. I really have no idea when I acquired those pants, but I know I got my first salaried job in 1998.

My pants were wrinkle free when I was done - rest assured of that.

After a while, much longer ago that I can accurately recall, one of the cats had a moment of affection for me. You can always tell when a cat is feeling the love, because it hurts you somehow. In this case, it pulled up a couple loops of plasticy thread from the front of the thigh of those pants. That was the last time the cats were allowed in my lap while I was dressed for earning a salary unless I have a pillow in my lap. There's always a pillow somewhere near the computer now just in case I need to blog and get a cat to quit rubbing up against first one ankle, then the other, then the first, then the other, then the first, then the other, then the first, then the other, then the first, then the other, then the first, then the other, then the first, then the other, then the first, then the other, then the first, then the other, then the first, then the other, then the first, then the other, then the first, then the other, then the first, ... QUIT IT, CAT!!! Get up here!

So, my loopy, plasticy, green pants served me faithfully for an unknown period of time when I noticed that the creases in my other cottony pants had see-through creases. It was a funny thing to note. I went to iron them for the XXXXth time (It was certainly more than the Xth time, but the XXth time looks funny and it certainly was not the XXXth time, so it must have been the XXXXth), and somehow I held them up to the light in an unusual way. All the threads that go up and down the pants were fine except right at the crease. There were no up and down threads there. There were only right to left threads, and if I put my eye up close enough, I could watch TV through the crease in my pants.

That explained why it was getting easier to iron the crease into the pants, but it probably was not appropriate for someone who was earning an actual salary. I mean, for an hourly worker who gets paid only for what he actually does and for every hour that he is doing it, it might make sense to spend more time doing stuff than making sure that his clothes all have all the usual threads. But for a salaried worker who gets paid for breathing, and is expected to do lots of it, but gets paid the same no matter how much breathing he actually does, it's probably more important to have the accepted thread count all the way around the pants leg.

So, I bought new pants to go with the green ones. And the new pants said "no-iron" also. Which put me in a quandry. The iron might be too hot by the time I got to the third pair of no-iron pants. I gnawed on my toothpick and scratched my noggin as I cogitated on this little horse nugget. And that was pretty much the last time I ever ironed a pair of pants. I decided no-iron was going to have to prove it, and never looked back.

Over the weeks or years or months, or whatever it's been, that little green pair of pants kept right on keeping on even without being ironed every other week.

Then the zipper got stuck in the down position. That was probably just a few months ago. I stood there in the stall at work, wondering how I was going to earn my salary without leaving the bathroom - then comforting myself that the word, "earn," never really applies to salary. Then magically the zipper went back up. Phew. Over the weeks, I learned that if I kind of held the right panel up a little higher and pulled to the left, the zipper would usually cooperate eventually.

I considered putting a whip-stitch in the zipper so that I could never zip it down past the point that it seemed to stick. I had green thread, of course, so it was an option. But who knows whether something bad might happen, and so far I had always managed to outsmart the zipper when it mattered, so the needle and thread stayed put. Now, you might ascribe that to procrastination, but if you did I'd have to award you some kind of prize for astuteness, so please don't.

Besides, I was having bigger problems with my keys falling out of the hole in the front left pocket. If the keys would fall out completely, it wouldn't be that bad, but they never did that. They fell half-way out, then kind of got hung up so I could neither get them out the bottom of my pants leg, nor out of the top of the pocket. One day it got to be a little too much for even me, so I flopped the pocket up out of the top of my pants and deployed the sewing kit. Yes, right there at work. Doesn't everyone keep a sewing kit at work? I carefully rolled the pocket up so that the hole itself was inside the roll, and then whip-stitched the roll in place.

I think maybe the whip-stitch is more parts philosophy than sewing technique, but that's probably another post - a vaguely insulting post with lots of discordant undertones.

Anyway, the front left pocket was now shorter than it was before, but my keys stayed in it. It felt so strange at times that I actually considered putting my keys into my front right pocket.

No really. I gave it real thought. I bet you didn't know I was flexible enough to consider putting my keys into my front right pocket instead of my front left pocket, but I am. I'm an unpredictable wildman, really. Of course, I decided against it, but only for the most rational of reasons. If I put my keys into my front right pocket, I would have to deal with the frustration of first switching my laptop case from my left hand to my right hand, so that I could get the keys out of my left pocket, then remembering that the keys were in my right pocket because these are the green pants and switching the laptop back to my left hand to grab the keys, then switching the laptop back because I always unlock the car with my left hand anyway. See? It just wasn't worth the psychic investment and effort to start keeping my keys in the wrong pocket.

And all day long my left leg would be telling my head that I had lost my keys, and my head would not know to ask my right leg whether the keys were actually over there, so I would start patting myself randomly wondering where my keys are. And just about the time people started looking at me, wondering whether I was going to sprout tomatoes from the top of my head or something, I'd remember that the keys were just in the wrong pocket and I'd have to get that sheepish look and explain that I "thought I'd lost my keys, but they were here all along. Ooops." Heck, just having the shorter pocket made my left leg ask my head where my keys had gone a few times a day. But my head could always kind of tell my leg to at least look twice before complaining, and then it and my head and me would all remember that my pocket was a little shorter and we'd all share a chuckle together, and nobody else would be looking at me like tomatoes were going to grow out of my head.

So my green pants that were no longer being ironed, and that had a couple of loops pulled into them by the affectionate cat, and that had the sticking zipper, and that had the short pocket went with me to work two days every two weeks and we earned our salaries in relative peace and comfort.

The odd thing is that all the other pants that said, "no-iron," now need ironing. What's that all about? The green pants still don't need to be ironed, but the tan pants come out of the dryer looking kind of like I lost my pillow in the middle of the night and I decided to just sleep on my pants instead. Only I'd gone to bed wearing them, so they were kind of wrinkly anyway when I took them off to use them as a pillow. Then I had a dream about fighting a dog-sized origami monster, but I won when I folded it down to the size of a "forever" postage stamp, woke up in a sweaty mess, realized I was late for work, threw them on, and ran out the door.

I figure they were "no-iron" because of some chemical they laced the threads with, and that after a mere year or two the chemical all goes away. Even drying the pants with two of those magical dryer sheet thingies didn't help.

So I had to decide whether to start ironing my no-iron pants again, or to stop at a store and leave money there in exchange for new pants. That's a painful experience for me, so I thought the best thing to do was to sleep on the question for a few more months. Eventually the answer would come clear to me.

Then the front left pocket of the green pants got another hole in them.

So I went out and bought another pair of green pants. The new green pants have an expando waist band in case I quit playing tennis or something. What a dumb idea.

Anyway, I figure it was about time for a new pair of pants.

Like I said it's pretty easy to come up with random stuff but really hard to come up with anything interesting. Now. Where do I keep that embalming amber?


Milly said...

One-I read party of this to my sister who is a programer, boy how I laughed. She said not all programers are like that. Sure I’ve had dinner with her co-workers.

Two- My new car has the thingy that makes the horn honk so I don’t have to walk back to my car check the doors because despite me pushing the button four times it might be unlocked and I might have a Chris LeDoux CD in it and that’s what they’d want. I then walk away holding the remote in a way as to not make it unlock the door and no it never has happened but my brain said it could so I listen. We aren’t quirky they are. The norm is people like us.

Three-What color of green? Because there is a fine line with green pants. Can I use these as a putting green?

Four-How are the cats?

You cracked me up Cowboy.

Weekend Fisher said...

Man, I recognized myself in that so many times I lost count. And I haven't laughed that hard in awhile either. I particularly sympathized with refusing to give up on pants even when the zipper misbehaves, and the refusing to carry keys in the other pocket because the psychic gymastics aren't worth it. Been there, done that, laughing so I can hardly type ...

Take care & God bless

Kansas Bob said...

Were those no-iron pants made by Hanes or Levi Strauss? Sweat pants and jeans are the only no-iron pants that I know of - of course I haven't seen green-jeans in a while :)

codepoke said...

It's always nice when your friends get together and laugh for a while with you. Too bad I can't say I was exaggerating or something redeeming like that.


Very cool about not having to walk back and check the car every time. :-)

The color of green would be acceptable to the US Army. Sorry, but Bud Collins would not be caught dead in them.

> How are the cats?
No better.

salguod said...

That was, uh, long. :-D But pretty funny. I can relate to the keys in the wrong pocket thing. I'd be torn between going crazy that my keys were hitting me 1/4" higher in the thigh and the ridiculousness of putting my keys in the other pocket. Neither would be acceptable.

I once had a pair of shorts with no left rear pocket. That's where my wallet goes. I'd reluctantly put my wallet on the right side and squirm every time I sat down. Then I'd read around with my left hand to get my wallet and it's not there. So my left hand would continue around until it came to the right pocket and would attempt, usually unsuccessfully, to retrieve the wallet.

Milly - Both my cars have the horn honk thing and when I use it (you have to hit the button twice to get the honk) it drives my wife nuts. :-P

BTW, codepoke, I tagged you a week ago. I guess I shoulda let you know. My 8 things were 8 unknown things. I don't care if they're random or interesting. :-P

Or you could just say this was your response to me too and call it good.

BTW2 - What's this iron thing you do to our pants?

codepoke said...

Ooops, Sorry Sal! Not only did I miss your tag, but then I made you sit through a 30 minute tome on a pair of pants.

Someone should really start treating you better!

> BTW2 - What's this iron thing you do to our pants?

You have to try it. Get a 1 iron from your golf bag and spend at least 5 minutes beating the stuffing out of your pants. I guarantee you, the folk at work will never look at you the same again.

salguod said...

What's this golf bag thing you speak of? :-D

Lynne said...

ROFL! I'm glad Milly sorted out what colour green, because that was the burning question as I was reading. (I'm a girl, right? I think colours matter) Of course, if you were Aussie you'd probably line-dry them and if you hang them up right they're a lot less likely to need ironing. And when it comes to not buying new clothes you sound like my husband. Is this the true secret of the difference between the genders .. whether you actually LIKE new clothes??