The word pants holds up as one of the most entertaining and fun pieces of verbage in all of English. Joe Blevins capitalizes on the power of pants in this very story. Back in the Pork Pony days, Joe came to us via Craig J. Clark, a PP regular and author of the web comic Dada. I lost contact with Mr. Blevins, but would love to see more of his stories here. (CL)
UPDATE 5-4-05: Joe's now in touch with me again and he's going to post new material on Unloosen. Everyone, down a glass of Ovaltine to celebrate. (CL)
Sad, isn't it, when a man realizes he can no longer trust his own pants?
Such were the thoughs of Ralph Dunwitty, 38, a wholesale caulk salesman by trade, as he lay on the floor of his one-room apartment clad only in a pair of dingy Fruit-of-the-Looms.
Ralph stared up despondently at the tan double-knit slacks, which were folded neatly at the foot of his bed. The pants almost seemed to be mocking him.
"Can these be the same slacks I fell in love with?" he asked himself. It was nearly impossible to believe.
Those early, blissful times Ralph had with the polyester trousers now seemed like a marvelous dream to him, a fairy tale of mirth and wonder. When Ralph closed his eyes, he could still remember how he found them in the Sears menswear department and purchased them with the pennies he had been saving in a Folger's can for nearly two years. What a day that was! It's such a beautiful moment when a man finds the pants he wants to spend the rest of his life with.
And, oh, the places that Ralph went in those pants. Bus stations, barber shops, petting zoos... you name it! Ralph was happy. And Ralph thought that the pants were happy, too. He had no reason to doubt it.
But then, one gray and gloomy January day, came the Incident. Yes, I'm referring to the Incident Involving The Receipt. You know the one.
Ralph was searching the pockets of his pants -- yes, THOSE pants -- for an orange Tic-Tac. The double-knit slacks, you must understand, had unusually large pockets. This was one of the things Ralph loved most about them. He could keep his keys, a lucky rabbit's foot, and some pennies in there and STILL have room for a generous portion of orange Tic-Tacs.
But when Ralph delved deep into those pockets, he did not emerge with an orange Tic-Tac but instead a small sheet of paper. It was a receipt from the Sleep-N-Leave, a sleazy motel near the airport.
Ralph examined the receipt carefully. He had never stayed at the Sleep-N-Leave. The truth hit him like an anvil in one of those old Looney Toon cartoons.
"MY GOD!" Ralph shouted. "MY PANTS HAVE BEEN CHEATING ON ME!"
Ralph immediately stripped himself of the wayward slacks and threw them to the floor in a fit of rage.
"IS IT TRUE? ARE THE ALLEGATIONS TRUE? SAY IT AIN'T SO, PANTS! SAY... IT... AIN'T... SO!"
But the pants said nothing.
Ralph was shattered, destroyed, obliterated. He was a smoking crater, a smoldering husk, a spent casing. Nothing mattered to him anymore. Maybe nothing would ever matter to him again.
And he wept. Ralph Dunwitty, 38, wept like a baby. He wept like he hadn't wept since he was 13 and Ronny Kinkaid stole his ice cream cone and no one else would believe it since Ronny Kinkaid was on the damned Honor Roll and Ralph had never managed to get higher than a C+, and that was in gym class, for crying out loud.
And Ralph still weeps today... when he's not watching "The Price Is Right" or scarfing down box after box of Thin Mints, that is. His caulk dealership has gone to seed. He talks to no one. No one talks to him. He doesn't seem to care about much of anything anymore. And all because of those damned double-knit slacks.
The moral of the story: NEVER BUY PANTS AT SEARS. You have been warned.