Every now and then I like to sit down and write about things in my everyday life that inspire me. The following was written in response to a coworker of mine who showed up to work wearing some hilarious greenish brown pants that were kind of jeans but not really jeans. Every time he wore the pants to work I made sure to comment on them and ask him where he acquired such unusual trousers. Eventually a backstory began to formulate in my head and this story is the result, which I printed multiples of and distributed to various members of the staff.
It was a balmy Saturday afternoon in mid January when Scott, exacerbated by a fruitless search for comfortable fitting pants pulled into the parking lot of the absolute last store on his list. When the nearby Sears, JC Penny, and KOHL’s stores didn’t have anything to his liking he decided that he was going to take his search in a completely different direction. He stared out through his windshield at the dilapidated sign atop an ancient looking structure on the seedy side of town. Hairline fractures lined the brick and a thick build up of soot, mold, or some other foreign substance coated the base of the building.
Questionable looking people of all sorts shuttled themselves to and from the establishment, cackling and laughing along the way. Several had only a few teeth within their cavernous gaping mouths. Mullets, mohawks, and bowl cuts adorned the heads of the patrons as they smiled stupidly at the wares they had just purchased. Others had facial skin that looked like old leather with deep cracks that formed as they grinned.
Scott had a thought that rolled through his mind as he observed the scene. “This looks like the Star Wars cantina!” Although the crowd did indeed look alien, it was not the scene from a 70’s science fiction movie but rather the parking lot of a local Goodwill store. “I’m just wasting my time” he uttered to himself as he closed his car door behind him making sure to lock it from his key fob. The unseasonably warm day lifted his melancholy mood slightly as he walked towards the entrance. In the back of his mind a thought told him that this false spring would disappoint him shortly just as his quest to find pants at the Goodwill would.
He opened the door and a vast sea of assorted baubles assaulted his eyes accompanied by an interesting mixture of smells and odors. Old books with damaged spines, large quantities of VHS tapes, audio cassettes, and even an 8 track player stuck out at him as he walked through the aisles of outdated electronics towards the men’s clothing section. A sea of CRT televisions displaying nothing but blue screens caused him to squint as he marched onwards. The sound of children crying and the local rabble hooting and shouting started to give him a headache.
“I should have just gone to the flea market to see what they had” he said to himself as he continued walking through the women’s clothing towards his destination. Plus sized dresses that looked as though a football player could wear them stood out as he curiously pondered upon the appearance of a woman who could fill out such an article. At this point he stepped in something gooey that caused his left shoe to make an almost velcro ripping noise as he trudged onwards.
At long last he reached his destination in the back quadrant of the store. Racks and racks of t-shirts stood in front of him. KISS, Ghostbusters, He-Man, Hawaii Five-0, and various other franchises he hadn’t thought of in decades adorned the front of the apparel with faded graphics that chipped off as he shuffled through them. He chuckled aloud as he saw a shirt that said “I Shot J.R.”. He now contemplated buying season one of “Dallas” on DVD after leaving the store.
At that moment something caught his eye. On a shelf about knee high in the absolute back corner of the department he saw the most enchanting pair of pants he had ever laid eyes on. They were a faded green color with a hint of khaki brown; but these were not khaki. No they were made of the denim jean material he loved so much! Tired of the typical “blue jeans” Scott was longing for something different, and that is exactly what he found.
Scott brushed aside the cobwebs and hastily scurried with the pants to the attendant. They appeared to be just his size. They were wide enough to give him plenty of room, and yet short enough not to bunch up above his ankles. But he wanted to be sure they fit. “Can I try these on somewhere?” Scott asked the elderly attendant. She set her cigarette down and pointed towards the men’s restroom.
As Scott entered the facilities a foul and unpleasant odor crept into his nostrils. Many years ago Scott had seen an episode of “Bill Nye the Science Guy” that said a sense of smell is the result of tiny particles of a substance entering your nose. He shuttered to think of what kind of substances were entering his body at this moment. He walked into an open stall and locked the door behind him. Hanging his existing pants over the stall wall he happily slid into the vintage pair he had just found. A euphoria came over him instantly. He had never worn something so delightful. They were smooth and silky on his skin, and conversely he felt they portrayed a masculine look.
With a grin on his face Scott exited the stall. “I’ll wear these out” he said to himself. As he cut through the commoners to the front register he couldn’t help but noticed the impressed look of the other patrons. The ladies swooned. The men appeared jealous. The children pointed and gasped. He was a sight to behold.
“I’ll take these” he said to the cashier, pointing his hands downwards and sticking his right leg out for the cashier to see. Her mouth dropped open and the cigarette fell out of her mouth onto the counter. “Nice pants” she said in her deep gravely voice. “What are you doing tonight sweetheart?” A good question he thought, for this was the first day of the rest of his life.