Saturday 13 October 2012

Never Really Fashionable

I have been pretty lax about keeping the cars cleaned of late. I am not one of those guys that will spend the weekend washing, waxing and polishing my ride inside and out. I really don’t care that much. I figure that if God wants me to have a clean car then He will set things up so that I park it outside when it rains and if possible small animals that have been rolling in wax will frolic on the car and give it a nice polish. So far God has been too busy to set those things in motion and has left the washing up to me.

I realized that I had to wash the car that Louise drives when I noticed she was very careful not to touch it when she got in. It has been a few weeks and I am normally better than that. I parked out front when we came home and got ready to go out and do battle with dirt and grime. You know there is no way I am going to pay to get it washed when I can do it for free out front. I put on my car washing jacket (yep, I have a special jacket), folded my pants twice to make large cuffs and put on my regulation Post Office rubber boots. I went out and got the brush and hose and before you could say “Clean as a whistle.” I was done.

I came in and looked down at my feet and noticed the cuffs. I haven’t had cuffs for a long, long time, and to tell you the truth I kind of miss them. I always had cuffs on my pants as a kid, but I imagine that was because I always wore hand-me-downs from my brother Steve. It could be because mom and dad would buy pants that were a size or two too big and that cuffs were as good a method as any to adjust the length as I grew. I recall that most of the kids I went to school with would have cuffs on their pants as well. When you were playing, sometimes you would need to stop and re-cuff your pants so that you could run unfettered.

I have this memory of jeans lined with red and blue plaid flannel that I would wear in the winter when I was in high school. Mom probably could have hemmed them, but I liked the look of the plaid flannel poking out at the bottom of my leg. That was 14 year old Ken’s idea of cool, is it any wonder I didn’t have a girl friend.

I can remember times when I found a quarter that I had dropped which had lodged inside the cuff. There were times that I kept a spare pack of matches folded up in the cuffs and the odd time a gram or two of hash. Not very often, just when I thought the possibility was there that I might be frisked by the cops late at night. They never go down as far as the ankles, well, at least they never did on TV. Those were times when cuffs were pretty useful. Once I dropped a cigarette and it just disappeared. I looked and looked, but it was no where to be found. I don’t know what I thought had happened to my smoke; perhaps a passing angel decided the he just wanted a toke or two for old times sake. Of course it was caught by my cuff and eventually I discovered it. It may have been the smell of burning cloth that gave it away, but I suspect the little scar on my left ankle is the result of that missing smoke.

I actually own some dress pants with cuffs, but they aren’t what I would call real cuffs. They are sewn closed and pressed within an inch of their lives. I do like the look but wouldn’t it be nice if they would catch the odd quarter or add a splash of colour to an otherwise drab ensemble. You know, almost everything that was once fashionable has come back in some form or another, so there is hope for the cuff. The only problem is that they were never really fashionable.

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