Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Lord of the Flies

A lady correspondent suggests the way a man wears his trousers betrays his age.

Ouch! Oofyah!

I say Ouch! (and Oofyah! for any Scots reading this) not from the growing discomfort of wrenching the two tops of the fly together and fastening them frantically with the waistband button in the hope that it won't fly off before the zip is pulled up and the belt is secured, probably by the last buckle hole.

Far from it. Ouch! (Oofyah!) because there does come a time when man's vanity regarding his age finally catches up with woman's. I seem to have reached it. My correspondent has pricked the bubble.

It's true that I can no longer wear my trousers low-slung round my hips, with the bottoms scuffing round my heels and along the ground. (Was it for this that T.S.Eliot wrote I am old, I am old, I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled?) There aren't really any hips to low-sling them from. Just a sort of descending all-round pudding shape.

Among the few material things I inherited from my grandfather was a pair of much-gusseted evening trousers. (I have in fact made a will, but any of you with expectations may be relieved to know that I've made no disposition for my trousers. Cravats, yes. Trousers, no. They're up for grabs, so to speak.) Finely tailored by Ingram's of Preston, they came to me when I was about 24 and in urgent need of full evening dress for conducting. I tried them on, and despaired. Three blokes could have fitted inside, and still one would have had to ask the way of the others. Taking the waist in was like reefing sail in a hurricane. I was conscious of conducting with a sort of bustle peeping out between my coat-tails in the energetic allegro con fuoco bits.

If I tried them on now they would probably fit very comfortably, but they have long since gone to meet their maker. (No, not Ingram's of Preston, but the great trouser press in the sky.)

But I think I've solved the problem of female eyes nosey-parkering up and down the waistline trying to work out how long I'm good for. Here it is:

Hair styling - Sophie Frimousse in the village
Overall - bloke in a van who comes round once a month
Footwear - D. East
Vestimentary anthem:

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
My, oh my what a wonderful day!
Plenty of sunshine heading my way
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay


dinahmow said...

Oh dear! That sweet lady whose initial is at alphabet's nether end must feel dreadful. Even after apologising.
Rest assured, Christopher, it's not just the male of the species who has this problem.
Were I a better cook there could be a revival of Two Fat Ladies.

ooh...w v is windstux

Sarah said...

LOL, LoL, LOL, sorry LOL

Spadoman said...

You know, it may be all in my mind, but I still think the ladies are checkin' me out now and again, and the bottoms of my blue jeans are worn and frayed. (the fantasy is better than the reality at my age)
The waist size is a bit larger than years past though.
That one piece overall you wear is trendy here in Merica amongst the nursing home residents. (I still call them old folks homes and the humane society is the dog pound). Now, get yourself a motorcycle, a Triumph perhaps, and a one piece leather outfit. You'll have the ladies swooning!

Pax Vobiscum

Rog said...

You can't get fitter than a Quick Fit Fitter Christopher.

I, Like The View said...

I shall be recommending Ingram's of Preston to The Teen

(and swiftly skipping over the actual list of credits!)

I, Like The View said...

(ps can you tell Sarah that I really liked her Random Act piece - ta!)

Dave said...

I am wearing slippers that match yours as I read this (soon to be exchanged for boots as I go to tackle the brick mountain).

Christopher said...

DM: No, Z wasn't X...are you any good on the back of a motorbike?

X: Only LOL? No ROFL? (Could this be a useful painting technique? Could you be the prophetess of a new school of Paint Rollers?) Are you any good on the back of a motorbike?

Spadoman: Thank you. You have opened up un-guessed-at visions of the future. Black leathers no problem, but would a Harley do as well, do you think?


Rog: Which photo triggered your comment?

JAX: By all means, tho' I don't know if they're still in existence...are you any good on the back of a motorbike?

Sah: Jax would like you know she enjoyed Random Act etc. Actually I think we all did...are you any good on the back of a motorbike?

Dave: Exquisite taste in gentlemen's footwear...are you any good on the back - no, as you were, disregard this.

Dave said...

Of course, gentlemen of a certain
age around here wear their trousers with the waistband just under their armpits. Is this ever seen in France?

I used to be a biker. Still have my gear in the loft. I don't enjoy riding on the back though. Not of a bike, anyway.

Christopher said...

Yes, Dave - you've only to look at Obelix.

(This refers to your first paragraph, not the second.)

Sarah said...

Good at what on the back of a motor bike?

I used to have one.
My father gave me money for my 18th b'day to buy a sewing machine, I came back with a motor bike...pops wasn't happy !

Charlene said...

Lovely picture that, however, I lust after your huge clay pots. I've been looking for more of those for years. It's hard to pay over $100 for a pot when I first bought pots at a yard sale for $5.

Regarding the shape of our men, a poem:

He was standing, shirtless
Slight of frame, pale skin
His old man belly protruding.
He clutches his shirt, waiting.
Our friends are coming down.
We’re going to the hot tub.

I thought,
“If I were able to will it,
I would will him to
Walk over to me
Take my hand,
Bend down and kiss me.”

So I said to him, “Come here.”
He came to me,
I took his hand, looked
Up and he knew
I wanted to be kissed.
He kissed me.

June 21, 2003

Christopher said...

Sah: A wise choice. I'm sure your Dad was secretly very proud of you.

Charlene: Hi. As proud as Sarah's Dad undoubtedly was, to host this beautiful poem here. Thank you. Is it W.S.Merwin? Or Silent Lotus?

'Old Man Belly' is the id to the ego of so many of us.

mig said...

I remember when we always went shopping in pairs. One to lie on the floor with a pair of jeans approximately in place with the zip undone and the other to do up the zip by bracing feet against the sides of the changing room and hauling. Then we'd change places. (different pair of jeans of course)
I'm afraid I can't do that any more as I could no longer get up once the zip was fastened.

Cynthia said...

The blue is a particularly lovely shade, enhancing your eyes, and vertical stripes are said to make the wearer look taller. The short horizontal ones (zipped pockets?) on the chest would not flatter zaftig women like me, so I will not follow your fashion statement.

I was good on the back of a BSA 441 the summer of 1968 -- started in London, saw the UK from Caerphilly to Sheigra, and back to London. If I were more organized, I'd know where to find those photos..

Christopher said...

mig: Wow. Now I'm wondering how you got them off again. Maybe you always bought them and left the shop wearing them, relying on tyre levers when you got home?

Cynthia! You're one of the only two people in the entire world who know where Sheigra is, and I'm the other.* How was it that Fate decreed that we should arrive there separately?

*Actually this isn't quite true, because I told J. where it is at breakfast this morning.

Cynthia said...

There are actually two more people who know where Sheigra was, the two blokes I was camping with. One of them later became my first husband. Although that marriage didn't last long, we're still friends -- Phil and I had 10 days last summer cruising Alaskan waters with him and his wife on their 44-ft. Diesel Duck troller, named "Seaducktress." Strange where life takes you... who would have thought I'd have been to Olargues five times, for that matter?

Z said...

Dinahmow, thank you for your concern. I have indeed been fretting about my lack of courtesy ever since.

Chris, I love your romper suit. The tasteful go-faster stripes are the perfect finishing touch. I have put the photo on the list of those to provide the desktop background on my computer (it changes every 15 minutes, I have a short attention span).

The Sage goes to Old Boys' reunions wearing his Old Boys' blazer, which is very striped. He loves it and would wear it on all special occasions, but I am unusually forthright on the matter and it is forbidden. He can still do it up, though, more than half a century after its purchase.

Christopher said...

Z, no greater honour has ever been paid me. I'm deeply touched. Thank you.

justin said...

One solution to your problem with getting trousers to fit, might be buying a pair with an elasticated waistband. :)
A good friend of mine bought such a pair at Asda the other day, for £6. He only wears them indoors, however, as they don't have much street-cred.

Christopher said...

Justin, how kind. Thank you for dropping in. It's not so much that the trousers per se don't always fit, it's more often I that don't fit them. But who knows? Maybe one day that musical called The Pajama Game will become unaccountably popular again and your friend will be able to go out of doors again holding his head high.