An Unspeakable Shortness of Pants


You are a disciple of Robert Loggia, an evangelist for John Ritter. Everything you ever needed to know in life you learned from Details magazine, with the possible exception of your aunt's recipe for meatloaf. You are accustomed to the occasional solecism when ordering Chinese takeout, and although you once knew a joke about a Jamaican, you can now no longer seem to recall the punch line. You are bigger than a breadbox.

On only one occasion have you been the ninth caller and won the backstage passes. (You have since spent a lifetime trying to replicate the feat.) In your youth, urinals used to make you cry, a distinction that now belongs to the smell of old luggage and boiling turnips. Not once did you get into a black car when a stranger offered you a puppy. You have only slightly disappointed your parents.


But we have not come to recount your biography, however impressive. We are here to excise your fears, to lay waste the dark demons that lurk within your cupboard like Count Chocula, lying in wait to suck dry your blood and fill your mind with choctacular goodness. And so.


You once lived in a furniture warehouse. There is no need to deny it now. During the day, you strolled around stroking pillows and considering duvets, ever in the market for a new ottoman. At night, you suffered fitful sleep on cold, sheetless mattresses, dreading the bunnies. It was the dust bunnies that so scared you, the countless lint-beasts lurking under china hutches and love seats, multiplying at a rate similar to their flesh-and-blood counterparts. Your eyes were wide and wet with fear as you imagined them busily fucking away, emerging weeks later as ugly, jackal-like dust jackrabbits boasting floorfuls of bouncing offspring, all staring at you with dull, gray eyes, just daring you to do shit.


So it began. To daunt the dust, you embarked on a system of pant-rolling, whereby the jackrabbits would easily undershoot your hairless ankles, unable to affix themselves to your fraying hems. Your cuffs soon began to dangle where your talus met your tibia, giving rise to a rash of dirty looks and mumbled threats as fervid as when you shaved your scrotum in synagogue.

All gaped at your gaffe, exchanging knowing, nodding glances, secure in their conviction that your pants were far too short and theirs were not. You, of course, lumbered on, oblivious to the revolted aftereffect of your tasteless trousers. In time you became a Dockers derelict, a pant pariah. And now the catastrophe is complete.


This is not an intervention, this is an opportunity. You, who have so many talents, who might one day have sex with Famous Newspaper Celebrities or attend Parties Thrown on Boats, will not be allowed to waste your life away as a quondam casualty of pant cuffs. It is Casual Friday, and your happiness is just beginning to begin.

There. Breathe deep breaths.

There. We'll find some socks.

There. It's better now, now isn't it now isn't it now isn't it now isn't it.

About the author:

Stephen J. Mexal teaches English at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He lives in Denver with his fiance and an assortment of well-tailored trousers, where he spends his free time ghostwriting cocktail-party quips for cash-rich, wit-poor MBAs.