OK, before you all get your collective panties in a bunch, fear not. I will be blogging about all three of those options eventually, but due to me still working off a hangover from our long weekend vacation getaway, I decided to do the one that was the shortest. So, here goes.
My cousin is getting married in October and I was asked to be an usher or whatever the "not-the-best-man" thing is that requires me to miss out on the free cocktails and appetizers while I stand like a mannequin getting an infinite amount of pictures taken of me while everyone else is having fun. Yeah, thanks, it's a real honor.
Anyway, the way his tux place did it was, rather than going into their affiliated tux place and trying on the exact tux I will be wearing, they sent a postcard to me instructing me to go to a tailor and have them put down all of these absurd measurements and send it back to them (with my own stamp no less). I'm not exaggerating when I tell you there were 118 different things they had to measure, including IQ, oxygen intake, length of ear lobes, inseam, and inseam-when-happy-in-the-pants. Needless to say, I put off this torturous event for as long as we could.
Finally, we figured out a place near us that would do this for nothing. It is a very fancy men's clothier in a local mall. I would like to protect their anonymity in this story, so I will refer them by an alias: Joe A. Place-where-you-keep-your-money. Xteen and I went there on a recent Saturday in a bit of a rush and I was hardly dressed for such fanciness, but we were told there was a tailor on the premesis who could do this for me.
Little did I know it was Borat.
We walk into the joint and the only people we saw were the poor bastards who worked there. I should have expected that out of a place that sells $1,400 suits that happens to be situated between a Red Robin and a Game Stop. I see a lady there and refresh her memory about our phone call a mere 20 minutes prior. She instructs me to the back of the store where she will get the tailor.
We get there and she goes to get him. He comes out. He's older. Maybe in his 60s. A little on the short side. And he knows absolutely nothing. And English isn't his first language. In fact, it might have been a distant 5th behind Whateverstan or Whateverslav, Sanskrit, Morse code, Pig latin, and Vulcan. But he has one of those tape measures around his neck and his title, to the best of my knowledge is fucking TAILOR, so I figure he knows what he is doing.
He starts taking measurements by reading the card and then repeating out loud what it says.
He then takes five seconds to register where the chest actually is, probably recalling a distant time where he played Operation. Fine with me, as long as he's prepared to get the buzzer if he gets a little too close to my inseam, if you know what I mean.
He measures my chest.
"44", he announces to no one in particular. He looks at me and then at the card. "I don't have a pen", I said.
It then takes Ricky Ricardo and Lucy 10 minutes to find a pen so I can write down "44" under "chest". At this point, I am annoyed, but not worried, because the 44 sounds familiar to me as far as chest goes. And, if you are wondering, no, I'm not ripped. That's all man-boob, baby.
He pauses, tries to picture me with a red light bulb for a nose, and then measures my wishbone.
Just kidding, he knew where my neck is. And he had me write down a number that sounded vaguely familiar when it comes to my neck size. And if you are wondering, no, I'm not ripped. That's 100% goiter, baby!
Then things get dicey.
He stares at a word as if it was one of those Cryptogram puzzles, which to him, it probably was. He tries to sound it out.
He turns to Lucy.
"You have some 'splainin' to do!"
"What's this?", he asks.
"Trouser", she says.
"What is trouser", he asks.
Outside I am smiling.
Inside, I am screaming, "YOU ARE A FUCKING TAILOR!!!"
Lucy gives a guffaw and says, "Pant".
So, he pants.
OK, so he didn't. But I was expecting him to.
He smacks his head in a "I should have had a V8" kind of manner that inexplicably fills me with even less confidence that I had mere nanoseconds before.
He goes to measure my waist. He does this over my jeans, over my belt, and over the chain that is attached to my wallet (not because I am trying to be emo, but because I used to lose my wallet a lot). He tells me a number that would make Dom Deluise's arteries constrict with embarrassment.
He proceeds with measuring my inseam. He gets down and is in front of me as we strike a pose from the NC17 version of Brokeback Mountain. Xteen, recognizing that this dude's measurements are about as off as his ability to string together a three-word sentence, mouths to me, "Let's go". I mouth back, "No." "Why?", she mouths. "Because he has his head in my crotch", I silently say. Jeez, this would be so much easier if we had telepathy.
My inseam sounds about right, miraculously, but I almost lay him out with a devastating right hook when he tells he in perfect English, "And there is no discernable difference between your normal inseam and your inseam when you are happy in the pants. I'm sorry for your wife."
OK, that didn't happen either. He would have needed a fucking yardstick to measure my happy pants inseam! Hoo ha!
He looks at another word. He doesn't understand it.
"What is this?"
"What is hips?"
Lucy laughs and points to her hips. Then she did the hokey pokey and turned herself around. That really is what it is all about.
I say, "You don't have to measure that. I'll just put down 'child-bearing'."
He then retreats behind his Wizard of Oz curtain to procure a hard ruler for some measurement that escapes my memory, but was probably for my ear lobes. It takes three people 15 minutes to find said instrument.
At this point, I have wasted a good amount of time and was dying to leave. I just said I would fill in all the rest.
We leave and both of us agree I need to get a second opinion on all of this. Xteen remembers a woman who does some tailoring for her. I decide to go to her the next week.
She younger than the dude at the Joe, but she is the female Borat. She speaks a little better, but her measurement skills were apparently honed at the same school as her male counterpart: "The Academy of No One Here Knows What the Fuck They are Doing". These two must have been the valedictorians.
To my absolute amazement, her measurements are close to Ricky Ricardo's. This includes a waist measurement that is 6 inches more than I usually wear and a sleeve that about 10 inches shorter than what I buy. So, basically, according to these two geniuses, I am a morbidly obese 6 foot tall guy with the arms of a dwarf. Try picturing that for a minute.
And to add insult to injury, she merely asked me my inseam. She didn't even get within 3 feet of my junk.
So, after getting a second corroborating opinion, I decide that these two must know what they are doing after all and I must be insane. I'm convinced I should send in the card, as is, and hope for the best despite the pleas from Xteen and virtually everyone in my family to call the tux place and talk to someone who was born in this hemisphere.
I finally acquiesce and it's a good thing I did. Turns out all the measurements were pretty much taken incorrectly, and if I sent in the card as-is, I would have ended up with a tux that looked like this:
"You may ask yourself...what the hell is going on here??"