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What Would People Think?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

What To Do When Your Pants Rip In The Middle of Downtown Atlanta?

Imagine, for a moment, that you are me. (Try and suppress the gag reflex that statement created. I'm trying to make a point here.)

You are at the end of your work day, having once again conquered the growing fear that you are incompetent. You are waiting for your train underground at a MARTA station. Instead of thinking about the day, you find more refuge in thinking about the future. You decide - after two weeks of craziness involving travels to Dallas, DC, St. Louis, and Chicago - that it is time to look into the job benefits you were supposed to sign up for 2 weeks ago.

You crouch down to open your briefcase (your wife's laptop bag, converted to new purposes) and get out your Thrift Savings Plan booklet, when suddenly you hear the most godawful "RIIIIIIIIIIP!"

You realize, with dawning horror, that the sound was your pants.

And this isn't any small hole. Oh, no.....this hole is in the middle of your pants and it ranges from front to back. Underpants notwithstanding, you are basically mooning several dozen, if not hundreds, of Atlantans. ("Underpants notwithstanding".....now there's an underused phrase.)

Thus far, no one seems to have noticed. Perhaps the noise wasn't as loud as it felt to you. Everybody's keeping to themselves and nobody is looking at you. NEVER have you been so thankful for the impersonal nature of modern urban society.

But this still leaves a dilemma. You are in downtown Atlanta. The train to take you home is rapidly arriving, but to get to it, you must walk to the train car - all the while giving no cause for the public to wonder whether you wear boxers or briefs.

But walk you must. So you walk...awkwardly carrying the Thrift Savings Plan booklet in front of you and your laptop bag-turned-briefcase behind you....trying desperately to cover the gaping whole in your pants. You realize you are probably only drawing more attention to yourself, but the alternative is too terrible to contemplate.

After a tense ride back home (thank God you got to sit down), you awkwardly walk to your car, drive home, awkwardly walk into your apartment, and swiftly change out of your lawyer costume and into some jeans.

My question to you, dear readers, is two-fold: (a) how would you handle such an embarrassing situation? and (b) what would be going through your mind? I ask that 2nd question because - honest to God - the thought that kept popping in my head was how this would be a good topic to blog about. This may give you an insight into the warped nature of my mind.



    *ahem* No, I'm sorry, I want to say something constructive, really. Um...


    No. No! Be good Mike. Be good. Must... suppress... laughing... reflex...

    So, yeah. 1) I would probably do pretty much what you did. I would probably also perform some shirt manipulation. (Most of my shirts hang down past my ass anyway.)

    2) My first thought would probably be thankfulness that mine is not a booty that women tend to check out. (Or if it is, I'm certainly not aware of it.) My second thought would probably be, "Oh well, not much I can do about it now", at which point I would begin formulating a witty retort should anyone say anything. (As yet, nothing has readily sprung to mind.)

    At no point would my blog cross my mind. That's just weird.

    By Blogger Mike, at 10/17/2006 10:15 AM  

  • I too would have thought about how wonderful an entry this would have made for my blog. So on that account, I'll back you up. Provided you've changed pants, and backing you up doesn't involve any near-ass sighting.

    I don't exactly know how I would have covered up, but your description reminded me of that scene in The Jerk where a naked Steve Martin runs around carrying a pair of dogs - one in front, one behind - to cover himself.

    By Blogger Matthew B. Novak, at 10/17/2006 5:05 PM  

  • That is hands down the best blog post I've ever read.

    1) I would have tied my jacket around my waist and let it drape over my nakedness.

    2) There is no mercenary like a writer, and so I applaud your good instincts in seeing immediately that your humiliation had literary value.

    By Blogger Kenny, at 10/17/2006 9:48 PM  

  • I'd be thinking about its blogworthiness as well, but I'd also be thinking about how much I spent on the damn suit just to have it rip, and wondering how much I'll have to pay to replace it with a new suit that will eventually rip.

    By Blogger Barzelay, at 10/18/2006 3:05 AM  

  • It could be worse. It could happen at a wedding, as you are ducking out of the way of a photograph. Trust me. Much worse.

    Barring a jacket to tie (which is a great solution), or an accessory of some sort with a shoulder strap long enough to hang down that low, I'd just walk, doing my best to keep my backside to a wall whenever possible. Unless you have a penchant for too-tight pants, it probably isn't nearly as noticeable as you would think.

    My first thought? "That's an interesting breeze."

    By Blogger -Dave, at 10/24/2006 5:04 PM  

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