Red Stirrup Pants

The things we do for love

When I was in the first grade, several of us were walking on the rails of a very large sandbox filled with about a foot and a half of rainwater. I saw a girl I was fond of walking past and I yelled out, “Hey Suzy, watch this!” and proceeded to jump into the middle of the water on my knees. Everyone was dumbfounded. They all had the same expression on their faces, the one that said, “What the hell is wrong with you? Seriously dude.” The silence then turned to laughter and instead of showing my embarrassment, I began laughing with them. After a little while, I kind of liked the attention I was getting (early class clown training).

Pride slipped to anxiety though when the teacher stopped me from walking into the classroom dripping wet. She summoned the janitor and asked him to procure some dry pants from lost and found. Minutes later he returned with a pair of bright red, girl's stirrup pants. You know, the stretchy kind with the big seam down the side. I just stared at him with the “What the hell is wrong with you? Seriously dude” look I had just learned. I changed into them and gave him my corduroys to dry on the boiler.

Walking into the classroom with those pants on was humiliating, to say the least. Everyone was pointing and snickering. There wasn’t much my friends could do or say in the classroom though, so I was safe, at least until recess time. I could tell they were all waiting to pounce on me then, so I devised a plan. If you talked in the bathroom during the break, you were not allowed to go out for recess. Sooooo, I of course got right in the bathroom monitor’s face and he did his job and turned me in, and I had to sit in the principal’s office until recess was over. Once again, I was totally proud of myself.

Ah, but once again pride slipped to anxiety when the janitor brought me my dry corduroys at the end of the day. Laying them across the boiler certainly dried them, but it also made them flat and stiff as a board. I could barely get into them and when I walked, I looked like frickin’ Gumby! Not only was I going to have to deal with the “Cowboy Bob” jokes all the way home, but clearly my mom was going to notice my pants standing up in the corner by themselves. And if I tried to fold them up I was afraid they would break. So, I ran home as fast as Gumby could run and buried them at the bottom of the dirty clothes pile before my mom got home.

Amazing how that one incident taught me so many different things on so many different levels. If I were to run into that janitor today, I’m not sure if I would thank him or bust a cap in his arse.

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Jef Meulemans

Veteran, Pilot, Web Developer, Flaming Liberal, Atheist, Grandpa, political junkie, baseball enthusiast, and lover of all dogs.