Friday, October 16, 2009

But they were clean, Mom

What a near tragedy.

I believe I'm beyond the statute of limitations of telling on myself on this one, so buckle up.

A few months ago, I was invited to make a presentation to a group of the finest men's clothing stores in the country. These are the people that sell Brioni, Pal Zileri, Burberry, John Varvatos, Zegna and Luciano Barbera.

I was invited at the last minute. I drove home in a panic, packed and headed to the airport.

The meeting was in Las Vegas. The town that REALLY never sleeps.

I got to the hotel after midnight.

I had to present at 8 in the morning.

As I unpacked, I was feeling good. I had grabbed my one Savile Row suit, a fine Italian shirt, and the perfect cap-toed shoes.

In less than 8 hours, I'm going to be standing in front of the best dressed group of men in the country.

Then the horror.

No underwear. I had not packed any clean Kimbies.

Do I go with the dirty boxer briefs I have on? Turn them inside out? Go commando?

Then I figure out I packed no socks, either.

The only socks I have are the stinky low-cut white ones with the Nike swooshes on my feet.

It's one in the morning. Oh, Dear Lord. Oh, Dear Armani. Oh, Dear Concierge.

Oh, Dear Walgreens.

At one in the morning, that was the only place in the hotel open that sold underwear and socks.

To the back wall I go. I pick up a package of black socks. That was easy because that's the only kind of socks Walgreens carries.

Now, underwear.

I find the section of boxer briefs and pick the least appalling of the horror show colors.

Whew. I get back to the room, and am so relieved. A few hours sleep, and I'm going to knock 'em dead.

At 6am, the alarm goes off and I have the, "Where the hell am I" moment.

Oh, yeah. Quick shower so I can get dressed and go find the meeting room in the convention area the size of North Dakota.

I open the Walgreens underwear, and it isn't a good thing.

They are bikini briefs. The colors of a month old Easter basket.

Quick, check yesterday's pair. Not a good idea, either.

So, I put a pair on and start looking for Richard Simmons to pop out of the closet with a camera. I am scarred for life.

Hurry, put your suit on and you'll forget about it.

No I won't. Indian underwear. They keeping creeping up behind.

Oh, suck it up.

Open the fresh black socks.

Walgreens apparently has used some General Motors logic. Put the same crap in different packages and no one will notice.

These are supposed to be socks. They are as sheer as La Perla lace.

More skin and leg hair is showing than sock.

I determine that if I never sit down, no one will ever see shins.

Not feeling my most confident, I finish getting dressed and head out into the real world.

I felt exactly like I do when I have that dream about being naked in the high school cafeteria.

I have the sense that everyone in this lobby has xray eyes and can see my ugly bikini briefs and bad socks.

I find the meeting room, find a place where I can stand up until it's my turn to present, and grimace my way thru my presentation.

So far as I can tell, none of these tailors to America's gentry was any the wiser.

The only person I'm worried about is the housekeeper for room 14765 in the Northeast Tower.

She was in the hallway when I left the room after I changed following the meeting.

Commando. Sockless. And relieved.

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