This new underwear makes dressing in the dark a casino game.
It got a little ridiculous at our house this week. I kissed our dog Lily good-bye and petted my wife.
Such are the sacrifices of spending about 80 percent of a newspaper career starting at 3 a.m. When I tell people that, they give me the old “you’re-a-wack-o” stare.
We night shifters call it dressing in the dark. You don’t want to wake up your dog and spouse with a light.
My cohort for years on the police beat came in with unmatching shoes. One morning, she showed up in her fluffy slippers. She dressed in the dark not to wake her husband.
Myrna would hate the new underwear. I know I do.
Some idiot complained to the UW industry that labels were scratchy on backs and backsides. Bet he threatened a personal-injury lawsuit. That’s all they needed.
No more cloth labels – 3.61-cents per item saved. They now stamp their name on the whites, and brag about the comfort.
They took one of the few things we could count on at 3 a.m. and turned it into a 50-50 game of chance.
So how do we know right side from wrong side? The old labels were the only clue. I hate getting to the light of work and having to turn my underwear around, which now seems to be almost every day.
And it’s dangerous. Uncle Odis dressed in the dark with his long johns. His head wound up through the emergency flap in the seat. He almost choked to death when he sat down to his Cream of Wheat. This is a family legend that outlives him.
My colored T-shirts, most with irascible sayings, sit beside my whites. I didn’t realize it, but this is a hand grenade with a loose pin.
I had a meeting here at work and somehow found a white shirt in my closet. That’s a major accomplishment in the dark, and I took it as a lucky omen.
So I’m siting there, and everybody behind me is giggling, then laughing then outright riotous.
My T-shirt was showing through the white. It was one of my favorites, from Awful Arthur’s Oyster Bar in Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks. It read in big, black letters: “SHUCK U.”
And I didn’t get the promotion.
I miss Greta. She was a managerial assistant here for many years. She’d check me out in the mornings and make corrections. (It was Greta who sewed back the seat I blew out of some old painter pants that I had dressed in the dark, thusly saving my career.)
So anyway, that cold snap this week was fraught with danger. I should have been more wary. I’m dressing in the dark and find this new sweater in the drawer. I put it on and was amazed at how snugly warm it was. This will be the keeper I wear out.
Page 2 of 2 - When I got to work, I noticed the sweater was 18-inches longer than my winter coat. The maintenance crew was laughing.
“Jim, it’s not yet Halloween.”
I checked myself in the men’s room mirror. I was wearing my wife’s favorite black sweater dress. At least it had a real label, so I had it on right.