We gather here today to mourn the passing of my size 34-32 Levi's Dockers Wrinkle Free Classic Fit pants.
Levi Docker the 34th, or less formally ‘Slacks’, as I fondly referred to her, was as stout and conforming as any pair of pants I have owned. Born in a Bangladesh sweat shop in 1998, I first met Slacks at a two for one sale at The Gap. It was the turbulent year of ‘99. Bill Clinton had finally gotten around to putting on his own slacks, and, pants firmly in place, he commenced with the bombing of the Balkans. Y2K threatened to destroy every microwave this side of Timbuktu. Pokemon swept the globe in an attempt at world domination. Ricky Martin pushed the boundaries of high-tensile leg wear. And “The Blair Witch Project” utterly terrified 5 people(the rest showed emotions ranging from mild irritation to blinding fury).
It always weighed heavily upon my heart that Slacks was the free half of the two-for-one deal on that fateful day in June. I walked out of the store carrying a pair of Cabin Creek® Double Knit 5 Pocket Stretch Cords, and Slacks was relegated to a ‘bonus’ status. I lament also the fact that I didn’t recognize Slacks wonderful simplistic beauty immediately. Instead I was mesmerized by the cheap, flashy, whorish good looks of the Stretch Cords. Sure, we had some good times together, but she never fit oh so perfectly the way Slacks did, she never loved me the way Slacks loved me.
Slacks was always my rock, my pillar of strength. She was always there. That time I missed a 1 foot putt for birdie on the 17th hole, Slacks was there. She stood confidently by my side as I unleashed an unhuman scream of fury, cursed the very creator of this earth, and wrapped my putter around a ball washer. And, she stood steadfast with me as I was not-so-graciously escorted off of the golf course.
In times of peril, Slacks never wavered, and she always showed dogged determination. She easily weathered the waist expansion of Christmas 2001, the great Cola spill of 2002, and several catastrophic button losses. When her hems started to fray she took it all in stride and went for a new ‘rugged’ look. Stained nearly irreparably, Slacks took the plunge and dove into an acidic bath of color-guard bleach and emerged with only a slight loss in overall color, and no stain whatsoever. Truly, there was never a more rugged pair of pleated double stitch chinos.
And yet, all good things must come an end. So it was with Slacks. Having braved the very worst of spilled beverages and grass stains, Slacks finally met her Waterloo in the form of a hundred pound Doberman Pinscher. It was the summer of this year. Slacks and I walked dotingly along a riverside boulevard, enjoying our 6th year together. Certainly by that time Slacks showed her age, her creases weren’t quite as crisp and her waistband was rough on the edges, but she never lost her dignity. Emerging around a lazy corner of the paved path that fateful day, we were accosted by a hellish looking beast. Its intent was clear, and my options limited. I turned and ran, and Slacks stuck with me stride for stride, her “classic” loose fit allowing me to take tremendous bounds. It was almost enough. Salvation was in sight, a shoulder high chain link fence. Taking the final strides I leapt over, headfirst. But before I cleared that barrier, the Doberman grabbed Slacks and ripped a tremendous piece of her away. The damage could not be mended.
And so here we are gathered. Thoughts of clipping off the other leg and starting her life anew as a pair of shorts, like so many tattered jeans, have certainly crossed my mind. But it would not be the same. Slacks, like the warm breezes of summer giving way to fall's brisk air, has passed us by in immeasurable beauty. We shared so much, and yet, Slacks we hardly knew ye. May the great landfill fires carry you, like Vikings past, to your Valhalla, and may you know that my new pair of Pronto Uomo Charcoal Stripe Fancy Flat Front Slacks will never truly replace you.
AVE ATQUE VALE