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  • Paul Davidson

I Can Try On Clothes And Entertain Security Personnel All At The Same Time

Let me set the scene for you, as I always do.

You’re at The Gap. Or Banana Republic. Or Express. Or Macy’s. Or Nordstrom’s. Or any mall-based super-department store kind of clothing happy locale. You are going to buy a pair of pants or a shirt but you must try it on first. Well, off to the fitting rooms you go!

Once inside, you’ll notice there are mirrors everywhere. Behind those mirrors, in most every single fitting room in the country, are cameras. Those cameras are connected to monitors. Those monitors are being watched by security personnel or being recorded onto video tapes.

And there you stand, sucking in your stomach in your underwear, posing and mugging for your own personal entertainment without ever thinking about the fact that people are somewhere, watching your entertaining little one-act play that you call, “The Trying On Of The Clothes, Part I”.

Don’t deny the fact that when you stand in front of a mirror, especially trying on clothes, you contort your body in a variety of positions in an attempt to see what “they will see” when they pass you by on the street in your new pair of jeans. You want to see what your butt looks like. How your legs looks like from the side. How your stomach looks when you exhale, and it’s hanging near, around or over your waistband.

I won’t deny the fact that when I get in front of a mirror and am changing into a pair of Abercrombie & Fitch jeans (by the way, did you know that Abercromie (without the & Fitch) is a store just for young children like Gap Kids?) that I will knowingly go through a variety of entertaining poses for the bored security people hidden somewhere in my vicinity? My little one-act play goes something like this:

Overture: A little humming. Don’t know if they can hear the humming, but it’s a precursor of things to come in the wonderful one-act play “The Trying On Of The Clothes, Part I”.

Blown-Over: An exciting, heart-palpitating sequence in which the tryer-oner (me) jumps and runs around the small enclosure while trying to get the jeans on without taking off my shoes simply because what a pain it is. But then, horror strikes yours truly when said boot gets stuck halfway up the pant leg. The title of this sequence refers to the point in time when yours truly collapses on the floor after losing his balance, after getting both feet stuck halfway up the leg.

Walking the Walk: Now that said jeans have been affixed properly, they must be tested. It’s a hilarious sequence in which one must walk in place, and pretend to be participating in a variety of athletic activities to make sure said jeans can “live up to the active lifestyle.” There’s walking. There’s walking fast. They’re running away from someone. There’s going up stairs. There’s squats. There’s returning a serve in a particularly tiring game of racquetball.

The Surprise!: It’s not often someone surprises you from behind, but you’ve got to be ready for such a dramatic moment. Here, one must turn with their back to the mirror and start to slowly walk away (small steps, there isn’t much room). And then, about halfway across the fitting room floor, one must turn their head and look over their back with surprise and wonder. Be careful you don’t throw out your neck! This is a tricky one!

The Climax: A heart-palpitating sequence in which the decision of whether or not these pants will be (a) purchased or (b) stuffed into shopping partner’s large oversized bag. The outcome, of course, is different every time.

Sure, I can try on clothes and entertain the security personnel, but more than that it’s just plain entertaining to me.

And really, isn’t that all that matters?

In other news, I’ve left the “Words For Your Enjoyment” harrassment posts off this site for weeks now to give you all a rest from the constant pressure of contributing a post idea for Friday’s longest-running tradition here at WFME. But as Friday is just two days away, I’m reaching out one day early to see just what you folks can come up with. Remember, you submit the idea, I use it, and the world ends in a big puff of smoke.

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