TROUSERS, SLACKS & PANTS
Note to Reader: This is a bit I sometimes perform on stage. It’s subject to regular revisions.
…I’m going to share one of my problems with you, and if everything goes according to plan tonight – because I have planned this – if everything goes according to plan tonight, every man here will wake tomorrow morning with the potential to be a more handsome man than he is right now, and every woman here will wake three weeks from now and think, “That skinny weirdo named James Rarus who I saw at Gotham Comedy Club last month really made a positive difference in my relationship with Bob!”
Here’s my problem:
On the day a little boy stops wearing diapers, his parents initiate what will become, for him, a daily, lifelong ritual: They’ll stick his stupid little balloon-animal legs into a bifurcated waist-fastening cloth body covering, and they’ll teach him to identify this body covering as “A pair of pants.”
Sadly, that’s about all they’ll teach him for the rest of his life about the two tubes of cloth he’ll wear on his legs for his whole life–until the only things he has left in his wardrobe to wear are a bed sheet, an oxygen tube and a colostomy bag.
Because of this critically deficient home-schooling, our dimwitted friend will spend his life blindly wandering through men’s stores, sometimes alone, sometimes with his wife or girlfriend or partner, sometimes with a buddy, but always assuming that what he’s searching for and what he’s buying are called “pants.”
This assumption is not correct. No one ever walks into a butcher shop and says, “Give me a steak.” They ask for a flank steak, or a sirloin steak, or a New York strip steak. They ask for these specific cuts of meat because each is different, and each serves and satisfies a unique culinary desire or requirement. The tubes of cloth a man wears on his legs are no different. “Pants” are merely a single breed of body covering belonging to the greater apparel species, and so any man who wants to be a more handsome man than he already is should know the difference between trousers, slacks and pants.
First, ladies and gentlemen, there are trousers. Trousers are worn by a gentleman.
Next, there are pants. Pants are worn by a boy, or, by a gentleman who’s feeling boyish. Last, there are slacks. Slacks are worn by a pimp.
Trousers are made of wool, like cashmere and merino wool, and this wool is spun into yarn, and then woven into cloths like flannel and twill and serge.
Pants are made of cotton, or linen and you probably know pants by their nicknames: Khaki, Chino and Jean.
Slacks are made from synthetic fibers created by a mad scientist at Raytheon. If you leave slacks in the sun too long, they melt.
Trousers are a brownstone in the better part of town; solidly built with a classical silhouette.
Pants are a summer cottage at the beach: casual, comfortable and reassuring. Rolling up a pair of pants and wearing them without socks is as comforting as flinging open a screen door at sunset to watch the tide roll out.
Slacks are a room next to the ice machine on the second floor of a short stay hotel: they’re a weird color, they’re a little greasy, a little cramped, and when you’re in them, you always worry someone you know will see you.
Trousers are a horse; strong, handsome and reliable. Once you’ve adjusted your seat into the saddle of the trouser, and strapped yourself in with a belt, the trouser will take you anywhere you want to go.
Pants are a dog; loyal, tireless and diplomatic. Pants don’t mind sleeping on the floor or on a chair, and they’ll go out in the rain whenever you say. Next to dogs, pants are a man’s best friend.
Slacks are the dirty rodents that live in the wall behind your neighbor’s toilet and under your grandmother’s porch. They’re itchy, they’re scratchy, and you really don’t want them crawling up your leg.
A man proposes in trousers, dates in pants, and kidnaps teenage girls walking home from school when he’s wearing slacks.
Trousers are beef wellington. Pants are a turkey club with fries. Slacks are the factory-processed, chocolate-flavored donut you buy from a vending machine. In a laundromat.
If trousers were people they’d have names like Richard, Anthony and Michael. If pants were people, they’d have names like Dick, Stan and Roy. If slacks were people, they’d have names like T-Bone, Peckerwood and Joey Dollar Slice.
Trousers are the special forces. Pants are the regular army. Slacks are an overweight Idaho militia populated by second amendment fanatics who buy their camo gear at Wal Mart.
And speaking of WalMart…..
Trousers are available at a tailor, where they’re made expressly for you – or, in stores where suits cost as much as your car.
Pants are available everywhere – they’re like dogs, remember? Diplomatic, love to be around people.
Slacks are available on layaway, at two for one sales, off loading docks, out of box trucks and wherever the salesman throws open the doors of his panel van and says, “Bro…don’t worry about the girls duct taped on the dirty mattress…they’re for another customer…what’s your waist size?”
Thank you everyone. Goodnight.