Suits You Sir.

“I could buy a half decent set of forks for that” was my initial response, when presented with the price for a pair of – sadly non exploding – troons and matching jacket. Okay, the cost may have been somewhat justified by the small detail of them actually fitting but even so…

There is a little shop in Ross that preserves the 1950s shopping experience. You are served by the genial owner who has all the mannerisms of “Mr Humphries” in his prime. I am not sure I needed to have my inside leg measured quite so carefully. Certainly not twice.

Anyway, he listened – politely – while I explained my ongoing suit buying problem. Other than being a tight-arse northerner. One, I am a strapping six foot individual*, but essentially a dwarf from the hips down. Two, being a cycle obsessed freak, my thighs fit in flappy shorts and not much else. Three, because of one, I need a jacket that would double – for most normal size people – as a full body cape and 4) I don’t like wearing suits

He eyed up my carefully thrown-together ensemble (baseball boots, dirty jeans, ancient paint-stained T-Shirt, baldness – possibly trying too hard) and presented me first with a garment of 1980’s shiny-ness. I have to say I was less than keen as even I know the Crocket-and-Tubbs era has clearly passed. But on slipping it over my wonky shoulders, I couldn’t help thinking somehow this was making me look even more debonair that normal. A tough act as I’m sure you’ll agree.

Sadly we ran into what I like to call “the trouser problem“. Either comedy clown-waist or drain-pipe tight thighs. No matter, off he hummed and harred into a stockroom putting me firmly in the mind of Mr. Ben, before returning with a rather traditional Navy Blue Suit. Luckily Carol was there to stop me launching into a diatribe about how boring and old fashioned it looked, before I’d even thrown a leg in. Amazingly, this one fitted even better, although my purchasing decision was now being made purely as a mitigation strategy to prevent further reach-arounds.

Eventually we agreed that with some minor alterations, I’d stop looking like I had stolen it, and talk turned to prices. Problem is, this is a proven sales strategy get the customer something they think they want and then hit them with a price. I didn’t dare ask for a discount in case he offered – instead – to throw in a Cravat or a Shooting Stick. It’s that kind of place.

And yet, I found myself curiously enjoying the experience. He clearly had millions of years of experience. It wasn’t pushy or disinterested. He did actually seem to care that I wouldn’t stride out in my new threads looking as if I’d just been demobbed. Curious times indeed – maybe this is what middle age feels like.

Anyway, as the Clash famously said London is Calling and I am reluctantly answering that call. 72 hours of logistical hell, congestion charges, tube stations, protocols, procedures and speeches. All with two small-ish children who find it all fantastically interesting, and therefore become even more difficult to control. I shall report back early next week on how it all went, unless the speech was so toe-cringingly unfunny, I’ve booked myself instead into long-term therapy.

* in my own mind, and out of range of a mirror.

5 thoughts on “Suits You Sir.

  1. Alex

    I should just rent the bike bits for the time they last. Another casualty over the weekend and I wasn’t even here!

  2. your speech was witty and well delivered, you looked very handsome in your suit (the whole family had scrubbed up well) happy you did not use the language of your blog. love mum

  3. Alex

    You see, normally I’d have to pay for that kind of comment. Although I think “Handsome” is probably only ever going to be compliment bestowed by my mum 🙂

    I was deeply disturbed – however – to find quite how many of my remaining living relatives do read this nonsense. It’s like being watched over by the WI 🙂

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