As I made my way to services, the heel of one of my shoes kept slipping
off. Moving to the edge of the sidewalk, I started kneeling down to
I froze in place as soon as I heard the unmistakable sound of fabric
A woman walking in my direction snorted and covered her mouth. There was
a young couple behind her pushing a toddler in a stroller. The horrified
mother quickened her pace and veered her child as far away from me as
This was not just a rip. Rips don't cause women to rush their children
to safety. My pants looked like tectonic plates that had last fit
together millions of years ago. There was a massive fissure just below
the fly that ran the length of the crotch. The world no longer had to
speculate -- as anyone in the vicinity could tell you -- our hero wore
I had to get home! But how? I couldn't casually walk down the street
with the front of my tightie-whities exposed to the world -- that was
borderline indecent exposure!
People kept snickering to themselves as they walked by and I made it
worse by standing there in a frozen half squat.
After using my healthy wrist to fold the exposed area shut, I stood up.
Of course, holding a hand over the crotch of my pants drew more
attention to my predicament, but at least my undies were no longer visible.
A guy with short greased up hair, giant grey sunglasses and orange
tanning-salon-skin took one look at me and shouted, "Look at his pants!"
My whole side of the street broke into hysterics. The commotion was so
loud that a small group gathered across the road. Thankfully, their view
was screened by the cars parked along the street.
Too bad I didn't have a plastic cup. Then I could pretend I was a street
performer and not some idiot who didn't recognize that his pants were in
danger of splitting when he put them on. At least this hadn't happened
in the synagogue...
As I held what was left of my khakis together and headed back towards
home, I no longer had enough fabric to work with in order to take a full
stride. Leaning side to side, I had to prolong my public humiliation
with agonizingly tiny steps. I have no doubt that Kiddo-style hickeys
were out in force. After all this time, why hadn't I learned how to
recognize when my pants were too tight!?!
I took a deep breath.
What was I so upset about? I knew better than to take myself too
seriously. Still, why was it that these sorts of incidents only seemed
to happen to me?
Regardless, retelling this incident to Jen was guaranteed to make her
forget how weary she was from her miserable ride home. Let's face it,
there were few funnier, harmless calamities than someone with split
pants. Still, good thing she was generally tolerant of this sort of