My So-Called Wardrobe

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

Imagine my surprise when I read in the Toronto Star a few years ago that Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighic, an Iranian cleric, was protesting the provocative attire of young ladies. He was reported to have said, and I quote, “Many women who do not dress modestly, lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which increases earthquakes.”

So many times have I said that very thing in my column or to anyone who would listen, which isn’t too many. Saucy dress, especially by handsome young ladies, also causes blindness, pimples, high blood pressure among men of a certain age (any male over 2 ½) and once a volcanic eruption in Iceland. (Although that particular incident was later blamed on a photo of Brigitte Nielsen without her undershirt in the entertainment section of the Reykjavik Daily Ice-Floe)

It is so uplifting (come to think of it, that is something else about women’s clothing that needs investigation). As I was saying, it is so uplifting to find an ally in my lifelong fight against indecency on the streets of our fair city. It is the cities and town I most worry about. God only knows what country girls are wearing as they gambol and flit across the meadows and along forest paths. It boggles my mind, and my mind gets boggled quite often as I drive through the hills of Medonte and other rural areas where depravity and unseemly behaviour by fair maidens is the norm.

Fashion has always been a passion of mine. I was a devotee of Fashion TV for years until they moved it from the 6:30 slot to 9:00 P.M., long past my bedtime. As a matter of fact, I am usually a leader of the fashion trends. I was months ahead of the teenage baggy pants with half a bum showing fad so prevalent today. Unfortunately I didn’t start off to make a fashion statement at the time. My potbelly pushed my jeans down past my knees and I had to grab my pants by the belt loops and waddle like a duck until I got home.

My peculiar taste in clothing is not always appreciated by the great unwashed public. Back in the early 80s, when I found myself relegated to bachelorhood, I was forced to pick out my own clothes. The guidance of a woman with some knowledge of ‘what goes with what’ and ‘Omigod you can’t wear that’, was no longer available to me and I was forced to rely on the guidance of mercenary clothing store employees. I later learned that those unscrupulous scoundrels work on a bonus system based on finding saps dumb enough to buy pants and shirts already destined for the rag bag. These cads prey on people like me, or worse, elderly gentlemen whose idea of style is still white belt and white shoes even after Labour Day, the poor misguided souls.

A clerk, or some clown whose idea of fun obviously is to make someone look like an idiot and pay for the privilege, sold me a pair of casual pants. (No, it was not my clothier, Steve Orr, an honourable gentleman who often shakes his head as I walk by, and rightly so.) I would describe those pants in detail except my ego is shaky enough as it is. Let’s just say they were a mass of big blue squares, at best God-awful, and leave it at that.

Having prepared a speech to read if the woman I planned to call actually stayed on the line after she heard my pleading voice, I set out to enter the dating world. I was stunned when a young lady accepted this opportunity to spend an evening listening to me drone on about my failed marriage. (I was surprised to learn some months later women, at least sane women, aren’t really interested in a man’s litany of woes — why I have no idea.)

Not only did she answer the phone; she said she would be glad to go out with me with one small proviso — as long as I didn’t wear those goddam blue squared pants.

I think that was why I finally re-married. I was tired of being criticized and laughed at.

What all this has to do with Hojatoleslam Kazem Sediqhic”s loony theory on the cause of earthquakes? Not much come to think about it. But who knows he might be right. On Canada Day a girl in shorts and a halter-top walked by our house, and do you know what? I started to tremble all over.

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