Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hey, big-ass spender

Friday, you get nada. Today, you get pants.

Friday, I won't be adding a blog entry because I'll be traveling to Cleveland for Friday Night with Frazz at Century Cycles in Rocky River. I cannot wait. This is going to be good.

Come to think of it, next Friday I'm traveling to the Seattle Bicycle Expo -- I cannot wait, Part II -- where I'll be through Monday, so I'm ditching you all left and right temporarily.

But at least I'll be wearing nice pants.

In Monday's entry full of 6-word memoirs, mission statements and mostly comments on turning 48, one such tome went,

I bought some khaki pants voluntarily.

There's something very middle-aged about khakis. I don't know if there's anything middle-aged about reading Esquire magazine or not, but I think that's what brought it on more than middle age itself. When I was younger, I used to read Esquire once a year for its Dubious Achievement Awards. Now I subscribe to it because it is, in my opinion, the best-written, best-designed, most forward-thinking magazine out there, on any topic. The fact that the topic is so often overpriced clothing is but a minor distraction and easy to ignore; the fact that another prevailing topic is beautiful women wearing somewhat little of it is a less minor distraction, one I don't bother trying to ignore. But apparently I don't always ignore the fashion stuff so well, either, because I decided I needed some khakis.

I don't buy pants often - I work at home and haven't gained weight - but when I do, I tend to buy them from one of two places. Either I go to this one department store where I can spend a perfectly good afternoon sifting through piles of attractively priced Levis that mostly don't fit, or I can go to a Lansing menswear store called Kositchek's and ask for Mark, who will have me in expensive but perfect-fitting pants in just a few minutes.

It's not like Mark is the only guy there who can do that; he's just been my go-to guy ever since I set foot in there 15 years ago and he had the guts to acknowledge that I had a cyclist's build (without, in fact, using the words "big" or "ass") and the talent to outfit me in pants that allowed for that build, and not the mega-pleated bloomers I'd been wearing around looking like an extra on the set of "Chariots of Fire."

I always blanch a little when I see the bill, because it doesn't look like the bill from the department store where nothing fits. But that doesn't last long, while the pants do. I believe I still own and wear every item of clothing I've purchased from Kositchek's, while none of my pants from the department store are more than a year old.

Food researcher and writer and hero Michael Pollan recommends that you buy expensive food because it's expensive for a reason, and that you end up eating less of it because it's more satisfying. Turns out expensive pants are expensive for a reason and you buy them less often. And if it's a stretch to thank Pollan for economic insight into trousers, I know we can thank him in part for the fact that Mark is finding me a whole lot easier to fit than I was back when Esquire still ran Dubious Achievements.


Joseph said...

I am a big fan of yours and Frazz, and will be at your book signing on Friday. I was wondering if there was some place to get prints of your comics for signature? I know that some comics sell the prints through (such as Daby Conley of Get Fuzzy) but you do not. Are there places we can get them? As a runner, some of the Frazz comics really touch home for me and I would love to get one printed and signed by you for my office. Please let me know if there are options. Thanks

I look forward to meeting you. While you are here, you should try to get out for a run in the MetroPark, it is a great place. My running club has a run there every Saturday morning if you want company.

Jef Mallett said...

That's fantastic, Joseph! I'm really looking forward to meeting you. There should be Frazz prints available through, but sometime stuff gets buried. I'll check. I'll be heading back home on Saturday, but I'll have bike and running gear and a little built-in time, because you never know when a ride or run is going to break out. I've heard good things about that MetroPark.

S. Elizabeth said...

I like your blog alot and your comics even more. Question: may we make requests? Could you perhaps include a horse in a strip? Or some Shakespeare. Or perhaps a shout-out to Wisconsin.

La Professora said...

A suggestion for Joseph: I sometimes print out comics for my office door by clicking on the "magnify" icon in righthand corner of the comic. This zooms the comic. I then tell the computer to print in Landscape. This will get the largest print of the comic (short of using 11x17 paper) and leave room for comments -- and autographs.

As for shopping for clothes that fit, I'm sure there are a lot of runners, bikers, swimmers, and skaters who sympathize. Now you know why I picked up some sewing skills.

Carl said...

Hi Jef...that was very cool of you to mention Kositchek's and Mark in your blog. I forwarded it to Mark. He will get a kick out of it. It was nice to help you last time you were in to the store.


Carl Dorman

Jef Mallett said...

Hey, Carl! Hey, everybody -- in the interest of keeping this blog entry tight, I did Carl a disservice by not naming him other than in the sense that Mark was hardly the only one at Kositchek's who can make me look good. Indeed, when I dropped in for this most recent pants expedition, Mark was out for the day and Carl set me up. So if you see me and wonder why I look so darn good, it's the pants. And maybe Mark but just as likely Carl.

Wil said...

Hi Jef. That same weekend is Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle. I don't suppose you were planning an appearance there?