July 22, 2014

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Franken-Shorts

A favorite pair of shorts just won't die...we've all been there once.

Several years ago, I bought a pair of khaki colored dress shorts to wear during the summer months. They were the right size, able to hug my hips without a belt, and were very comfortable, the right color, feel...just everything worked.

I don't recall if they came from Penny's, Wal-Mart, K-Mart or somewhere else, and it's not important. Maybe they even came from Skier's Edge, I just don't recall now.

After a few weeks of wearing them on-again, off-again, they had become soiled and I threw them into the wash.  They emerged clean and friendly, an even better fit, if that's possible.

After a few weeks, I noticed a few threads at the edge of the pant leg had begun to fray. I thought nothing of it.  But a few weeks after that, my wife complained that the shorts were fraying and I asked her if she could help.  (Now, I'm a little suspicious that maybe they were washed in a load with bleach, cause every thread seems weakened, more prone to fraying, but I've no proof.)

I'm not sure if about this time I snagged them or dripped pain on them, (or maybe even a single drip of battery acid or bleach), but there was suddenly a hole or two that needed mending as well.

So I stopped at our local fabric shop and picked up a two-pack of small soccer ball emblems that would serve well as "patches" to cover the hole on the front and the one where my wallet was beginning to show through on the rear pocket.

I even took these shorts with me to Hawaii, where I wore them during my climb up diamond Head mountain. ( The lady behind me asked if I was from Ohio, cause a larger patch on the rear pocket had said something about Dayton, Ohio, but I can't recall why. Her question startled me until I realized that my rear end was bobbling  just ahead of her as we climbed the concrete steps up the stairwell on the mountainside.)

But eventually, the fraying got too bad, and I had to ask my wife to sew the long rips along the pant leg edge.  She chose a tan thread, that harmonized with the khaki color, but stood out. She used a zig-zag mending stitch, and then it became official... those shorts were only to be used for yard work or housework ( though I'm always tempted to wear them out in public)!

By now, I found I was loosing my spare change thorough a hole in the pocket my keys had worn. With each successive mending, the pocket was getting smaller and more worn. Finally, my wife wouldn't repair it anymore, telling me it wasn't worth her time.  But it was worth mine, so I got a hold of the zig-zag machine and tried my best to salvage or fix the shorts just to keep them alive.

Now my wife began teasing me about the ugly scars and mending that I had inflicted on them. She calls them "Franken-Shorts", a term of derision as well as a joke between us.

But if you've ever had a beloved pair of jeans that were threadbare, or holey...that you just couldn't let go...( maybe you cut them down to shorts and continued to wear them, and wear them, and wear them until the zipper was broken, or the buttons fell off, or even loosing your wallet through that worn rip in the pocket)... you know what I mean.

Oh, I've had a few other pair of khaki shorts purchased for me, but they all require belts or  look too good for the work jobs around the house or on the abrasive rooftop that I save them for.

But sometimes, late at night, when I'm almost asleep, I can hear them haunting my dreams, calling to me..."Come'on, let's play....let's paint the shed, or climb the roof..."

They're just that comfortable a pair of shorts.  I don't know what I'd do without them. You know?

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