Monday, June 04, 2007

Sewerpipe And The Suits

#250 Sewerpipe And The Suits

One night a little after closing time, Sewerpipe walked out of The Store carrying about a dozen men’s suits. There were a couple of grey flannels in 42Regular, a 38Short in a nice striped tan, a few 40Longs in Charcoal and a couple of nice pinstripes in various regular and short sizes.

This wouldn’t be too terribly unusual, except that Sewerpipe didn’t exactly pay for the stuff, wears a size 50, himself, and doesn’t need suits because The Store pays for his, which is navy blue, with shoulder patches that say “Securit,” and have captain’s bars on the epaulettes.

Embarrassingly, Egan, who wears a 40Regular and is Sewerpipe’s boss, head of security, happened also to be in the parking lot, along with two squad cars of Nausia County police officers with guns drawn.

Do you see a nice pinstripe or orange jumpsuit in this guys future? He debated for a brief moment (not to be confused with a long moment,) and thought better of trying to make a run for it.

Sewerpipe, whom everyone called CAPTAIN Sewerpipe got his name because he was able to swear at the top of his gravel-toned basso for at least 20 minutes, without ever repeating a word.

But this did him no good in the parking lot that night, though he tried it.

This was in 1965 or 1966 when the dollar value of the suits was around $300 or $400. In 2007, the value was about two grand, maybe 2500.

In his house, they also found a half dozen pairs of shoes, size 12, which was Sewerpipe’s size. And they found a bunch of dresses and nightgowns which they later determined belonged to Mrs. Balloona, who was The Store’s Chief Telephone Operator, and who regularly visited Sewerpipes, apparently unknown to Mr. Balloona.

Plus a couple of air conditioners that were not counted in last month’s inventory report.

Poor Sewerpipe. He did a few months in the Nausia County Correctional Facility and when he got out, he had trouble finding work as a Captain of Security.

But Sewer is nothing if not resourceful.

He took an inventory of his skills (20 minutes of un-repetitive swearing, size 12 feet, some nice, but ill-fitting suits,) and decided his next stop should be the stock market.

Problem: you can’t make it big on Wall Street with suits from The Store. They fit like cheap suits. Especially if you’re a 50, wearing a 38Short.

So he’d have to actually BUY something. Maybe he could swap some of those air conditioners and Mrs. Balloona’s intimate underthings for enough to get something worth wearing to a job interview.

Or maybe he could be a professor of “Modern Culture” at a prestigious university. That’s somewhere those swearing skills can be put to good use. And no one will blink if a size 50 guy is wearing a size 38 suit. As long as it’s rumpled enough.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2007 WJR

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