Buying jeans


Hubie Johnson, age thirty-four, is an X-Ray technician and works two other jobs. He loves to wear jeans when he can and on the day of the incident, he was in a “super center” looking to update his wardrobe.

He opted for three garments from an enormous display of jeans and denims in hand, made his way to the men’s fitting rooms. The first pair were too tight. He could barely get them over his hips. He rolled them down and kicked them to one side and thought, “Darn. Guess I gained a few pounds.”

He hung the discarded jeans on a hook attached to the fitting room door. And reached for the next pair. They were tighter still, and he wriggled out of them. The last pair lay on the seat of a built-in bench. He worked the zipper up and down and tried to read the waist size printed on the garment’s label.

Hubie, slightly myopic, leaned closer to the print. “Good. These should fit just right.”

The jeans came to a halt just above his knees and bunched up tight. He lifted his left foot and nearly lost his balance. The floor tiles were slick, and his stocking feet offered little grip. He extended his left arm, pointed the toes of his right foot down, and tried to withdraw his leg from a denim vice grip.

He tumbled over. And blew out the air from his lungs in a WHOOSH. In transit to the floor, his right hand shot out and grasped a leg of the jeans he’d hung on the hook. It shot from the door frame with a wood-splintering crunch. And Hubie crashed to the of the little room, his face swathed in a tangle of denim.

His eyes were in close contact with a double line of shiny zipper teeth. He grabbed the slippery toggle and worked it back and forth. Fast and hard. With one final zip, he wedged his beard hair firmly in its mechanism.

Cursing now, he tried to free up his facial hair from the jeans. It was futile, and he struggled to keep calm. He breathed deeply twice, sat up, and leaned against the edge of the built-in bench. His strategy was to grab the door handle. “I’ll pull myself up and swing my butt around to sit on the bench.”

Halfway through this maneuver his feet skidded from under him and down he went. His left elbow slammed into the bench seat. On the floor once again, he slowly mouthed the full name of biblical personage. Coils of denim wrapped his legs in casts of western wear.

Knocking sounded on his fitting room door. A female voice called, “You all right sir? I heard a big noise.”

“I’m stuck. And I’m on the floor. Can you give me a hand?”

The door lock clicked open, and a matronly person in a red vest ogled the man on the floor. All she said was, “Oh, my dear Lord.”

Hubie, in his entangled mess, listened as the distress call went out. “Yeah, this is Linda. I need security at the men’s fitting rooms Some guy has his face stuck in the crotch of a pair of jeans.”

From a work in progress.

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