Saturday, July 07, 2007

Getting away with it

I had an excellent day yesterday. This was not so much because of what happened, but because of what did not happen. My clothes did not fall off, and I finished another week without handing in that particularly stupid bit of paperwork.

It started when I was walking alone the train platform this morning and noticed that one of my feet felt a bit funny. I looked down, and discovered that the sole of my left boot - and these are my favourite boots and have been for the last eight years - the sole was cracked and a big chunk of lovely, bouncy sole was coming loose.

There was no time to go home and change, so I decided I would have to spend the day walking very, very carefully. I thought about wrapping a rubber band around the boot to stop the flappy bit from falling off on my frequent climbs up and down stairs at train platforms, but I didn't have a rubber band, so couldn't.

Shortly after that, at the first train change while I was walking carefully up some stairs, I noticed that my skirt felt funny, too. When I checked to see what was going on I realized that it was slipping down a little further with every step I took. The elastic in the waistband had suddenly given out. I grabbed at it nonchalantly (it is important to be nonchalant when things like this happen) and continued on to work, even more carefully than before. Things were getting rather complicated.

When I got to work I was a little later than usual (careful walking made me miss a connection), and one of the secretaries had arrived already. Usually I get there first, sign in, and disappear to the other side of campus before seeing them. (The cleaning staff open the office for us early-bird teachers.) I greeted her and tried very hard not to think about the form I have not handed in. I am just NOT BLOODY DOING IT, and when I saw the secretary I didn't want to think about it in case she read my mind. I do not want a confrontation, which I would never win. (Foreign teachers never win open confrontations with stupidity. An open confrontation means you've lost already, both because you are foreign and because you dare to openly confront stupidity. That puts you in the wrong automatically, and it doesn't matter how right you are.)

My boots and my skirt may have been in danger of falling apart, but my wits were not. The secretary and I greeted each other, and when the secretary got That Look on her face and opened her mouth to say something, I moved in to attack first. I pounced. I was vicious, underhand, and devious.

"Oh, my goodness!" I exclaimed, gasping with shock. "You've got a new haircut, haven't you! It looks WONDERFUL! Absolutely LOVELY! It makes you look so YOUNG! It's FABULOUS! And that cardigan is new, too, isn't it? And you look so slim! When did all this happen? You look so BEAUTIFUL!"

It worked. She was totally distracted by her own staggering beauty. She preened. She put her hand up to her hair and was revoltingly coy.

I gazed in admiration. She simpered. Then she showed signs of remembering what she wanted to say, so I pounced again. It is not possible to go overboard with this woman.

"Show me the back," I urged, and she did a slow twirl, giggling girlishly.

"Beautiful!" I breathed, and she said,

"It's much shorter, though."

"But it's perfect," I said. "You should wear it like that all the time. It suits you SO well! It's a whole new look! I almost didn't recognize you! It's - "

I glanced at the clock and gasped.

"Oh, look at the time! Must run!" I said, and she smiled at me patronizingly, pleased that her wonderful new look had caused me to run late.

I quickly signed the book and made a dash for the door. It was a careful dash, though. I did not want to leave my skirt behind.

I was not late, of course. I had plenty of time, because for once I was well prepared for classes, except for the clothing problems. But they were easily taken care of, and I did not have to spend the rest of the day walking as though I were trying to keep a pencil clamped between my buttocks. I found a small but strong paperclip and clipped the waistband of my skirt so it would not fall down. I examined the boot, too, and decided a rubber band was not necessary. The flappy bit was still more attached to the boot than I had at first thought, although not as attached as I am. (I will MOURN those comfy boots.)

And I still haven't filled in the form.

Just two weeks to go. I think I'm going to get away with it!

(Incidentally, that paperclip picture comes from this page, which has some wonderful statistics. If you take that first sentence and change the 80% to 99%, it describes my Thursday/Friday university PERFECTLY.)


potentilla said...

OT, sorry, but I thought you might like these birds.

I realised after I'd made the post that I'd been influenced by your style!

Radioactive Jam said...

Despite the fact such clips do in fact hold paper, "here" we call them binder clips.

A paperclip is another thing altogether, though probably still usable for repairing wardrobe malfunctions.

And now I'm wondering about various people I've seen walking as if *they* had that buttocks pencil clamp thing going. Perhaps they simply suffered from a sudden, unexpected loss of elasticity?

Badaunt said...

Potentilla: The pictures are WONDERFUL. I think I've just been edged towards getting a better camera. (It's awfully hard to justify, though. . .)

RaJ: I KNEW there was another word, but couldn't think what it was. We call the bigger ones 'bulldog clips,' but I think there's another word for the little ones. We don't call them binder clips in NZ, though. Maybe we DO call them bulldog clips? I've been away too long.

And I would not be surprised if the loss of elasticity thing is more common than you might think, particularly with people like me who hate to shop for clothes. I tend to wear things until they wear out, and it has happened to me several times.

Artistic Soul said...

lol - good play on dodging the form! All that Japanese's good to have a weapon against it!

Lia said...

I love binder clips. I use them as chip clips, which bothers some of my colleagues, but I can't see why. I steal them off documents whenever possible.

Sorry about the boots and skirt. I had a pair of boots that I loved that died on me (I wore out the soles), and I'm still mad that I didn't buy a second pair while I had the chance.