2008-01-02 / Opinions & Letters

Midwest Memo

One size fits...
by Alan Shultz

At our favorite pizza place the thin crust version comes in sizes from small to extra large but the deep dish sizing stops abruptly at large. Don't ask me why.

At the high brow coffee shop down the street the small is not referred to as small but rather called tall. That one I'll never understand. Tall seems like it would be big - like the opposite of short. But tall is small in coffee lingo and that's that.

Size can be confusing.

I was in charge of providing candy for a real estate event where food and beverages were offered. The food was meant to lure other agents to come tour the property being marketed. I bought many bags of mini versions of popular chocolate bars. Mini-bites they were called. I thought that folks wanting to visit and run could pop a couple candies in their pocket and eat them later.

When the event was cancelled due to weather, I wound up bringing home several bags of the mini-bite candies. Ordinarily we don't keep candy around the house, so this temptation was a new situation. Suddenly candy of many varieties was calling my name from behind our kitchen cabinet doors.

Let's just say that I should have never opened the first bag. But when I did, my reasoning went down a logical but flawed path. I figured that bite-sized equaled "nibble" in actual quantity consumed terms. Following that logic, many nibbles simply represented light, oldfashioned snacking in my twisted and flawed version of new math calorie counting.

I was wrong. The sheer quantity of candy wrapper piles at any one of my munching and nibbling sessions should have suggested that something volume sized was going on here. Somewhere, somehow, after that first nibble I veered away from bite-sized and wound up in the land of big. In pizza terms I was at extra large, in coffee lingo I was at venti- the equivalent of a really lot.

Which brings us to my stop at Sears.

After they made their way through the laundry it seemed that my favorite bluejeans were feeling a bit snug, Snug enough that when I was in those jeans the pockets were no longer really accessible to me. When I'd fish for change to pay for something at the cash register a slight twisting dance was involved with me getting my hand into the pocket and down to that elusive quarter. And the cell phone - that sleek, smooth gizmo always slid down to the very bottom of my jeans pocket. It was though the phone had fallen and landed at the bottom of a deep well. When it started ringing there was no way to yank that phone free before the caller was directed to the land of voice mail. Knowing the state of sophisticated technology we have achieved, I can only wonder what kind of a message folks

would get when this occurred.

"The caller you are trying to reach has his pants on too tight and cannot take your call. Please leave your message after his frantic attempt to pry his phone free from his pocket...beep."

So there I was at Sears trying to figure out sizes in the men's jeans section.

There really ought to be a law.

My waist size has varied over the years from x to y (actual measurements are on file with the personnel department). But forever, my pants length has always been 29 inches. Given that - for argument sake, I was looking for either a 34/29 or a 36/29. Whether I was looking for the "tailored look" or the "loose fitting cut" that 29- inch length should have been a constant. Right?

Except that some 29 lengths had me standing on my cuffs and some had me ready for wadding in a flooded basement. What I wound up with that actually fit made me wish Wrangler would quit posting the pants size so conspicuously on the rear end of all their jeans.

Happy new year wishes to our readers. May 2008 be "extra large" in good will.

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