Decked Out

Decked out: (adj) decorated or dressed up

Nothing makes me giggle more than remembering something I did and trying to grasp what caused me to do it.

The truth of the matter is, life refuses to match up with itself.

What I mean by that is:

  • When you need to look your best, you have your least money.
  • When you need to perform your best, you’re too inexperienced.
  • And when you need to be making really quality decisions, you find yourself completely uncertain, staring down at your shoes.

I think life enjoys this.

I think life relishes offering us opportunity when it knows we can’t possibly take it.

I am sure life thinks it’s funny—giving us rare glimpses into success when we’re so dopey that we couldn’t possibly muster the reasoning to pull it off.

When I was young, I traveled on the road with a music group. We were pretty good—but we were very poor.

Even though it’s very important to dress up for a performance—or at least look clean and well-laundered—it is difficult to achieve this when you’re dressing out of the back end of an old, brown Econoline van.

I remember arriving at a performance one night and discovered that it was going to be much bigger than I  thought.

I had two outfits to wear onstage. The first was a leisure suit—powder blue and white snow.

The second outfit was a gold shirt with a pair of plaid pants, which, for some reason or another, were considered cool for that season.

I wanted to be decked out for this show.

I should have thought of that two days earlier—because the leisure suit had a two-inch stain on the right leg. The gold shirt and plaid pants were wrinkled. And I couldn’t find my belt.

I sat for a good fifteen minutes trying to measure whether it was better to be stained or wrinkled and beltless.

Then I quickly slipped on my plaid pants and gold shirt and went out to finish the setup of our equipment.

It was a fiasco.

The pants refused to stay up.

Finally, to my embarrassment, they dropped down to my thighs before I could grab them and yank them back up to the border of decency.

I looked around the room to see who might have caught a glimpse, and there, in the back of the auditorium was a little girl about eight years old, shocked and ready to scream, who beat a trail to Mommy.

The pants and shirt were not going to work.

I went backstage and changed into my leisure suit and spent the whole night trying to lay my arm over the stain so nobody would notice.

But it, too, was a little wrinkled, so I never really felt like I achieved “decked out.”

I was nervous about my stain all night.

And lo and behold, my left shoe picked that night to break a lace.

I thought I did adequately until one of the girls in our band walked up and patted me on the shoulder and said, “Nice stain.”

 

Dacron

Dacron: (n) a brand of polyester textile fiber that is wrinkle-resistant and strong.

Many years ago, deeply embedded in the cultural tributaries of the American social superhighway, I traveled the land as a young man with long hair, great passion and questionable decision-making capabilities.

My entire wardrobe was Dacron polyester.

The fabric was magical.

Although a case can be made that it looks rather cheap, it refuses to wrinkle. Matter of fact, one of the tests I had for choosing a stage garment was wadding it up in my hands and throwing it on the floor. Then I picked it up to see if I could find any flaws.

Dacron was divine for traveling.

You could take it off after a show, let it fall to the ground, step on it four or five times during the night, kick it to the corner in disgust—but still, in the morning, it would come back to you, submissively unmarred.

There is one thing you had to be careful with, and that was temperature. Keeping my clothes in the back of a hot van in August, at times an odor wafted to the front, which fell somewhere between platypus poop and mustard gas. (I’m guessing.)

It was just the natural “sweating” of the Dacron fabric (which, of course, really isn’t cloth at all, but a series of chemicals mingled together to somehow or another explode into a fabric shape).

Without Dacron, we would never have had the leisure suit.

Without Dacron, we would never have had poofy bell bottoms.

And without Dacron, we would never have had the disco era, complete with its wild coloration and flashy, over-sized clothing. (A argument could be made that our country might have survived the absence of that particular era. I will remain neutral.)

Yet if there is a lawsuit pending to isolate those souls who wore their fair share of Dacron polyester, I am guilty.

But wrinkle-free.

 

Astrology

Astrology: (n) the study of the positions of celestial bodies as having an influence on human affairs.dictionary with letter A

He strutted up to her at the bar, puffing out his chest and sucking in his gut, tugging at his leisure suit and reaching up to make sure that the big collar on his shirt was well-visible beyond his coat.

He said, “Hey, babe, what’s your sign?”

She peered at him, nearly expressionless, flipped her hair, and replied, “In your case, my sign is ‘stop.'”

I will tell you–or perhaps even warn you–that I know next to nothing about astrology.

Someone once told me that I was a Sagittarius, and before he got started explaining to me what that meant in the great cosmic thinking, I grunted off an excuse for my departure.

Even though I don’t know much about astrology, the abiding principle which steers people in probing the stars is completely contrary to my internal guiding light.

It is the notion that our lives are in some way predestined, and our futures determined–and we are merely looking for ways to discover our correct path.

In my belief system, God did not make me to be a path-finder, but rather … a path-maker.

 

 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix