Monday, May 11, 2015

A Pain In My Butt

Spring comes when I stop wearing flannel-lined pants and long-sleeved undershirts. This year it was the middle of April, the latest I ever remember. Summer comes when I start wearing shorts and T-shirts. That’s usually around mid-May. 

My shorts are the “cargo” type that look like British explorers used to wear with pith helmets while exploring the Sahara Desert. I like putting my wallet in one of those low-down pockets with the buttoned flap instead of in the back pocket outside my right butt cheek, and there’s a good reason for this: It hurt when I sat on it no matter what side it was on — quite literally a pain in my butt. Those cargo shorts made life more comfortable.
When traveling in high-crime areas, which could be anywhere outside of Lovell, I used to switch my wallet to my front-left pocket to confuse pickpockets. That worked fine for decades, but now I carry an iPhone in that pocket and there isn’t enough room for the wallet anymore. The right-front pocket is for my pocket knife, change, and car keys when I’m somewhere outside of Lovell and can’t leave them in the ignition. In fall, when I switched back to jeans or Dickies chinos, my wallet had to go in the back again.
There's actually a name for this: Piriformis Syndrome. Who knew?
To mitigate the pain in my butt, I tried reducing the size of my wallet by discarding “discount” cards for Rite Aid, Home Depot, Shaw’s, and all the rest. Then I took out photos, and carried just my driver’s license, concealed weapon permits for Maine and New Hampshire, two credit cards, and cash. That reduced the butt pain, but didn’t entirely eliminate it. Then I started putting business cards in my wallet. First I carried only five, but I’d forget to replace them after giving them out.
Another complication was that I have two versions. There’s the politically correct card which says: “Opinionist” and lists my blog and contact information. Then there’s the politically incorrect card which says: “Heterosexual White Guy Journalists Association,” listing me as founder and president and containing the same contact information. Carrying several of each version made for a fat wallet again and the pain in my butt worsened commensurately.
That was when I bought some cargo pants to wear after it cooled again in fall. Like the cargo shorts, they have nice low-down pockets with buttoned flaps on each side — one on the left for my fat wallet, and one on the right for a small spiral notebook, a pen and a mechanical pencil. That pocket has a little gap in the button-down flap for the pencil to stick up through.
But then it started to get really cold again in mid-November. That’s when I needed my Carhartt flannel-lined jeans, and my Dickies flannel-lined khakis that functioned for dress up here in rural Maine. I really liked those pants, except that the fat wallet was back on my right butt cheek giving me that pain again whenever I sat down for more than ten minutes. What to do?
Well, I was food-shopping with my wife at a Super Walmart in Windham and I was done with my list. Waiting for her to finish, guess what I saw? Their men’s department is right next to the food department, and hanging right there were some Wrangler 34X30, fleece-lined cargo pants — exactly my size! I bought three pairs. There was only one color but I didn’t care, and I wore them all last winter — every single day, I think. No more pain in the butt! What’s not to like?
I hate these

Well, just one thing. It’s another kind of pocket problem. The regular, old-fashioned pocket on the right-hand side of the cargo pants that I put my pocket knife and change into? It’s got sections — for whatever purpose I cannot fathom. When I put my hand down there to scoop out some change, there’s a flap between the two sections and I can’t get all the change out with one scoop. Some gets caught in the other section. I have to dump the first handful of change on the counter, then reach in again to scoop out the quarters or dimes in the other section. Then I’ve got to count coins right there on the counter, slide them over to the clerk, then pick up the rest one coin at a time, along with any lint that came out with them, then put them all back in the sectioned pocket again. There’s usually a line behind me at the checkout by the time I’m done, and I get self-conscious about how long I take to do all this with them watching me.
So now I’m resolved: when these pants wear out and I’m buying new ones somewhere, I’m going to check every pocket and avoid the ones with sections if I can.


Sami Gay said...

Yawn. How I wish I could get that 10 minutes of my life back.

Mike LeBlanc said...

Sami, most of the rest of us wish you would waste your time somewhere else, too. Hopefully, when your mommy gets you your first pair of long pants, you will mature a little and find other activities.

Anonymous said...

What to do?
ALWAYS wear a jacket with inside pockets.
Now, mine are a leather jacket in winter, and a denim one in summer, NOT a blazer/sport/suit jacket. had ENOUGH of that in school, as a student!
Warning: That bottom button on denim jackets can get caught in the control slots on a tractor, or an astonishing number of other things you never knew existed 'til you wear one.
Also consider coming over to the dark side and carrying a (transferable) photo of traditional wallet fattening fillers, EXCEPT "Permits" of course.
I USED to like "cargo" pants, (Viet Nam Issue Army surplus)because I could carry so much junk, the problem became that I ended up having so much junk.
I have a barn for that now.

Anonymous said...

*sigh* transferable photo...on a "smart" phone...

Alan said...

When you are so insecure about your sexuality that you have to claim heterosexuality on your business card, it really makes one wonder...

(I think Ted Haggard had one of those same cards)

And that you seem to take pleasure in differentiating yourself from those "coloreds" by claiming whiteness in order to feel better about yourself?!!?

Sad, hilarious, and pathetic all at once! Great stuff!

I do love your posts...thanks, Tom!

Doug said...

“Heterosexual White Guy Journalists Association” seems like a lot to cram onto a business card. Why not just condense the whole message down so it is more succinct:


Anonymous said...

Very strange how Tom both flaunts his racism and tries to pretend he is not a racist at the same time. Embrace it Tom. Open your window and scream...."I'm racist as hell and I'm not gonna take it any more!!!!" Let it out! The only thing more despicable than a racist is a cowardly racist.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and while you are screaming out the window your true feelings, you may as well let the sexuality cat out of the bag as well!

Scott said...

Sorry, I forgot to mention that those last two post were from Scott in Tamworth.

Tom McLaughlin said...

I see the homo harpies are back. They think it their duty to harass us conservatives who don't stay in the political closet. Thought this column would be innocuously non-political, but here they are anyway.

There's a Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association, a Black Journalists Association, an Asian Journalists Association, a South Asian Journalists Association, etc. They all have a mission statement declaring they wish to further the interests of gays, Asians, etc.

Then it occurred to me that, after decades of Affirmative Action, we heterosexual white guys were distinctly under-represented in the profession and it was time for me to form our own association to further our interests.

Someday I'll begin my recruitment drive. I asked Jonah Goldberg once, but he said he had to ask his wife first and he never got back to me.

Steve said...

Are white men really underrepresented in journalism? White men don't seem to be underrepresented in the audience during White House press briefings. It seems the majority of CNN, MSNBC and FOX talk-show hosts are white men and the majority of journalists they interview are white men. The majority of network anchors are white men. Many of the most widely read columnists are white men. I subscribe to Esquire and Nat'l Geographic and the majority of their contributors are white men. I read my mom's Yankee mags and my dad's American Legion when I visit, and there are plenty of white men writing for them. Seems like our numbers are pretty healthy.

Anonymous said...

Unrelated, but always good to get the word out.

Sam Stone said...

Tom - Thanks for doing the leg work on this piece, I hate going shopping and now I know what's available.

Sami Gay said...

Did anyone else notice the picture above the "I hate these" caption? Coincidence? I think not.

Doug said...

"Waaaaaa…minorities have their own associations. Tommy wants one too!!! It's not fair!!!!!Waaaaah!"

Brady said...

"They think it their duty to harass us conservatives who don't stay in the political closet."

Take out the word "political" and this comment makes sense.

Come on out Tom!

Eric said...

It is quite obvious that Tom takes notes from the way that Faux News operates. Yank something out of your ass and repeat it over and over for the sheep like viewers to take as truth.

The American Society of New Editors released its annual study of newsroom diversity which showed a steady decline in minority journalists. The numbers in this year’s study show that at a time when non-whites make up roughly 37 percent of the US population, the percentage of minorities in the newsroom has fallen to 12.37 percent.

Yet Tom whines that poor white folks like him are "distinctly under-represented".

I know, Tom, just one black or gay journalist is too many for you, but get a grip.

Anonymous said...

"The numbers in this year’s study show that at a time when non-whites make up roughly 37 percent of the US population, the percentage of minorities in the newsroom has fallen to 12.37 percent."
I'm not sure I'm understanding why you believe those two statistics might be pertinent to each other.

Anonymous said...


Not Eric, but I think I can explain what he was pointing out. Mr. McLaughlin stated: "[heterosexual white guys] were distinctly under-represented in the profession." Which is a silly statement. Let's define under-represent: "to give inadequate representation to; represent in numbers that are disproportionately low."

If the statistics played out proportionally, then 37% of journalists should be minorities, to reflect the percentage of minorities in the greater population. For example, if you have a bag of red and blue marbles, and 37% of them are blue.... You should (if you pull enough times) have around 37% blue marbles in whatever sample size you draw out of the bag. 12.37 is not close to 37%, therefore minorities are underrepresented in journalism.

Notice here that there is no commentary on why that might be. It's just pointing out that Mr. McLaughlin's insecurities as a "Straight, white guy" are unfounded. In reality he has no clue what it means to be a minority in this country.

Tom McLaughlin said...

We heterosexual white guys are the only group it's okay to denigrate. All others are off limits. The Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association puts pressure on anyone who would depict homosexuals unfavorably. The other associations do the same for their defined minority.

I can see by the above reaction of the homo harpies that it's probably time to start a membership drive for HWGJA soon.

Anonymous said...

"If the statistics played out proportionally, then 37% of journalists should be minorities, to reflect the percentage of minorities in the greater population"
Oh, I see.
So, what percentage of the population is mentally retarded?
What percentage can't speak English clearly (for a multitude of reasons)?
What percentage of the population ultimately produces/pays for all this?
Why would "information, and (maybe)education" proportional delivery systems?
Is there no "outlet" for those who are only partial to information as "interpreted", or disseminated, by (ie)Somali, or Haitian demographic interests?
(Um...see:The newly decred as public utility, The ENTIRE Internet/Web)
Why are you perpetuating quota considerations based solely on accident-of-birth demographics?
Let's look at, say, "trustworthiness" vs. "truthiness" (sadly, now considered a word by doyens of such things) of entertainment value in(ie)"The bubble headed, bleach blond, (that) comes on at five...", no matter WHAT is read from a script written by "others"

Anonymous said...

Way to go, Capt DMO, you have reached a new level 0f idiocy by comparing non-whites to the mentally retarded!

Anonymous said...

I see that math was not one of the captains strong suits.

It’s simple. If non-minorities make up 87.63% of newsrooms, as can be gathered from the article, then they are in no way "distinctly under-represented".

Get it?

Steve said...

Stick to the topic. “We heterosexual white guys are the only group it's okay to denigrate.” is just defaulting to a tired, old partisan talking point of victimization. The cause and effect you didn’t substantiate is “…after decades of Affirmative Action, we heterosexual white guys were distinctly under-represented in the profession…” Anon used demographic percentages to challenge your claim. Address that.

Anonymous said...

"Way to go, Capt DMO, you have reached a new level 0f idiocy by comparing non-whites to the mentally retarded!"
1. No, I made no such comparison, you ASSUMED it, you unrealized micro-aggressor you!
I merely set the sandbag for Dunning-Kruger folks.
THIS guy offers ONE analysis.

"It’s simple. If non-minorities make up 87.63% of newsrooms,...."
Oh, I "get" the math. What I don't consider valid is the "representation based SOLELY on percentile" justification.

Anonymous said...

I don't know where the Captain is getting his definition of "compare", but it doesn't jive with mine. What will it be next, defining the meaning of "is"?

And forget all the "percentile justification" and "representation" and

2. "Dunning-Kruger" and 3. "Freddy Kruger" and Eagles song quotes and the mentally retarded and all other distracting gibberish, and just accept that white males are not "distinctly under-represented"in journalism.

Perhaps the Captain "gets" the math, but he sure doesn't get "it".

Mr E said...

When I saw the title of this column I thought that Tom would be writing about the subject matter of "facts".