A True Story of Traveling Pants

Here is a little treat to cap off your week…

Let’s go back in time to a little over a year ago. Our setting is one of the coldest Chicago winters on record. Josh and I set out to the YMCA on a bone-chilling day in February. We scuttled through the doors, buzzed our member cards, and began to disrobe and thaw. The coat rack looked a little unstable with all the winter layers weighing it down. I squished my coat and outer pants into the mass and went off to do my workout. Josh, however, folded his brand new jeans and placed them underneath the rack on the floor. He went to do his workout.

Finally warm and sweating slightly, we returned to the coatrack and began to bundle. But Josh paused and started to search the vicinity. “What’s the matter?” I asked. “I can’t find my pants!” he exclaimed. “Why would someone take pants?”

Seriously, who takes pants? Pants that fit well are painfully tricky to find, so it seemed highly unlikely that anyone could just slip on another’s pants and walk out without noticing. Plus, Josh is on the narrower side, whereas many other members of the YMCA were, well, not. Suspects seemed few on the ground.

We went up to the front desk to report the lost pants. The guy at the desk looked at us quizzically. “Pants?” Yes, pants. Who takes pants??

Poor Josh had to go home in 15 degree weather in his gym shorts.

Every new visit to the gym Josh asked about his pants. The guy at the desk would look at us with a mixture of pity and laughter and shake his head. As the days passed, we decided that whoever took the pants was either too heinously apathetic to be bothered to return them, or too painfully embarrassed to admit their mistake.

About a month after the incident Josh and I returned to the gym. By this point we had resolved to consider the pants lost. Josh had also won the nickname “Pants Man” among the YMCA staff. We went off to do our workout. When we came back to the coat rack we did a double take looking at the floor. There, folded, are a pair of Levis. The right color. The right size. Could it be? Did the pants return?

Josh tentatively took the pants to the guy at the desk. “So, umm, I think my pants have returned.” The guy’s eyebrows lifted. “Seriously?!” “Well,” Josh continued, “They are the right size and the right color and I’m almost positive these are my pants. So if anyone comes looking for lost pants, let me know, but I’m gonna take these.”

We stumbled to the car, laughing and marveling at the pants. The pants, the wonderful pants, the pants that have seen things. What have they seen? Where did they go? Why did they return? While these questions won’t rank among the first asked in heaven, we do intend to ask them when we get there.

And so goes the story of how Josh and his pants were reunited. The pants cover his bum to this day. And yes, Josh washed the pants before he wore them again.

The End.

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